I am a 59 year old American male who has always taken pretty good care of myself. I did develop osteoarthritis and it destroyed my left hip. I had a Stryker Rejuvinate installed in early December 2010. Almost 4 weeks later I was in the Emergency Room with 25 blood clots around my lungs, my heart distended out to one side and the doctors shaking their heads. A savvy doctor decided to have my blood checked for Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome or Lupus Anticoagulant. I tested positive and then tested positive twice more weeks and months later. I was told that it is permanent in my case and that I will be on Coumadin the rest of my life.
I have had pain in the hip ever since the implant but all x-rays looked good. The surgeon did an amazing job, as I was fully aligned and the stem appears well rooted in my femur.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Now I take Synthroid for this everyday. My blood testing is now up to 16 to 30 times per year for the rest of my life because of the clotting disorder and thyroid problem.
A couple of years ago I noticed my hands were shaking more. In the last 6 months they have gotten so bad that I can no longer write more than a few words at a time. After a sentence or two what I write can’t be read. It looks more like a 2 year old trying to imitate writing. I used to type 80 or so words per minute, with no errors. Now I am down to 30 or 40, with errors.
I have some ringing in my ears, sometimes short of breath, but not always, but fatigue has been the biggest thief. Since the hip replacement I just run out of energy after about 10 hours. If I didn’t have to get up for work, I could sleep 10 to 12 hours per day, but part of that is because pain wakes me several times every night.
After the Stryker recall my surgeon did more x-rays, but nothing showed up. I got a second surgeon to check me, but nothing. About a month ago my surgeon decided to run blood tests and found my cobalt was over 8, or in the toxic range. Now, what has been happening to my body makes more sense. He immediately called for an MRI. The MRI showed fluid accumulation around my hip. He advised me to have the revision surgery ASAP. I am having it April 22.
Stryker has agreed to pay for the revision surgery. My attorneys told me to be very careful with what I say to them and the company that is handling my claims.
Due to the fact that my femur looks very attached to the stem, my surgeon is expecting to have to cut my femur into several pieces to get the stem out. Then he will put bands around the pieces to hold them together and possibly some cadaver bone to fuse it all back together. It will be 10 to 12 weeks before I will be able to put any weight on my leg.
I also have brain fogs several times a day. The other day it took me 10 minutes to remember/find the name of my CEO, whom I have known for over a year and have used his name many times a day almost every day. (just one example)
Has anyone here ever developed Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome, APS or Lupus Anticoagulant from cobalt poisoning? It is an autoimmune disease and from what I have found, metal poisoning can trigger pretty much any and all autoimmune diseases. It all depends on the person.
My best wishes and prayers to all of you. I pray we all end up okay.