In 2007 Mr B had a metal on metal hip replacement. Unfortunately, he didn’t do well following the surgery, suffering with pain and being unable to weight bear through the leg. His symptoms persisted but despite scans no cause could be found. At one stage it was thought the hip issue could be due to a disc problem in his spine. This was however subsequently ruled out.
Some three years after the surgery bloods were taken to check for serum cobalt and chromium levels. The results came back showing elevated levels of both. It isn’t unusual for levels to be raised for the first 18 months after a metal on metal implant is inserted, and can be elevated for life, however his levels were higher than they should have been given the time which had elapsed since his operation.
He had an ultrasound scan which showed the soft tissue around the hip was absent. His consultant suspected the hip symptoms were caused by a possible inflammatory disease of the soft tissue around the hip replacement, the inflammatory disease of which was possibly caused by metalosis (build-up of metal debris in the soft tissues of the body). He arranged for our client to have a revision of his replacement.
It was subsequently found the hip replacement components used in the 2007 operation hadn’t been inserted correctly. This resulted in wear and tear in the metal components and this wear and tear caused metal debris being released from the implant into our client’s blood stream causing break down of the muscles and soft tissues around the hip. Had the surgery of November 2007 been performed to an acceptable standard, he would not have required the revision surgery, would have avoided a significant period of pain and suffering and avoided an acceleration of his back condition caused by the increased pressure put on his good leg.
A settlement was achieved for the client which, although not putting him back to the position he should have been, enabled him to make some adjustments to make life a little easier.