Before you replace that hip, you need to read this article by the NY Times
A recent article in the NY Times asks “Can your hip replacement kill you”?. Late last year, the American Academy of Surgeons recommended non surgical medical treatments for osteoarthritis of the hip. There are hip replacement alternatives you should investigate before having a joint surgically replaced.
While the idea of replacing a hip that just wore out sounds logical, the truth is that before you replace a hip with a replacement joint that has a limited life span and will never function like your original hip functioned, shouldn’t you do everything you can to avoid surgery in the first place? Apparently, the American Academy of Surgeons believes this, not just because the replacement joints are not as good, but because the surgery can have complications that leave you in permanent pain.
Recently, in the above-mentioned article, a patient had a metal-on-metal hip replacement joint called the ASR XL, made by Johnson & Johnson installed. Five years later, after suffering from pain, his orthopedic doctor replaced the joint, only to find out that Cobalt leaking from the ASR hip had caused a condition called metallosis, destroying not only local muscle, tendons, and ligaments. It also affected his brain.
While this is not typical, apparently there was a problem with this Johnson and Johnson device and a lawsuit resulted in more than 9,000 patients filing suit against the company. On Nov. 16, six New York patients won a $247 million trial verdict.
Neither doctors nor their patients were aware that these devices could cause bodily harm, and unfortunately, Johnson and Johnson did not let anyone know there is a problem.
According to the NY Times, 32 million people or 1 in 10 have a medical device implanted. While this may seem a good thing, since so many people were helped using these devices, many people have had problems requiring extensive rehabilitation, surgeries or worse after problems occurred after implantation. Perhaps, this is partly why the American Academy of Surgeons is recommending that we help people conservatively, avoiding surgery if possible.
My mother was affected by a right-sided hip replacement and never walked the same afterward. While she had this done when she was in her mid 80’s, the doctor who had performed thousands of these apparently damaged some nerves that ultimately had a permanent effect on how she can walk.
The truth is that body mechanics is the most common reason behind why a hip or knee will become arthritic, and early screening and intervention can avoid most hip and knee replacements. Simple management may include foot orthotics, chiropractic care, and regular exercise for the core and legs to improve core function, which can protect both the knees and hips for years to come.
You can read the article that was in the NY Times below. It is a cautionary tale at best.
Can Your Hip Replacement Kill You?
By JEANNE LENZERJAN. 13, 2018
When Stephen Tower’s right hip gave out in 2006, he asked his surgeon to implant an artificial one — specifically, a metal-on-metal hip called the ASR XL, made by Johnson & Johnson. He knew what he was talking about: As an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Tower specializes in complex hip replacements. But what he knew wasn’t enough to protect him from a defect in the device.
Five years after his surgery, and in excruciating pain, Dr. Tower underwent more surgery, this time to have the device replaced. When the surgeon sliced into his hip, what he saw looked like a crankcase full of dirty oil. The tissue surrounding the hip was black. Cobalt leaking from the ASR hip had caused a condition called metallosis, destroying not only local muscle, tendons and ligaments but harming Dr. Tower’s heart and brain as well.