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Old 01-13-18, 11:43 AM   #1
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Can your hip replacement kill you?

Today's New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/13/o...-kill-you.html
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Old 01-13-18, 12:20 PM   #2
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With most any surgery there is a possibility of a blood clot going to the lungs and killing you.
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Old 01-13-18, 01:22 PM   #3
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Did you read the article? There is a bit more to it than that.

Quote:
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. 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.
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Old 01-13-18, 06:44 PM   #4
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Didn't kill a woman I ride with. She has two titanium hips and does about 2,500 miles a year. Of course there's a risk, but when the choice is take a chance or end up in a wheelchair, well...
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Old 01-13-18, 06:58 PM   #5
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Listened to an NPR segment on this. Pretty disturbing, particularly since I now have a fair amount of hardware embedded in my left femur.
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Old 01-13-18, 07:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Did you read the article? There is a bit more to it than that.
From what I've read, newer hip implants have a far higher rate of failure or short/mid/long-problems than the old tried and true designs. Companies still R&D them and patent them to squat the IP anyway.


OTOH, with most people, if they have need of an artificial hip they have a load of other health problems too.
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Old 01-13-18, 07:47 PM   #7
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Every third late night TV ad for Sue Sumwun and Associates Liability Attorneys:
Quote:
"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."
Although in this case the suits appear to be valid.

Some are not and are mostly health scares based on flawed evidence. Occasionally the medical journals and government medical authorities will backtrack on health warnings and the late night TV ads for those particular complaints will vanish.

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OTOH, with most people, if they have need of an artificial hip they have a load of other health problems too.
Yup. In the past 15 years my mom -- now almost 79 years old -- has had three knee surgeries (one to fix a botched 1960s era knee surgery) and one shoulder, all with titanium. And two or three kyphoplasties for cracked vertebrae before that procedure fell out of favor as being less effective than originally believed.

Those surgeries probably bought her a few more years of mobility and some degree of independence. At this point, between severe osteoporosis and rapidly worsening dementia that interferes with her ability to participate in physical rehab therapy, she's not a candidate for any more joint replacement surgeries. But she enjoyed a few years of improved mobility and relative independence.

A friend who's now 75 has had both knees and hip replacements since age 70. She had the advantage of being more active physically and mentally than my mom. With a little luck those should serve her well for several more years. Her main challenge right now has been adapting to retirement. She was so busy for so many years she's not sure what to do with herself now. I think she should rent out her house, go traveling and not give any contact info to family other than for emergencies through a proxy. Well, it's what I'd do, anyway.
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Old 01-13-18, 07:55 PM   #8
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Every third late night TV ad for Sue Sumwun and Associates Liability Attorneys:


Although in this case the suits appear to be valid.

Some are not and are mostly health scares based on flawed evidence. Occasionally the medical journals and government medical authorities will backtrack on health warnings and the late night TV ads for those particular complaints will vanish.


Yup. In the past 15 years my mom -- now almost 79 years old -- has had three knee surgeries (one to fix a botched 1960s era knee surgery) and one shoulder, all with titanium. And two or three kyphoplasties for cracked vertebrae before that procedure fell out of favor as being less effective than originally believed.

Those surgeries probably bought her a few more years of mobility and some degree of independence. At this point, between severe osteoporosis and rapidly worsening dementia that interferes with her ability to participate in physical rehab therapy, she's not a candidate for any more joint replacement surgeries. But she enjoyed a few years of improved mobility and relative independence.

A friend who's now 75 has had both knees and hip replacements since age 70. She had the advantage of being more active physically and mentally than my mom. With a little luck those should serve her well for several more years. Her main challenge right now has been adapting to retirement. She was so busy for so many years she's not sure what to do with herself now. I think she should rent out her house, go traveling and not give any contact info to family other than for emergencies through a proxy. Well, it's what I'd do, anyway.
I know more and more people at work...they're told not to bother with the joint replacement until they lose the weight that exacerbated their joint issues (most are overweight at the least or obese at the most).

Listening to the conversations...and being the same age but fit...it is bizzarro world.
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Old 01-13-18, 08:02 PM   #9
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I'm pretty sure the article I read on this topic a couple years ago was written by Stephen Tower himself.
Here is a presentation by him:
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Old 01-13-18, 08:55 PM   #10
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I'm pretty sure the article I read on this topic a couple years ago was written by Stephen Tower himself.
Here is a presentation by him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oFCTK9TWpw
That's a great video. But scary. I live with someone who just had hip replacement about a month ago.
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Old 01-13-18, 09:27 PM   #11
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The only people I personally know who have had hip replacements were otherwise in good health, fairly young, and not overweight. My wife (healthy, not overweight, 54 years old) is a candidate. This is the first I have ever heard of any major complications, but is sure makes us think twice. The prevailing dogma is now to have this done earlier in life rather than later, when one is healthy and robust.
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Old 01-14-18, 12:47 PM   #12
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She should try to minimize downtime post surgery. Do a lot of hip/ back strengthening. Could end up weak if too much time inactive.
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Old 01-15-18, 12:43 PM   #13
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... The prevailing dogma is now to have this done earlier in life rather than later, when one is healthy and robust.
I hear the same recommendation regarding cataract surgery. At the same time, since any procedure or surgery involves risk and undesirable side effects, I tend to be conservative in my personal health care decisions. As an engineer, I also admit being in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school, but I can see the justification on the other side, as well.
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Old 01-15-18, 12:52 PM   #14
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I'm still happily living with four impacted wisdom teeth. The only time I had surgery was when I broke my ankle, and there wasn't much of a choice if I wanted to walk properly. I still worry about the hardware, but not enough to have it removed (it is just surgical steel screws and braces).

My kid just had some major upper and lower jaw surgery to correct his bite. It was highly traumatic. I would not have put myself through that, but it was his choice.
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Old 01-16-18, 06:39 PM   #15
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I'm still happily living with four impacted wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth extraction isn't always as painful as it sounds. I had all four of mine pulled when I was being discharged from the Navy in the early 1980s. I was a Navy Corpsman and the commanding officer of the dental department offered to pull 'em all to avoid future problems. I didn't have any post-service prospects for employment or health insurance -- I planned to start college ASAP -- so it seemed like a good idea.

He gave me only a local anesthetic -- the usual injections with a stainless syringe that looks terrifying as it approaches the jaw -- but no gas. I don't remember much about the extraction. The dentist said I fell asleep and he had to nudge me a couple of times to open my mouth.

He gave me a week's supply of codeine and a couple of weeks worth of antibiotics. I think I missed half a day of work, took one pain pill and was fine in two days.

But I was also a veteran of extensive dental work as a teenager: root canals in my bottom molars, which my mom said I had to pay for myself using money I earned washing dishes at local restaurants, to remind me to take better care of my teeth; and, later, gold caps over the repaired molars, courtesy of my grandparents. So the wisdom tooth extraction wasn't my first major dental experience.

But everyone feels pain differently so my dental adventures shouldn't be interpreted to mean yours will go as smoothly. I feel like I experience headaches far more severely than most folks (migraines, cluster headaches, trigeminal neuralgia), so it's hard for me to understand people who say "Gee, I have such a bad headache today!" while they continue to function normally. To me, a bad headache means bent over the toilet with dry heaves and covering my entire skull with ice to ease the pain. Everyone experiences this stuff differently.
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Old 01-16-18, 06:57 PM   #16
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I'm not worried about the pain, per se. I just didn't see any point in getting them extracted unless I had to. (All 3 kids had them yanked. Now they give them a general, and it is over in 15 min.) Costs about $500 for each tooth. That is the painful part. (Insurance pays half.)
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