Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blog Mission/My Story

The Mission of this Blog:
There are about 11,000  patients at risk for needing replacement of the DePuy  hips that have been sold on the market since 2003.  I am one of those patients.    Becoming a very informed patient at this point is my objective and I thought there must be many others out there who are going through this awful nite mare.  Maybe we can help each other.  How?  If you are equally concerned about this process by attemptiong to identify  answers to  the questions noted below, I would like to hear from you.  Maybe it is true that there is strength in numbers.  Maybe we can combine the determination of Erin Brokovitch  along with the social media tools available to us today and work as a group to answer these types of  questions and many more which others who are subjected to this recall  might have.  The mission of this blog:
·         Surface as much information for the hip replacement patient
·         Provide independent research into the issues involved in this recall so that we can examine all sides of the questions to become informed patients.

My Story:
Stories of hip replacements are always associated with people in their late 70s and 80s, or at least that is what I thought until I was advised I needed one at the ripe old age of 52.  In retrospect, I was so debilitated at that point from my inability to do much of anything involving movement,  that I had to take some action.
 I learned that replacing one’s hip is, in part a medical recommendation and in part a personal decision on the timing of the surgery.  Given my tolerance for physical pain, I postponed it as long as I could, as I imagine many do who are advised to replace a hip.  After all, I had my hip for 52 years and parting with it, despite the issues I had walking-(if you want to call leaning on a 3 wheeled walker walking)-or crawling into and out of a car-my Saab sports car (not on the recommended list for people who can’t bend over or even pet and feed  my 13 year old cat)…No, a  hip replacement was not at the top of my list of things to do at the age of 52. However, all tasks ultimately became so insurmountable that the hip replacement was inevitable.  So, I relented, checked into the hospital and had my hip replaced…. But not without a great deal of research to determine which doctor, which procedure, which hospital and where and how would I recuperate as a single person (note, I spent no real time researching  which prosthesis I should  consider other than to read up a bit on the one my surgeon recommended.  I do recall him telling me about the durability of the metal prosthesis for younger patients  vs considering the plastic or the ceramic options that older patients might consider.) 
To make a long story short in 2006, I decided to use a surgeon who came highly recommended by a friend of mine who was a physician on the medical staff at the local medical center.  He would perform a minimally invasive surgery using small incisions to replace the hip which required significantly less recovery time.  Sounded like my kind of procedure!   I was out of the hospital in a few days, recuperated for a week in a local nursing home, spent a week at home and was driving and back to work the 3rd week or so following surgery.  I was left with 2 scars, each measuring  about 2-3 inches in length;  one on the front of my  upper quad and one on the back.
I thought  the whole thing was a medical miracle as most who have hip replacements can attest. You literally get your life back again.  I was so pleased that I really never thought again about my hip until a year ago.  I started having pain on my walks.  Of course, I initially blamed that pain on the sidewalks, my shoes or anything else that could possibly be associated with causing that pain.  I did visit my surgeon at the time and he didn’t think much of it.  I recall speaking to my Internist about the pain and she commented that it was awfully soon to experience hip pain after only 4 years. 
Fast Forward to August 27th 2010.  “J&J’s DePuy Unit Recalls Hip Implants” was the cover page in the Marketplace section of the Wall Street Journal that day. Yikes, this sounded familiar!...As I read on, I noted  the following:
·         93,000 units (hip replacements)  were in question because too many patients needed surgeries to replace the DePuy devices.  (Generally only 5% of hips need replacing after 5 years. These recalled implants had to be replaced at the rate of 12%-13% after 5 years.  That means, at this moment, there are approximately 11,000-12,000 patients who are at risk for the need for a new hip replacement!)
As I read on, I got a really sick feeling in the pit of my stomach:
“Metal on Metal implants have drawn scrutiny because ware can kick up metal debris that damages surrounding muscle and tissue in some patients, thereby requiring that the implants be replaced earlier than usual…Surgeons try to avoid doing hip operations because ‘revision’ surgeries carry risks and successive implants don’t tend to fit  as well as the first ones…revision surgeries ‘are technically more difficult, they take longer and the patient is more at risk of complications and the recovery is more prolonged…’revision’ surgeries are also expensive. “
I knew I had the DePuy hip but perhaps I was lucky and somehow missed the whole recall.  Surely, I would hear if I were one of the anointed.
Fast Forward to the end of October of 2010; eight weeks following  the recall.  I had not been formally notified by my surgeon that I was on the recall list.  I wonder why I never got a notification?  I decided to call the orthopedic surgeon and sure enough, they confirmed that my hip was one on the recall list.  I was told that the hospital had inadequate records so the office staff had to review all of the patients one by one to figure out who was involved with the recall!  What?
To then add insult to injury, while I was not notified by my physician, I got my first e-mail (if you can believe this) from a litigation team-to my office e-mail- soliciting my business for participating in a class action suit for my hip. What?  How in the world would a litigation firm know about my hip replacement when the surgeon didn’t know if I was on the recall list?  Isn’t there a HIPPA law that prohibits disclosure of medical information?
So, there you have it.  My current symptoms (revised on 4/23/11-those symptoms were short lived..a few weeks or so...currently, I have no pain or outward sympoms of any issues):
·         Limping.
·         Hard time getting up out of my chair.
·         Can’t put much weight on my left leg.
·         Difficulty climbing stairs.
Here are a short list of my questions:
1.        Risk from a new hip replacement:
·         What is the real risk to us?
·         What are the complications to revision surgery?
·         What are the symptoms that would necessitate removing this?
·         What are the chances that we might have permanent impairment?
·         What kind of impairment?
·         Who really knows the answers to these questions since this recall is the first one for this unit?
·         Are all patients being told the similar things in answer to these questions?
2.       The Implant:
·         What is the real data that led to the implant being approved in the first place?
·         What new implant should be put in if it has to be replaced?
·         What does that data look like for other hip replacement options?
3.       Physicians :
·         Who best to perform revision surgery?
·         Are the physicians who put the hip in initially the best people to replace them?
·         Are their experts out there in revision hip replacement?
·         Who are they?
·         What is their success rate?
4.       Hospital:
·         Why doesn’t the hospital have computerized records of what prosthetics were placed into patients for rapid response to recalls like this?
5.       J &J:
·            What did they know and when did they know it?
6.       Litigators:
·          Who are all of these litigators out there trying to represent us?  Who should we work with and why?
·         How did these litigators get our name?  Is there a leak in the system that would enable our privacy to be violated by circulating the names of people who have had hip surgery?

