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North West Evening Mail | News | Barrow patient tells of his hip replacement ordeal.

Barrow patient tells of his hip replacement ordeal

A HIP surgery patient has spoken of the ordeal he suffered after a replacement in the wake of fears they can cause serious health problems.

Thousands of people across the UK who have undergone hip surgery may need annual health checks amid concerns “metal on metal” implants could cause complications.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products regulatory Agency issued an alert to the NHS earlier this month.

It is estimated around 50,000 patients nationwide will need checks to ensure the implants, which have been linked to muscle and bone damage and neurological diseases, are not posing a risk.

Barry Duke, 62, of Ormsgill, Barrow, said the news of potential risks did not come as a surprise as he had suffered endless problems with his own implant.

He had a metal-on-metal hip replacement in 2001, but was forced to have it removed five years later after and has subsequently spent years in and out of hospital in Barrow and Wigan.

Mr Duke said: “It came loose and then I broke the femur bone in my leg. My blood group changed and got all infected, so then I had to have another hip replacement.

“That time, it was not metal on metal. They used ceramic, but I still had problems and it kept coming out of brackets.

“I went to Furness General Hospital and they transferred me to Wigan. They said they didn’t have the expertise to treat me there.

“I’m still on crutches and I think it is all down to that first replacement.”

Between January and October last year, 284 people in Furness underwent hip and knee replacement surgery. The previous year, 139 hip replacements were carried out. In 2009, the figure was 148.

The MHRA has issued advice to clinicians that patients with hip replacements with a head diameter of 36 millimetres or more need to be monitored every year. Previously, patients were only monitored up to five years after the operation.

Dr Susanne Ludgate, clinical director of the MHRA, said: “Clinical evidence shows that patients have a small risk of suffering complications from having metal on metal hip implants. These implants have, in most cases, completely transformed the lives of patients who, in the past, were subject to increasingly severe pain and progressive lack of mobility.

“As a precautionary measure, we have issued updated patient management and monitoring advice to surgeons and doctors.”