Steve's Story

In 2009 I was suffering pain in both my hips and was told I would need to have them both replaced.

As my left hip was the more painful, I decided to have it done first and it was replaced in December 2009. At first I seemed to be recovering well and returned to work after a few months. In fact, I thought that the recovery was going so well that, as I was in less pain, I would delay having the right hip doing until I retired in a few years time.

Towards the end of 2010, I started to notice that my legs were getting very tired and I was getting considerable pain in my left hip. About this time I was recalled to hospital for blood tests; I explained to my surgeon my symptoms and was told the pain was due to my back!

After returning to the hospital to get my results, I was told my cobalt and chromium were normal, and to return in six months time for a review.

In March 2011 I had to retire from work because the pain I was in was causing me to live on the maximum dose of painkillers just to get me through the day. At this point I asked to see my surgeon again and was told my symptoms were due to my back and to poor circulation. I was then referred to a heart specialist who told me there was nothing wrong with my heart or circulation. On returning to my original surgeon I asked for my actual blood level readings, which he seemed reluctant to give me. The readings were well above those which the MHRA say are acceptable.

In September 2011, I read in the paper about a support group in the York area called altogether.hip and telephoned Penny Hodgson, one of the organisers, and had a long chat and received some very useful advice and an invitation to attend their next group meeting, which was very informative.

I would go as far as to say that joining the support group was one of the best things I have done, and I have now become one of the organisers of the group.

Having lost faith in my original surgeon, I contacted Mr Tony Nargol at Nuffield Teesside and arranged to have some tests, namely another blood test and an aspiration of the hip to withdraw some fluid for testing. When I went back for the results they were not what I or Mr Nargol had expected; my blood ion levels were in acceptable limits. However, the test of the fluid from my hip was 20 times the acceptable level and was the consistency of treacle; it was this thickness that was stopping the cobalt/chromium getting into the bloodstream. The most frightening thing to me was that any surgeon relying on the blood test alone would say I did not have a problem.

The problems with my left hip have put more stress on myright hip and made it considerably worse. This means that after the revision surgery, I will be looking to have my right hip replaced as soon as possible. In other words, two years of my life will have been ruined due to this faulty implant.

I am quite angry with DuPuy for putting this hip on the market, but I am also annoyed that the MHRA does not have strict enough regulations and standards which companies have to meet, before their products can be implanted.

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