Patient warns others of hip surgery danger

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A retired teacher has launched a legal case after discovering her hip resurfacing implants could be poisoning her body.

Lottie Clarke was offered hip resurfacing as a less intrusive alternative to hip replacement in 2007.

All went well until last year when Lottie, of Corner Hall, Hemel Hempstead, noticed that one of her hips ‘clunked’ and the other sometimes hurt.

When she read articles about some hip resurfacing implants causing medical concerns, she began to worry.

”I wouldn’t have done anything but after reading about the faulty implants I went back to the hospital for a check up,” said the 63-year-old grandmother.

“They discovered that, as a result of the implants wearing away, I had dangerous levels of metal ions in my blood, a symptom of cobalt and chromium poisoning, which can cause cancers, kidney and liver failure and cobalt poisoning. I was terrified.”

Lottie researched the manufacturers of her implants and discovered that the regulatory body – the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency – had been aware of the high failure rate of some implants for several years and had failed to alert surgeons and patients.

Lottie decided she had to make a stand and instructed solicitors to investigate whether any action could be taken.

She said: “I am aiming to raise awareness of this as it could be a national scandal.

“Many of these faulty implants have been used in operations for people like me and they are living in blissful ignorance of the potential long term risks to their health.

“They probably don’t have any symptoms, but they should find out from the hospital where their operation took place if they’ve had metal on metal hip implants.

“It is vitally important that they ask to have their ion levels checked.”

The grandmother is now awaiting replacements of the faulty implants and will have to undergo two major operations.

The metal on the implants were originally predicted to last for 30 years or more, yet some patients are having to have them replaced within two to three years.