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I am 12 weeks post-op today (July 27 2012), following revision surgery of a BHR I received in Dec 2003, at the age of 47. I was advised to go this route as I was young and reasonably active, and the resurfacing would allow for bone stock to remain for the inevitable full replacement down the track. Hmmm.

Since that time I have been getting progressively unwell, with flu-like symptoms, bursitis, inflammation (my fingers look like cocktail franks), failing eye-sight, bladder infections, fluid on both knees and degeneration of the cartilage (4 arthroscopies), mental and physical fatigue, breathlessness, painful incontinence and ‘women’s problems’ that led to a full hysterectomy in Sept 2009, and increasing pain around the effected hip, sometimes popped, seized up or squeaked.

I understand when others on this blog talk about their frustration at not being heard. The doctors I have seen about these various issues do all the usual tests, and then shake their heads and look at me sideways when they can find nothing in the results to explain my symptoms.

Having read about the DuPuy recall and the issue with metal decomposition, I asked my GP to test for Chromium and Cobalt last December. The results showed a Chromium level of 423 nmol/L and Cobalt of 830 nmol/L. A subsequent MRI showed a large pseudo-tumour wrapped around what was left of the femoral neck, and a basically dead bursa. My original surgeon suggested a revision asap, and on the whole has been co-operative.

However, he seems to have adopted the line that the hip didn’t fail because it hadn’t moved or misaligned, and when he removed it it popped out without any great need to hammer away at it (hip surgery is a brutal exercise).

My concern with this attitude, which seems to prevail amongst the medical fraternity, is that it mitigates against the device being recalled. What they should be doing is supporting their patients to instigate a class action against Smith and Nephew who have clearly developed and foisted upon an unsuspecting public, a device that has indeed failed. For it to disintegrate within our bodies, depositing carcinogenic metals that slowly poison us, is a very clear failure.

Then again, maybe they are, but I haven’t heard about it. Has anyone else? especially in Australia?

The last 12 weeks have been a long, slow and painful recovery (and I thought laying on my back for 6 weeks was going to be the biggest nuisance!!) I am still hobbling around on a walking stick, and in great pain (8/10); from the op – in the groin and buttock area, which radiates down the thigh and up into my lower back; and co-incidentally – the rest of my body is aching from hobbling around on a walking stick! In my more optimistic moments I had held out some hope that the symptoms I’d experienced would just go away, once the offending implant was out, but no such luck (apart from the painful incontinence, which is a good thing because I’m still hobbling around on a ^%$@*&^ walking stick!).

I am waiting on the results of yet another blood test to see how well my body is flushing the Co and Cr, and I’m having my 12 week post-op appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday, where I’ll be putting to him my reasons for thinking the BHR failed. As in EPIC FAILURE.

Anyway, that’s my story. Any news that anyone has about the likelihood of the BHR being recalled would be good to hear. Good luck to anyone else in the same invidious position; you have my sympathy/empathy and support.

Lee

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