Melissa's Original BHR Story
The last two years have brought increasing groin pain, instability,
and popping/clunking on a regular basis. Two months before my 4th
anniversary I became so alarmed at the consistent instability that I
obtained x-rays and cobalt and chromium blood tests. Patient
advocate, Vicky Marlow, had several surgeons review them for
possible causes of my pain and instability. The following are
excerpts from the surgeon’s emails:
1. She needs a revision ASAP before the neck on the femur breaks
Neck narrowing due to high ions and there will be some acetabular
osteolysis at revision. Yes, early revision is indicated
The inclination and version angles are high to start with. The cup
appears to have migrated
Much to my disappointment, I needed an urgent revision to a total
hip replacement. I chose Dr Scott Ball at the University of
California San Diego. Dr Ball has experience with resurfacings, as
well as revisions, and you can read about my experiences with the
fabulous Dr Ball, his staff, and UCSD, under "Hip Stories – Dr
My case was so urgent that I had surgery seven days after my initial
contact with UCSD. The causes of my failure were:
At the time my original BHR was implanted the acetabular was
prepared too deep which left a void between the cup and acetabular.
2. Sometime, during the first two years, the cup tipped into a position
of excessive anteversion (malpositiones).
My revision surgeon, Dr Scott Ball, felt the femoral neck narrowing
was due to excessive wear of the device, following the tipping of
the cup, causing metallosis, and subsequent osteolysis.
After the cup had tipped it did re-attach to a small area of
acetabular. Once the cup was carefully removed, a bone graft from
the femoral head was used to repair that area.
On a positive note, the revision was so much easier and less
painful. I am recovering approximately twice as fast as with the
resurfacing. Originally, I was concerned that I might have to have a
THR revision 10-15 years down the road, but with medical device
advancement, I may see 20+ years on my new device.
And life goes on
DR SCOTT BALL
Dr Ball and his staff are nothing short of fabulous! After only four
short years on my BHR, I chose Dr Ball to do my urgent revision to a
THR, though Dr Ball was not my original BHR surgeon.
From my initial call to UCSD (University of California San Diego)
appointment desk, to my surgery discharge 11 days later, I
experienced nothing but compassionate and caring staff and a
wonderful medical center.
Since it appeared my condition was urgent the UCSD appointment desk
was able to schedule a visit with Dr Ball two days later. Dr Ball
spent nearly one hour with me reviewing my x-rays, labs, and
discussing my need for an immediate THR. Two days later I received a
call that my surgery would be in three days.
When I arrived at UCSD the morning of my surgery all hands were
on deck to escort me through the pre-surgery process - which
normally occurs over several weeks. Every department knew who and
where I was to go next. Staff throughout the medical center was
caring and professional and my post-surgery nursing care was
The icing on the cake was when Dr Ball escorted me to the valet
pick-up curb in order to meet my husband and to share with him a bit
about my surgery. It was a wonderful send off.
My recovery is much easier this time around and I have kept in
contact with Dr Ball, via his email, and look forward to my follow
up appointment in two weeks.