My commitment to you:
As a business person in  a small VC funded company, I have more than full time job but I will try to post something  helpful each day that I find in my research to provide me with answers to the above questions.  It would be great if there are more of you out there who can offer feedback and information as well.  I have a strong sense that the patients need to become empowered with information in order to make it through this ordeal.  I look forward to hearing from you.
Connie

34 comments:

  1. Hi Connie, I had my right hip replaced in 2008 at 56 years old. I thought it was a miracle and everything went well for the first year plus. Then I started just feeling lousy and experienced some discomfort in my right hip and leg. Almost simultaneously, I received a letter from my orthopedic surgeon notifying me that my right hip was on the DePuy recall list and that I needed to make an appointment for testing. Sure enough, the tests came back bad, my tissue and blood were contaminated, the cups were loosening and I was immediately scheduled for hip revision surgery which took place on December 20, 2010; 5 days before Christmas. I forced myself to be home for Christmas for the sake of my 11 year old boy.
    Anyway, it's now January 6, 2011 and I find the recovery from the revision surgery is longer and a lot more painful than the original surgery ever was. As far as the litigation goes regarding a lawsuit against DePuy, I have retained a private law firm (not class action) and I intend to go for Depuy's throat. There is no excuse for a company such as theirs is for causing so many thousands of patients to have to go through this kind of pain and suffering directly due to their carelessness. It is totally and completely inexcusable. If I can be of help to anyone who may have to go through the same thing, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am on the mend but at a much slower pace than I ever would have anticipated. Good luck to all and God bless.
    Paul D. Berube

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  2. I had revision surgery on December 20, 2010 after being notified by my orthopedic surgeon that I had received one of the recalled hips during the original replacement of November, 2008. The recovery is far worse than the original surgery and I find it much more painful.

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  3. I had the original ASR hip put in March, 2007. Had it revised on an emergency basis due to very high cobalt and chromium on Jan6th and I, too, am having a much more difficult recovery than previous 3 thr. Wondering why? Scar tissue?

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  4. I don't know why it seems to be taking so much longer to recoup from the revision surgery, but it is. I see my surgeon next Friday, Jan. 21; I guess he'll tell me then why it has been so much more painful. I'll keep you posted.

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  5. Well I am delighted to find this source of connection and support. I am 56 and had my left THR in October, 2008. First year was great having finally achieved pain relief, increased mobility and overall increase in quality of life...after all, isn't that the reason we finally agree to such a barbaric and frightening procedure as having the head of our femur sawed off, the bone reemed out, a prosthesis literally hammered in, a new socket created...well, you know the gory details! I am a nurse and even with a constitution for blood and guts it took me a year after it was recommended to finally agree to undergo such a procedure. It certainly was a miracle for the first year except for a slightly annoying sound that my surgeon dismissed at my one year check up. But then at about the 16-18 month time frame there were subtle signs of it not being quite right. The sounds were more frequent, I could feel a certain instability that accompanied the sounds and actually feel the clicks and grinds with my hand over my hip. Then the pain started...I decided it must be coming from my back because after all, I have a new hip so it can't be hurting!! Then I got the call from my surgeon at the end of August. I feel very fortunate that my surgeon was totally on top of the recall and phoned me himself. We immediately set out on the evaluation process. Xrays were fine. Co/Cr were elevated 11.2/11.8. MRI showed significant inflammation and osteolysis. My surgeon recommended a revision before the end of the year. I consulted with 3 surgeons who do a high volume of revisions. I even went to NYC (I live in Virginia) to get away from the community of surgeons in this area. All 3 agreed with revision before the end of the year. While in NYC I also met with an attorney who I have signed a retainer with. She is with Bernstein Liebhard (partnering with RLG). I underwent revision surgery on 12/27. 50% of my abductor muscle was damaged from the metallosis...as the surgeon said, "We caught it early." The surgery was 2 1/2 hours and the cup was not loose...the bone had grown well into the cup and I required transfusion with 2 units of blood during the surgery. Currently I am a little over 3 weeks out from surgery and only allowed 10% weight bearing on my leg to give the abductor muscle a chance to heal. I see the surgeon next week and will find out what the next phase of recovery involves. The surgeon gave me 3 scenarios as to the final outcome when I am at the maximum healing point. None of the scenarios include a complete recovery...they include a limp and premature muscle fatigue and pain with extended use of muscle. I am a single mother of 2 boys. My oldest,a senior in college, spent his winter break caring for me. My youngest is 11 and has been very traumatized by seeing me recovering and in so much pain. Again, am very happy to have found this blog. I look forward to communicating with everyone and anyone! I am very happy with the attorney I am working with. We are in touch weekly by email. She has extensive experience in mass torts. My suit was filed in New Jersey Federal Court on December 17, about the time the NYT article came out. It has already been transferred to Toledo, Ohio. My attorney is currently in Florida for a Depuy conference and the first pretrial meeting with Judge Katz. Best Wishes to all! Vicky


    Comment as: Select profile... Vicky (Google) LiveJournalWordPressTypePadAIMOpenID Name/URLAnonymous Edit Settings – Sign out

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  6. Hi Vicky,

    Wow/50% of your abductor muscle was damaged with this metalosis?

    3 outcomes and none of them include a complete recovery?

    This is shocking to me. The lack of agreement on the resulting issues from a revision surgery is just beyond my comprehension.

    My doctor told me I would be completely recovered? Based on the stories above, I am beginning to question how so many of these revisions really go well.

    Vicky, please keep us up to date on the progress of your recovery as well as the trial. Today is the 20th and that is in fact the day we should be getting some feedback on how Katz is going to proceed with the Multi district litigation (MDL)

    Hey, Bless your son for pitching in to help out Mom.

    Best,

    connie

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  7. Hi Connie!

    Well I agree, I have yet to read a complete recovery story. I certainly hope they are out there. The problem with metallosis is that it is a local inflammatory and foreign body (metal debris) reaction that destroys tissue, muscle and bone. By the time there are elevated levels in the blood there is already a local reaction around the joint that certainly isn't doing good things! My metal levels weren't anywhere near as bad as some I've heard of. If an ASR patient has any symptoms and has confirmed toxic levels of Co/Cr I would hope that they seek out a skilled revision surgeon and have it removed. From my MRI it appeared that my femur was getting destroyed by the extensive inflammation (clearly seen on MRI) but in fact there was no bone damage, but there was damage to my abductor muscle! So, what is really happening isn't completely evident until the surgeon goes in. I have a family friend in Georgia who has 2 ASRs and Co/Cr levels in the high 20's. She is in so much pain she is in a wheelchair. I talked with her today and she is planning surgery in about a month, pending the resuls of her MRI today.

    I will definitely keep you posted on my progress. I'm looking forward to getting details on the MDL meeting today.

    Best wishes to everyone out there, struggling with the pain, questions, decisions and unknown!

    Vicky

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  8. Hi Vicky,

    Thanks for your note. I had one last comment which I will also write about in a seperate post today. In the journal articles I reviewed, it seems clear that removing the hip may lower the Cr and Co levels in the blood. The question I have is what happens the Cr and Co that have been deposited in the organs. To my knowledge, there are no tests available to measure those levels which of course, are the ones that will cause the most long term damage (cancer and other issues.)

    Since you are in the medical profession, I wondered if you have insight into the means by which one can measure the cumulative levels of these chemicals in the organs (especially the kidney and the liver)other than doing a biopsy to those organs.

    Am looking into this now and will write about this today on the main blog post.

    Thanks for your information. I found very helpful.

    Regards,

    Connie

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  9. Hi Connie,
    The issue of organ damage from systemic toxic metal levels is the million dollar question...perhaps literally! :) Unfortunately, there isn't a clear answer. The good news is that the body is remarkably resilient and has multiple detoxifying, cleansing and filtering mechanisms. It would seem obvious that the higher the levels, the longer circulating through the body and a person's baseline overall health have everything to do with how damaging metal levels will be. I felt "poisoned" by levels in the 11-12 range...even if just in my own mind! But I also had 4 orthopedic surgeons (3 who specialized in revsions) agree that the implant needed to be removed asap. This is an issue I have discussed with my attorney and we are all aware that there is no way to predict long term effects. I guess that is part of the reason the attorneys and medical experts who collaborate with them get the big bucks.

    Have a good weekend!

    Vicky

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  10. I am crippled by the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal, implanted December of 2008. As a victim of a DePuy metal-on-metal hip device, I read all your comments with highest interest.

    FYI, and when you have a chance, please, read this new article/blog post on the DePuy case, and when you are a lawyer and don't mind, please, also answer my questions (within that blog post) regarding representation of DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal (the one I got) within the post:

    http://www.linkmommy.com/Blog/doctors-and-lawyers-in-the-depuy-case

    Thanks in advance.

    Juergen Schaberick
    Venice, Florida

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  11. Hi Juergen,

    I have not seen some of the articles on the Depuy executives below. thanks for sending them in:

    In closing I'll attach a series of headlines and links in regards to DePuy's illegal kickbacks to surgeons, DePuy's payments to the U.S. Attorney General in order to avoid criminal charges, Imprisonment of DePuy's sales executive for bribery in the U.K., more of DePuy kickbacks to surgeons in 2009, and 2010, and more.

    Regards,

    Juergen Schaberick
    Venice, Florida
    email: hccharger123@yahoo.com

    DePuy illegal kickbacks between 2002 and 2006
    http://www.defective-hip-replacement.com/hip-implants-in-the-news/probe-into-medical-device-kickbacks-now-targets-doctors/

    DePuy paid 84.7 million to u.s. attorney general in order to avoid criminal charges
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_7114/is_7_3/ai_n28475566/

    DePuy kickbacks to doctors in 2009 and 2010 exceeds another 80 million dollars
    http://atlanta.injuryboard.com/medical-devices-and-implants/depuy-offers-80-million-in-kickbacks-and-compensation-to-doctors-and-promoters.aspx?googleid=287632

    Depuy's U.K. sales executive Robert John Dougall sentenced to prison
    http://corruptionwatch-uk.org/2010/04/19/extradition-of-uk-nationals-to-the-us-on-bribery-charges/

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  12. Jurgen,

    Also, I am not sure which question you want me to address. I'll take a shot at something. It appears that you have had to incur significant cost with the pinnacle hip. that hip has not been recalled as far as I know. Unfortunately, I am not a lawyer but if I had the issues you had with any operation, I would certainly seek remedy and reimbursement of my costs by seeking a lawyer who will normally work on contingency. I understand you lost your insurance.

    If you need some referrals, I can provide some suggestions perhaps...you might start with the attornies who have been appointed to Judge Katz pannel. I will post them for you on the blog tomorrow. There will be a list of them who will be very familiar with your issues.

    For whatever its worth, I just did a post earlier on that pinnacle hip.

    Regards,

    connie

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  13. I had revision surgery on my hip six weeks ago and I still feel extremely exhausted all the time, my hearing and eyesight have been affected including extreme pain in my ears. I now have hyperthyroidism,I have Parkinson like symptoms in my left arm and extreme weakness. I have complained to my doctor about extreme weakness in my thighs for at least 12 months. I have lost 9 kilos. I do not feel like eating but my wife encourages me to eat. My Cobalt level 2 months before surgery was 325 and I am waiting on the result of test to see if it has gone down. Prior to this problem I played tennis 3 times a week, several laps of the baths,bike riding and bush walking - I am now unable to do any of these things. I am male and 73 years of age but until this happened extremely fit. We have been making several inquiries at various institutions about how to get rid of Cobalt but to no avail
    Morrie

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  14. Hi Connie, thank you so much for all this information. I had been looking for something like this. Thank god I found it.
    My story began in 2005 with a THR on my left from avascular necrosis. I have had pain in that hip ever since. My dr. said everything was normal. I needed my right hip replaced also and had that done in 2007. To make a long story short, I now had pain in both hips. I went to 4 surgeons, 1 of which I went to 4 times to find the reason why. It wasn't until my 5th surgeon that I saw last month that I found out the problem wasn't in my head. He saw 3 problems just looking at the x-ray. I have the Pinnacle Ultimate MOM and I need a revision. I have had so many unexplained illnesses and problems its not even funny. I have seen a revision specialist and am scheduled for Sept 6. I have also retained an attorney in the Mpls, MN area. I have had no further testing and the dr. said I did not need to. I am not so sure now. After reading all your information I am having second thoughts. My cobalt level is 75 which is pretty high. If it were you, would you have further tests done prior to revision?

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  15. Well,my first point is that I am not a doctor nor am I in the medical field so any feedback is just my personal opinion.

    At minimum, there are two tests thatI would have done prior to a revision:
    -blood levels
    -MRI MARS scan.

    I have had numerous tests but I was completely asymptomatic. I had no symptoms (painful obvious symptoms.)

    you might want to look at this post :
    http://www.mydepuyhiprecall.com/2011/03/while-awaiting-decision-from-my-team.html?showComment=1300835990224#comment-c7689550514853825817

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  16. I have done the hip, I got the ion tests, got revision, levels still increased.... All together I have had 12 major surgeries cobalt at the lowest was 77.77ppb then increased for 7 years until I ended up septic and finally got help. This was in 2000 that I received my first metal on metal Biomet THR. But nobody wants to help me now. I am so sick. Docs are afraid of me and wont touch me. ???? I give up. Please help.

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    Replies
    1. juniper. my name is Jason. I have also gone through hell from a metal on metal hip. I suffered from 12 full dislocations, liver and kidney failure, pain pill dependency, couldnt hold a job, and dealt with excruciating pain everyday. Dr's looked at me like I was crazy when I told them how much pain I was in. They would tell me that the x-rays looked good and they didnt know what my problem was as they shuffled me out the door with more pills. It was physical and pschological hell on earth. I would love to talk to you more and help you in anyway I can. my email is Geobigelow@yahoo.com

      Delete
  17. hi guys. this blog is awesome and ironic because i am currently building a site for the same reasons. my name is jason bigelow and im 29 years old. i was talked into getting the depuy asr acetabular at the age of 24. i was told that i no longer needed to wait because this was top of the line technology that would last twice as long as other options. also i would retain full range of motion due to the more advanced larger cup. all my pain would be gone and i would have a new life. sounded like a miracle and i went ahead with it. this was the worst mistake of my life and i literally lost everything over the next 4 years. i suffered from 12 full dislocations; one where my hip was dislocated for 6 hours before a Dr. would put it back in. my liver and kidneys failed after having the device for 4 months and Dr.'s never really knew why. This was before the recall came out 4 years later and i finally knew to test my blood. when we did we discovered that my chromium was at 5.5 (not supposed to be higher than 2.2) and cobalt was at 12.1 (not supposed to have any cobalt in our systems!!!). i suffered from skin rashes, blurry vision, and slowed mental faculties. i was a jr in college when i received the hip. i had a 3.2 average and was graduating in a year but hip complications impeded my life so much that i dropped out. i couldnt hold a job and became dependent on pain pills. i lost my house, my car, and almost my wife while trying to deal with the confusion and pain of the hip that was supposed to make my life better. dealing with dr's was one of the worst parts about it because they always treated me with disdain. they would look at my x-rays and say "they look good so we dont know what your problem is." Then i got that recall letter and everything started to make sense. the scarriest part was the metal posioning. the first dr. who tested my blood only tested for chromium because he said that cobalt shouldnt be able to get into my blood. he didnt know what he was talking about. that first test showed chromium at 4.5. 5 months later i went to another dr who tested for both and chromium had risen to 5.5. it only took 5 months for my metal level to increase by 1 whole point. and like i said above my cobalt level was out of this world and the dr freaked out. he went ahead and removed the device right away. about 4 months after the revision i tested my levels again and my chomium was down to 2.1 (within normal range but on the high end) but my cobalt was still at 1.7. my point in saying this is that it looks like our systems really struggle to get rid of this stuff from the blood and may never be able to fully extricate the ions from our organ tissues. this is scarry stuff. i am currently doing research everyday and will have my blog site up hopefully in the next couple weeks. my email is geobigelow@yahoo.com if anyone would like to talk more about this nightmare we are going through. thank you so much for this site!!

