Replacing my hip replacement

I’ve been neglectful of my blog in recent weeks, and at least some of it is due to a nagging personal health issue. In October of 2009, I had my right hip replaced. I went through all the usual recovery issues and began exercising in January of last year. I started experiencing pain issues almost immediately after that, something that my doctor attributed to bursitis, a common inflammation of the hip bursa.

It got systematically worse as the months passed. My white blood cell count went up and gradually the pain shifted to my groin. Turns out — we think — that my body is rejecting the implant, because of the shedding of metal ions from the metal-on-metal socket. So I’ve been undergoing tests and am now on the schedule to have the implant replaced with one that is ceramic and plastic.

The company that makes the socket recalled a bunch of a different model, mostly due to similar problems with other people. I’m not a law suit guy, especially not the kind that the ambulance chasers love, but I’d like not to have any out-of-pocket costs here either. Tough decision.

Meanwhile, it’s influencing my quality of life. I’m always tired and have little energy for walks or other exercise. It’s impacted my writing and my ability to think, because I can only get comfortable for little bursts at a time. In plain English, it sucks.

More later.


  1. Soon To Be Ex TV Person says

    Sorry about the health issues. But I don’t think there is a tough call here concerning whether or not you’re due compensation for the replacement replacement. These medical companies make a ton of money and justify the enormous expense of their products on “testing, because they go into people”. All manufacturers expect to have a certain defect expense, and if these prosthetic hip manufacturers don’t think that applies to them, they’re delusional.

    Your time is not free, and having to undergo a new procedure to fix what is clearly a defective product does not make you wrong in expecting compensation for the time you’ll be out of action. And tying it back into a TV context, I am reminded of how my employer thinks that I should be available for support. These people would be aghast at giving away time on the air, but I’m expected to just drop everything in my life so I can help someone figure out which button to press on a camera, at any hour.

    Get well. And why not contact the original hip manufacturer and ask them if they’d handle the out of pocket in exchange for you not seeking further damages? I don’t think that will prevent your existing insurer from subrogating their claim for the rest of it.

  2. Kevin Selle says

    Best of luck and health to you, sir. Prayers and positive energy heading that way!

  3. Yes, it’s been over two years since you posted this blog, but your words ring true with me regarding the impact of a hip replacement gone wrong…“Meanwhile, it’s influencing my quality of life. I’m always tired and have little energy for walks or other exercise. It’s impacted my writing and my ability to think, because I can only get comfortable for little bursts at a time. In plain English, it sucks.” That’s me to a T. Thank you for sharing so succinctly your experience. I could not have said it better! I started a blog shortly before my first THR, but haven’t kept up with it. Even started a masters program and was keeping up very well with the writing required (honor society), but I started having problems with that a year ago and had to drop out of the program. I can write short pieces like these few paragraphs, but not the pages of analytical research that I was doing before the pain level got worse. I hope to resume soon, but I’m not sure that I am able.

    However hard I try to mask how I feel, it just isn’t possible at this point. I had my first THR on July 15, 2008, my total revision on March 1, 2010 (after much complaining of pain, the surgeon said the part just “fell out”). Now, after many more months (38) of pain, I need another surgery. The shaft has taken well, but not even a dozen screws could keep the socket in place. I have very good reason to believe in the competency and excellence of my surgeon; infection does not enter the picture, my legs are exactly the same length, and the surgery takes place in a dedicated orthopaedic hospital. It is the part, plain and simple, and it’s inability to get along inside me.

    Fast forward to May, 2013, and I’ve been in and out of commission with decreasing bouts of variable productivity and effectiveness for almost 5 years now. I have also developed pseudogout as a response to the physical trauma, in addition to the osteoarthritis, and am having pain in my other hip (compensatory?!). At 53, I feel like I’m too young for this.

    I’d like to know, how are you doing now? What options did you choose and how did it work out for you? I hope you are doing well, and have recovered as you desired.

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