, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Like all your readers I am very thankful for your informative site which I
have been looking at over the past 12 months but more so now as I am
recovering from hip revision surgery.

I was diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia in 2006 (aged 45) after many years of being told I was too young to have anything wrong with my hips and wasting a lot of time on a medical merry go round while all the time my condition deteriorated.

Owing to my age it was decided to perform osteotomies, the first on the left hip/pelvis in March 07 and the right hip/pelvis in March 08. These surgeries are gruelling and recovery challenging and unfortunately due to ongoing arthritis and AVN both these procedures failed and it was necessary for me to undergo bilateral total hip replacements in Feb 09.

After the intesity of the previous surgeries I opted to have simultaneous replacements and was overjoyed in the first few months when I was no longer in terrible pain. I was also happy at the thought of no more surgery for at least 30 years….the estimated longevity of my wonderful new strong hips.

Smith & Nephew implants were used – a spectron stem and a BHR cup.

Fast forward to 3 years later in Feb 2012 following an appointment with my specialist where I complained I was unable to walk more than 4 blocks without pain and my general health was failing – headaches, chronic fatigue, tinnitus, bowel problems & depression – I was advised to have a blood test to check the metal levels.

A blood test was done revealing low elevated levels of chromium & cobalt and I was advised to have another blood test in August. By this time the 2nd blood test revealed my levels had increased by 4 and I was experiencing ongoing pain in right hip and loud clunking/grinding/squeaking in left hip.

My specialist was very concerned and as a result I had hip revision surgery of the left hip on 16/10/12 and a new ceramic head was implanted but the original stem remained.

A bone graft was required and a lot of dead tissue was removed. I was informed there was also a psuedo tumor in the area.

I recovered well in hospital and came home 8 days later. In the early hours of my first night at home my hip dislocated while lying in bed. This was fixed under sedation at the local hospital and I returned home 2 days later.

3 days later the hip dislocated again while I was resting on my day bed. Back to hospital and sedated again. The hip dislocated a third time in x-ray. Under sedation for the 3rd time it was found that simply having my left leg straight out when lying down and my left foot turned outwards was all that was required for it to dislocate.

I underwent  a 2nd revision surgery performed  exactly 2 weeks after my first revision surgery.

I am now at home recovering and the fear of dislocating is slowly decreasing now I have made it to the 4 week post operative mark. I still have a lot of discomfort in the groin area of the operated hip and my right hip is suffering as all my weight goes on it.  It frightens me already having 2 revisions done as how many of these can be done before they are unable to help you anymore.

A further blood test is due in a couple of months to see how the chromium & cobalt levels have responded to this surgery and a decision regarding the right hip revision is to be made.  At this stage most of my symptoms remain except I have not had the terrible headaches.  This could be due to the pain killers I have been on and only recently weaned off.

Sorry for such a long email but I wanted to share my situation and would like you to be aware of another victim of Smith & Nephew implants.

Again, thank you for the wealth of information you have made available and I am happy to hear back any comments from you.