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Hip Replacement Patient says Better Off Without

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Seattle, WAWhen Sharon had a Hip replacement she expected, and was told, it would improve her quality of life, her overall well-being. Instead, her health has deteriorated and she is totally disabled. And her third hip revision surgery is scheduled for next month.

“Not even a year after my Biomet hip replacement failed—and I still don’t know if the device itself or my orthopedic surgeon is at fault –I had revision surgery. I had no choice because the pain was so severe,” says Sharon. “My surgeon put in a Biomet plate and the hospital added an MRSA infection so I was back in the hospital for the second revision surgery to scrape away the infection.”

(Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection occur in people who've been in hospitals and typically are associated with invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints, according to the Mayo Clinic, Although revision surgeries can relieve pain and restore mobility, they are riskier than hip replacement procedures. The Mayo Clinic explains that people who have had revision surgeries are more likely to require future revisions than people who haven’t required revisions. That’s because the bone and tissue in the hip is more likely to be weak or damaged in people who have revision surgeries, so the implants are more likely to fail in the future.


Besides infection, there is a risk of complications associated with anesthesia. “I had a heart attack during my revision surgery. When I was in the recovery room I found out that the cardiologist told the surgical team to hurry up,” says Dave in an email. “If that wasn’t bad enough I developed pneumonia when I was in the intensive care unit. I’m 76 years old and don’t think my ticker can handle another surgery so I’m stuck with this Stryker hip--forever.”

The Orthopedic News Network estimated that about 460,000 people had hip replacements in 2010, and approximately 56,000 of those were revisions. Because hip replacements are on the rise in people under 60 (reports the Huffington Post and BBC News in 2016) doctors predict more hip revision surgeries.

Data from the Orthopedic Registry in both Australia and the United Kingdom indicate that only five percent of patients who receive total hip replacements require revision surgery within seven years. But 15 percent of metal-on-metal implant recipients in the U.K. registry and 8 percent in the Australian registry required revision surgery within seven years.

Dave’s Stryker Rejuvenate revision surgery has similar rate of failure. According to the Encyclopedia of Surgery, 13 percent of patients who had a Stryker hip had complications within two years and had revision surgery to remove the device. About eight percent required an additional revision surgery.

Sharon had the Biomet’s M2a Magnum hip implant. Nearly 14 percent of Biomet Recap M2a Magnum hip replacements  caused complications that required revision surgery, according to a 2013 study by The Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Turku University Hospital, Finland.

But only 4 percent of patients received revision surgery by the time of a 2015 study, which may indicate that many surgeons are no longer using metal-on-metal hip replacements due to high failure rates. Perhaps those predictions are wrong...

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