Penny Hodgson

Penny's Story

In the summer of 2006, I had both of my hips replaced within 3 weeks of each other due to osteoarthritis. I was only 44 at the time of the operation so I was given DePuy ASR hip replacements due to my active lifestyle (I'm a rare breed cattle farmer) and age. Everything was fine for the first year, but then I started to get increasing amounts of pain in my right hip. Over the course of the next year the pain increased so much that it became a real struggle to walk and drive, and no amount of painkillers would give me significant relief of that pain! Life became very difficult because I couldn't sleep due to the pain, which in turn made me short-tempered which was no fun for my family!

My consultant at the time told me that it could be due to my back, and that at 46 years old I should expect a few aches and pains, which was quite upsetting.

In January 2009, I was working outside when my hip became so excruciatingly painful that I could not walk at all. Luckily my teenage daughter was outside at that moment and heard my cries, so helped me back into the house. From then on I was back on crutches and when I was seen at the hospital it was confirmed that the cup had completely loosened and slipped sideways. Needless to say I was devastated at the setback.

I ended up having to have revision surgery on my right hip in March 2009. I was completely shocked to be told just before the surgery that I would not even be able to sit up for the first week. Fortunately, after a long, slow recovery my mobility returned, although I still have pain on my right side and have to limit my activities so not to aggravate it. It has taken a long time for me to get used to turning a blind eye to jobs, and to just doing a small amount at a time. I will always find it frustrating!

My left hip still has an ASR hip in, so I am monitored to keep an eye on my metal levels. As I'm sure you can imagine, this is a source of constant worry and frustration for me and my family.

After I read in the local press about other cases of people with problems with their hips following ASR surgery, I noticed that some people were taking legal action against DePuy, so I contacted Pryers solicitors to find out more. I was shocked by what I found out. It was the first time anyone had ever explained the real problems with these hip implants to me. Until that time I had been led to believe that I was just one of a tiny minority who had encountered any problem. I enquired whether there was any Support group, as I really felt it would help me to meet and chat to others who understood just how difficult life had been and who had the same health concerns about the effects of having high levels of cobalt and chromium in the blood, and failing hip joints which were meant to have lasted a long time. I learnt that there wasn't such a group, but Pryers would be happy to provide support and assistance if I wanted to get the ball rolling. So that's how the Support Group was born! I am delighted that it has grown so rapidly growing in size but at the same time dismayed that this is a sad reflection of the amount of people affected by the problem, not forgetting their long suffering friends and relations.

Where it will all end for me, I don't know; it depends on whether my other ASR hip starts to fail too, and how long my revision of my right hip lasts. I feel that I have aged with that the events of the past few years and the amount of pain suffered, and I sometimes worry that I will have to give up my beloved farm. But a positive outlook is important, and so I am busy making lists of things I would like to do but I accept that squash, skiing, walking the Pyrennees, etc are probably off the list now but I'll get there in the end!


Read more about Carol Holland's story

Read more about Steve's story

Read more about Harold's story

Read more about A Jones story

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