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Trevor (General Practitioner) Needs Revsion – Dud Smith & Nephew BHR – Just like DePuy ASR

I am a GP and after months of pain and disability I had a Hip Replacement in September 2007. This was done by Mr ******* , who in view of my age (then 53yo) recommended Birmingham resurfacing with a Metal on Metal prosthesis – by Smith and Nephew. I suffered considerable post-operative pain but was out of hospital after 6 days and back at work after 6 weeks.

I regained a fairly active lifestyle, including some cricket and skiing, but have found that this year I have experienced increasing pain and stiffness in the hip, worst in the morning. I was seen in the orthopaedic clinic and have had my Cobalt and Chromium levels measured:-

May 2012

Cobalt *                     555 nmol/L N 0 – 17
Chromium *              304 nmol/L N 0 – 20

MHRA Thresholds:-
Cobalt                       7ppb equivalent to 120 nmol/L
Chromium                7ppb equivalent to 135 nmol/L

Analysed at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust

I assume that the symptoms I am currently experiencing are due to the Cobalt/Chromium causing local inflammation.

At any rate when Mr ***** saw the results he advised me to have the prosthesis removed and listed me for surgery on the NHS 4 weeks later.

While I appreciate that the surgery needs doing I am nevertheless apprehensive about the experience.

I spoke to the complaints department at Smith & Nephew to enquire if they would be able to defray some of the expenses of being off work. They were less than helpful, to the point of being a little rude.

I think that if they had been more polite I might have left it at that. As it is however I feel I would like to take this further.

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