Juliet's Revision of BHR 2002

April 26, 2011

I had a hip resurfacing (Birmingham Hip) on 5/10/02 (left hip). I was 50 years old. Very fit, a keen skier, tall and slim. I had done my research and decided that resurfacing was definitely for me, but the first consultant I went to wouldn't/couldn't do a resurfacing but put me on to Mr. Kalesh Desai at Charing X hospital in London. I checked with the hospital in Birmingham where the BHR had been developed and they confirmed to me that Mr. Desai had trained there.
The operation was deemed a success. I had an epidural. The op lasted about 4 1/2 hours. I was out of hospital within 5 days, and never again used crutches. I managed with a stick and made a rapid recovery. By February 2003 I was skiing black runs in the Alps. I was thrilled with my hip and continued to lead a very full physical life.

In June 2008, while living in France, I noticed that I had large lump in my left groin. It was not painful, but I decided to go to the local doctor. He immediately sent me to hospital fearing that it might be a hernia or worse, cancer. I was x-rayed, cat scanned and had an ultra sound. I was told that my lump was a hard mass which contained blood and tissue. It was drained for 3 days while I was hospitalized and then I was discharged. Within a week the lump had come back, and I was readmitted to hospital. This time a drain was put in under local anesthetic in a scanner. I was there for 7 days while they continued to drain it. The doctor wanted to operate and remove the hard shell that constantly filled, but I decided to return to London and ask Mr. Desai's opinion.

Mr. Desai sent me for an MRI in September 2008. He reassured me that my hip was fine and that the lump had nothing to do with it. He advised that I should do nothing and see if it went of its own accord.

On 28 Feb this year I went to see Mr. Desai as my right hip has been giving me pain for sometime now and I was aware from all my previous x-rays and scans that there was very little cartilage left and so it was time to start thinking of another resurfacing, this time on the right. However, I pointed out to Mr. Desai that I still had my strange lump. He immediately sent me for an x-ray, cat scan, and this time a blood test to check my metal levels. He informed me that since my visit in 2008 further research had been done and patients had presented with 'pseudo tumors' as a result of excessive metal levels. He said that if this was the case I would have to think about replacing my left hip as well as the right. I was very distraught at this information.

I received the results of my blood test which were chromium levels 25.3 (norm is 3) and cobalt level 15.8 (norm is 2). So the advice is to replace the resurfacing with a large ceramic head, THR and do the same on the right.

I have done much research and discovered that the metal levels would appear to be due to the fact that the hip was not correctly placed at an angle of 40o causing it to rub.
This has occurred mostly in women under the age of 60, and according to some surgeons, especially in tall, slim, small boned women.

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