Rugby woman left housebound by metal hip replacement

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AN ELDERLY woman from Rugby is seeking compensation after she was immobilised and left in severe pain when her DePuy hip replacement began to release metal particles into her blood stream.

Eileen Lloyd, 75, had a hip replacement in October 2008 but after the surgery suffered extreme pain in her groin area and struggled to walk short distances and even experienced pain when lying down.

Eileen is one of 10,000 people who received a DePuy hip between 2003 and 2011, all of whom could now be suffering similar side effects or worse. The metal on metal hips grind against each other wearing the surfaces away and releasing particles into the blood stream. In some cases the metal cap attached to the femur can come loose, resulting in a bone fracture or total dislocation of the ball from the socket.

Eileen visited her GP numerous times complaining of pain and was referred for x-rays and physiotherapy but despite doing everything she was told, including regular exercise at home, nothing seemed to alleviate the pain. It was only in November 2010 when she received a letter informing her of the DePuy hip recall that she got to the bottom of the problem. In May 2011, after waiting six months for her surgery date, Eileen finally had revision surgery but this was not the end of her problems.

Only six weeks after her surgery Eileen’s hip dislocated when leaning forward to pick something up, a common flaw with DePuy hips. After having it put back into place under general anaesthetic she was extremely cautious when moving around but despite this it dislocated again a few weeks later which called for another general anaesthetic.

Eileen said: “I was in such extreme pain straight after the surgery; I had to take very strong painkillers every day which meant I was drowsy and unable to do anything. I was so relieved to finally to get to the bottom of it but things haven’t got any better since my revision surgery. The DePuy hip has also caused muscle and tissue damage which is causing my on-going symptoms.”

“I used to love going out shopping with my daughter but now I’m practically housebound, I try and avoid walking as much as possible as it causes me so much pain. All the things I loved to do have been taken away from me and I need help with such basic tasks like washing myself. The whole ordeal has left me feeling very low.”

Nisha Sharma, partner at solicitors Russell Jones & Walker, who is representing the family, said: “Some DePuy patients like Eileen have already received letters advising them of the make and model of their hip but there are still many patients who have no idea about the issue. I would advise anyone who thinks that they have DePuy hip to get in touch with their surgeon or GP straight away.”