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  18. Hi my name is Sandy and I had revisionary surgery in July 2011. I have just spent six weeks in a psychiatric unit suffering from severe depression related to the trauma of having a Depuy MoM device fitted and then replaced with a ceramic device. I suffer from constant pain and am currently having all my major organs tested to ascertain if they have beem affected by the Chromium and Cobalt toxicity. Furthermore there are questions being raised whether the blood to brain boundary will be crossed. There is some evidence from cases in Alaska where severe depression was identified.

    I would be interested to hear from anyone else who is suffering psychological problems related to the MoM implants and the level of Chromium and Cobalt toxcicity.

    I feel this is and area that is being missed in all the discussions I have seen online.

    Regards

    Sandy Doherty

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    Replies
    1. Sandy, Check out my full post I just put on here. Thanks Richard

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  19. Hi Sandy,

    I will have a look in the medical literature for any studies published on this topic. I must admit, I have not read much about it so will be happy to look at it for you. If I find any studies, I will publish them for you.

    I am aware of the cases in Alaska. In fact, I did publish information on the blog about them about 6 months ago.

    Hope you feel better.

    Regards,

    Connie

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  20. Hello Connie,
    Those questions are also on any patient's mind who had undergone hip replacement surgery. My sympathy to hip recall victims like you! A good day to you.

    sincerely yours,
    rachelle

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  21. Hi Connie-

    Please keep up the impressive work as there are many, many people in your situation who have been disenchanted with both the entire situation and legal options reguarding DePuy. Best wishes to you.

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  22. I had both hips replaced(3 surgeries 2007 -2008)in Tyler and Houston Texas. I called my surgeon and was advised I wasn't part of depuy recall. I can hardly walk and 24/7 pain so I started research on the internet and found out my surgeon is a engineer and consultant for Depuy and received compensation over $100,000.00 in just one year. Getting cobalt and chromium test next week. I think he lied to me. I have been to 3 orthopedic doctors surgeons since 2007 (houston )and not one mentioned a cobalt chromium test even when they could hear the clicking of the hip

    Just found your website today after several days of nothing but websites from lawyers and none of them tell you where they are located in USA. Could you help me on........

    How do I get real depuy hip facts from surgeon and which question should I ask? (I no longer live in Tyler)

    Do all lawyers get same compensation for Depuy recall case?
    I think Texas expired 8/2012 and I am out of luck

    Elderly people receive most hip implants, so who pays for the
    Depuy replacements now while waiting for a court date with winning verdict? (tried to find this information out myself on internet)

    Thank you for website













    Do all lawyers Get same compensation for depuy recall case?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello!

      I will try to answer your questions:

      1. Most orthopedic surgeons know enough to order a chromium and cobalt test and also to order an MRI. you seem to need a new surgeon. What city are you located in? I might be able to suggest someone to you.

      2) you should request these two tests and then look at the results. There are enough posts on this blog so that you can compare your results to other baselines.

      3) Find out specifically what hips you have had implanted and look them up on this site to understand where they are in the litigation process.

      3) If you have to be treated, your insurance company will pick up the cost and then they will be reimbursed when the insurance company sends the bills to Depuy. (its not that simple but basicially, that is the bottom line.

      4. No all attornies don;t charge the same thing.

      5. Don't assume that the statute of limiatations is up. If I know where you are located, I can give you a better sense for that. If you look up statute of limiations for your state and then scroll down to product liability, you will get an answer. also, statute of limitations are tricky. generally, it is x years from the point at which you knew of the problem. It sounds to me like you have just learned of this problem. I can make a recomendation to you based on your state for an attorney who is on one of the mass tort committies.

