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“What a Mistake,” says DePuy Hip Recipient
February 14, 2013, 01:30:00PM. By Jane MundyShare on linkedin Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on email More Sharing Services
“I had complications right after the surgery and I had a hard recovery,” says Chris. His doctor told him that the rounded top part of his femur had necrotized or died, and he needed to have a hip replacement. His recovery was spent mainly in a recliner, wearing boxers and a T-shirt.
“I couldn’t move,” Chris explains. “My mom had to take care of me; she even had to bathe me. That went on for about two months, then I moved to the sofa for 18 months – I couldn’t even make it to my bedroom in all that time.”
Fast forward to 2013 and Chris’ condition hasn’t improved much. “Most of the time I am ambulatory with a cane and sometimes in the night I wake up screaming in pain,” he says. “I have to keep my butt higher than my knees so my partner helps me to the chair in the living room (where I usually sleep) and then I take more pills for breakthrough pain.
“Then my surgeon determined that my hip was settling but I now have one leg considerably longer than the other. So I can’t stand for very long now that I have one leg longer than the other. I had to get a flu shot and wound up sitting on the floor because I couldn’t stand in line. We recently went to the movies, what a mistake that was. I didn’t take a cane or cushions and, as you know, the seats are very low in the theater. We made it to the end of Star Trek when I realized that I couldn’t walk out of there – my partner had to practically carry me out to the car.”
In 2010 Chris went back to his orthopedic surgeon and had more x-rays. “He told me that one of the hooks on the side of the hip came loose and slid down. They recommended revision surgery but I went through so much hell already I couldn’t do it.
“Now I am just waiting until I have to be put into a wheelchair. They said the second surgery will be worse because they have to chisel the bone off the rod that is running down the center of my hip replacement. Nobody explained why I was having so many problems.
“Then I heard about Depuy’s ASR hip recall on TV, and bingo, that has been my problem all along. I ran into so many people who had hip replacements at the same time as me and they were fine. My accountant was shocked to see my condition. He is much older than me and didn’t have one bit of trouble. My surgeon told me that these metal-on-metal hip implants have a 98 percent recovery rate so I guess I fell into that 2 percent. I was furious because I knew something was wrong all along and the doctors wouldn’t say anything. I think they knew that they screwed up.
“I used to ski, hike and swim. Tennis was my favorite sport and I miss it so much. I can’t do any of that anymore. All I can do now is watch videos on the computer or watch TV. As you can imagine, I gained weight (I just went on a diet) since I had my hip replaced. I can’t lose weight by exercising, and because I can’t exercise, my whole body aches. I guess I will get revision surgery at the last minute, if they can still do it. The doctor told my mother that my hip might not even be able to get fixed again, so that has made me even more hesitant.”
According to the National DePuy Orthopaedics Lawsuit Claim Center in the US, orthopedic surgeons increasingly believe the DePuy metal-on-metal implant had a design flaw that made it difficult to implant properly, specifically that the component has a narrow window for proper placement.
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