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My View:

This comment from a reader overnight is typical of what I read time and again.

NOTE: This blog is about surgeons – not the actual device used in the replacement.

The surgeon remains in denial until he either loses the patient – they go elsewhere – or the patient through their own resourcefulness gets the surgeon to have a look at the base data and do the necessary tests.

In this true life story the surgeon remains with his head up where the sun doesn’t shine (3 years) to the point that he loses the patient – is this the ultimate arrogance or malpractice?

I know what this feels like – I had “normal X-Rays” supposedly for nearly a year, was treated for back problem, rheumatoid arthritis which nearly killed my liver, before they finally did a MRI – admittedly I didn’t see a surgeon up front – just GP’s and specialists.

It does not matter what kind of hip replacement it is – the point of this Blog is that:

  • This pattern of behavior and lack of intellectual honesty by certain doctors is not acceptable
  • What is more important??? Their precious medical pride and opinion or their patient suffering for years and being made to feel like an imbecile for complaining…
  • This is surgeon error – most likely 9 times out of 10.

As a good friend of mine says:

Do NOT go by just your surgeons observation that the component is placed fine, that the fault is a metal on metal device.  Get other opinions!!   It is never too late, even after the revision has been done.

Here is the comment:

Hip Issues for 3 Years….

I had  Hip Replacement in August 2008.  I felt fine until September 2009 when I started having all kinds of odd medical problems.

Chest pain with tachycardia, shortness of breath with flu-like symptoms, finally random swelling of finger joints and pain in my feet.

All of these were worked up by cardiology, rheumatology and my internist.

Every test came back normal. 

In the fall of 2010, I started having pain in the replaced hip.  This got my attention, but I lived with it until spring of 2011 when I finally went to see my original surgeon.  I did have metal ion levels drawn before the visit and they were elevated.

His attitude after an x-ray that was “perfect” was that my pain was coming from my back.  That my metal testing hadn’t been done in the right lab so the results were not reliable. 

After much pushing on my part he agreed to repeat the metal levels and order an MRI of my hip and back.

The results came back, the metal levels even higher than before and the MRI of my hip showing fluid and debris.  I never had the MRI of my back.

At this point in time the surgeon agreed there could be a problem with the prosthesis and that it warranted watching. 

It happens that both myself and my husband are in medicine so we pulled out all resources and spoke to experts in the field, everyone agreeing that the implant had to come out.

I sought the opinion of another surgeon (with lots of reparative experience) and the only logical solution seemed to be to have a total hip replacement with a prosthesis that was not metal on metal.

He felt strongly that I had metallosis from the prosthesis.  On August 15th I had a revision of my metal on metal to a ceramic on “plastic” total hip.

I too believe there are many more people out there with metal on metal hips that are problematic with vague symptoms and confusing presentations of metallosis.

Lesson:

You know our pain and your body better than anyone and while you have a vested interest it is only in your health – not professional reputation or medical opinion.

We have to take charge – if you are feeling sick and sore, then there will be a reason… trust yourself and don’t suffer in silence!

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