      LMK if I can help.

      Regards,

      Connie

      Delete
  23. Connie,
    I don't even know how to begin after reading all of the above comments. I happened across your blog because I am doing research while my husband has an MRI to look at his Birmingham hip resurfacing. Beginning in February his hip began to squeak very loudly as he walked. It wasn't painful just annoying. He went to see the surgeon (he is 3 years out from surgery) and the XRay looked fine. The surgeon did order a blood test for metal levels. In the last 2 weeks the noise is louder and the pain is increasing. The blood test results came back today and the surgeons assistant said they were high and wanted him to get the MRI right away. We see the surgeon this Friday (3/15/2013). His Birmingham resurface is made from cobalt and chromium. Everyone says that the problems are only with the Depuy products. Have you heard or seen anything related to the Birmingham in all of your research. Also, we are in Cincinnati, Ohio and would appreciate any recommendations you could give.
    My thinking is that if the metals are the same - the problems will be the same- no matter what manufactors name is on the prothesis?
    Any wisdom?

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    1. Your wisdom is pretty much on target. most of the MoM hips have either been taken off the market or will be taken off the market.

      Insofar as any hip you need information on, just use the search bar on the blog and it will take you to whatever subject you have interest in. Birmingham hip is covered in about 2 dozen articles at least.

      No, the problems are not just limited to Depuy. If you look at the litigation section (on the landing page of the blog, click on it and scroll down. You will see the titles of the articles with all of the recalls.

      LMK if you need any more information.

      Regards,

      Connie

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  25. Connie,
    Thank you for your reply. It has been a few weeks since I have visited your blog because I have been going through numerous appointments with my husband. He is to have his MoM hip removed this Thursday (3/28/2013). I understand that the only alternative is to have the hip revision surgery in order to stop the metal ions from leaching into his blood.
    His surgeon and internist don't seem to have the same degree of concern that we do about the metallosis part of this problem.
    What are your thoughts on the long-term effects of metal in the blood.
    Also, how does one begin to investigate medical legal council. I am not looking to "blame" anyone but again I am concerned about my husbands long term health. Smith and Nephew are not covering any portion of the upcoming hip revision surgery.
    Thank you for your help again.
    Carrie

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    1. HI Carrie,

      Unfortunately, this is a complex question. there are no simple answers. I suggest you see seek a professional 3rd party consult on this hip. i am not a medical person nor a scientist. if you send me your e-mail, I will send you someone whom I used who advised me on this revision.

      I am not sure where you are located but in my opinion, it is worth the flight to consult with him.

      Diagnosing the fact you even need a hip revision with your current sumptoms and scans is not easy to do without a world class specialist.

      I can respond to your e-mail privately or you can Call Dr Josh Jacobs MD for a consult in Chicago. He will want to see all of your records and scans before the apointment. His office number is 312 432 2344.

      I found him to be very bright and informed on this subject....more so than all of the other consults I spoke to. He is the new President of the AAOS. Very bright and very well published.

      Feel free to e-mail me with any questions.

      Regards,

      Connie

      There is a blog post on the tests I went through before I had my hip revised.

      Regards,

      Connie

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  28. I found this blog very late in my hip replacement/revision journey, but I'm glad I did. Summary: Total Hip Replacement in 2006 with DePuy Pinnacle system (metal on metal). No problems for several years, but then started to have significant pain in the hip/down the leg and in the butt. I wasn't made aware of any issues with MOM and was not notified to get a blood test. I was going to have it looked at last year, but due to other medical issues had to wait until this year. So a specialist on the East Coast .... blood tests .. high for cobalt and chromium. Xray - showed bone loss. MRI and CT Scan - showed tissue damage and large pseudo tumor! Revision surgery performed ... 10 percent weight bearing for 6 weeks .... 50 percent of Gluteus Medius muscle necrotic (destroyed) - which I'm sure will have a significant impact on my ability to walk normally. Follow-up appointment in a couple of weeks. Basically no pain, but of course very upset with this whole thing knowing that it could have been avoided, or at least minimized. As far as I know Pinnacle has not been recalled, but that doesn't matter to me as I had to have the revision done anyway!

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  29. Sounds like a journey many of us have experienced! good luck with yours and thanks for sharing.

    Connie

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