A less than routine hip replacement

I thought I'd share my experience of what might be a less than routine hip replacement.


In November 2007 I underwent a left hip replacement at the Wellington hospital near Lords cricket ground. The surgeon suggested that if my bone structure was strong enough, to opt for a resurfacing. The hip resurfacing was completed using components made from a cobalt and chromium alloy.


With the reaction to metal on metal hips a few years after I had regular blood tests and cobalt and chromium ions never reached the levels to replace but, were very close.


Recently I underwent a left side ttc hind foot nail surgery at Guy's hospital following 2 failed sub-talar fusion attempts. In my recovery I noticed my left leg was shorter than my right and started using gel heel packers to even my walking gait. The disparity in length increased gradually and I was using 3-4cm packers.


A few weeks ago I awoke unable to weight bear on my left hip. X-rays at A&E showed a femoral head fracture, when laying on the trolley my left leg was at least 10cm shorter than the right. Special tools and bespoke components were required and I underwent a revision 6 days after admission. It is fairly conclusive the metal irons from the resurfacing weakened the bone to a point where it fractured without a specific trauma. I suspect the insertion of the hind foot nail might take a relatively high amount of force in the longitudinal direction of my leg bones and could have initiasted the femoral head failure.


I'm still in recovery as I was warned the levels of anaethesia used were very high but feel much better. Hopefully that improvement will continue as my body flushes out the cobalt and chromium ions.



  • noddingtonpete
    noddingtonpete Moderator Posts: 839

    Hello @rbodle and welcome to the Community. It's good to have you here and thank you for sharing your experience. I am sure it will be of interest to others going through similar treatments.

    Best wishes

    Peter (moderator)

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm