Kenneth’s Story

Following on from terrible arthritic pain I had a hip replacement in January 2007.  Initially it was fine but I then started to have falls as my leg began to give way a lot.  I also started to suffer from terrible pain and discomfort again.

My surgeon was concerned about the joint but was reluctant to operate as I had trouble with my blood and had suffered DVT’s.  I had another hospital appointment scheduled but I was now feeling unwell most of the time and the discomfort in my hip and leg was getting worse and one day it eventually broke.

I had been in and out of bed most of that day.  In the evening as I lay in bed the pain become even more intense and as I turned over I felt a cracking sensation in my hip.  I tried to walk downstairs and felt more cracking as the bones broke and crumbled.  My wife called an ambulance.  I was given gas, air, morphine and taken to hospital with a suspected dislocation.  The subsequent x-ray showed that not only was the hip joint broken, but the bone was infected, broken and crumbled.

I was given an emergency operation but the hip and the majority of the surrounding bone had to be removed because of the damage that had been caused.  This is called a Girdlestone operation.  The gap that was left after the removal of the hip and bone was packed with muscle from my buttocks.  This had to calcify over several months to help me to walk.  My operation was followed up with intense physiotherapy.

I can now walk approximately 100 yards with two elbow crutches.  I also have to have my right shoe raised about 1 inch as my leg is shorter as a result of the loss of bone and muscle compression.  I rely on a mobility scooter to get me out of the house.

My life has changed completely.  I rely on my wife for a lot of help and I have lost my independence.  I can no longer drive and my hobby of tending to my garden and green house is impossible.  Simple tasks like making a cup of tea or cooking a simple meal are not possible as I am unable to move without the aid of my crutches.  I used to enjoy going out with my grandchildren and taking them for walks in their pushchairs.  Again this is no longer possible.  As I am sure you can imagine this is all emotionally difficult and frustrating.

In the past I have always enjoyed going on holiday and like most people imagined that during our retirement my wife and myself would enjoy more holidays.  This has also become much more difficult and any trip has to be carefully planned so that it has adequate disable access.  Our dreams of enjoying relaxing holidays have been shattered and in fact now any holiday is actually extremely stressful.

I am now 68 years old but this happened 3 years ago.  I do not consider this a great age to be in this state.

I do not understand how this hip joint could be used without thorough research and testing being carried out first.  I hope that my experience will help inform other people of what can happen as a worst case scenario.

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