Published: 01 March 2017
Last Updated: 01 March 2017
Created: 01 March 2017
I am in Ghent recovering from a HR with Dr. De Smet. I decided to go with him after I read his article on metalosis and dislocation. Bart (surg tech) mentioned he is the top authority on metal ion shedding from implants. Alignment seems the most critical issue and surgeon skill level.
So far, all my pain of 2.5 years is gone! Absolutely incredible! I am so happy to have found your resourceful website and Bless you for your efforts - you have saved many thousands of lives that would have been cut short by premature THR procedures.
I am 5 days post-op and walking straight with crutches now. My left leg is super weak, so that will take some time to strengthen. I think you chose the top surgeon in the world for your procedure. It seems his operations are flawless. His first implant from 1998 is still going strong. When I spoke with him the night before the operation, he mentioned he has a 98.6% survival rate at 14 years. That is absolutely incredible. Compared to THR in the US with ~70% at 10 years. My decision was simple. I mortgaged myself to the max, got on a plane and came here. Procedure was <1hr. My cartilage was completely gone and my x-ray showed a subchondral fracture (so I came here immediately). Bart said my core neck and base of the femoral head were solid, so I suspect the fracture in the x-ray was an image of the cartilage detaching at the base of the bone. When Bart pulled my bone out to expose for surgery, he said the cartilage fell off like an onion peel. I think you are exactly right - I was so afraid that if I waited too long, I would not be a candidate anymore.
Interestingly, Dr. De Smet mentioned that his research with Conserve+ was showing very low levels of metal ions in plasma compared to BHR and that all implants were dropping to imperceptible levels with time. Technically, he says, once that happens, there is no more MoM wear and the implant anneals and will no longer fail for that reason. He predicts indefinite implant lifetime. So, yes, you are correct your implant should last another 30-50 years. For myself, I am a little younger (51), that would also be welcome as another operation is not as welcome for me. I may need to do my other hip also as AVN tends to be bilateral. If Dr. De Smet is still in business, I will definitely see him again. This is so different an experience compared to the Kaiser docs I met with. One of the top hip surgeons in Roseville did ~200 HRs in ~2000. The outcome was so poor at 5 years that HR was removed from the reimbursed procedures.
That inspired ZERO confidence in me. Dr. De Smet has >5k HRs now and more than 500 AVNs. Interestingly, he has not had a single failure with his AVN patients. That was very encouraging to me.
If I may suggest, if you can, sell a car, sell furniture, anything and try to see Dr. De Smet again. He is using the Delta Motion THR in ceramic (as is Dr. Bose). I agree, he is top in the field and you would have a flawless operation. If not, check in the US who might be using Delta Motion, at least that implant look extremely promising (they are probably developing something ceramic for HR also, bit not yet available).
Thank you again for all the info and Bless you for your website. If it was not for you, I would be stuck with a crappy THR from Kaiser and 1/3 of my leg amputated. I cannot express how.
All the best with the next procedure.