WJTV News Channel 12 - Some metal on metal hip replacements raise questions

Some metal on metal hip replacements raise questions

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Frances Scott needs a stool to wash dishes and folds laundry on the floor because of the pain she is still experiencing three years after a double metal on metal hip replacement procedure.

She says, "After I started having pain, I started looking into why I could possibly have more pain.  I never really got better after I had the surgery.  I never really got pain relief."

 She needed her joints replaced because of the way her bones formed after she was born. 

She explains, "The femurs had to kind of grow twisted, like a tree would grow through a fence.  My femurs had to grow and twist to adapt, to allow me to walk."

She was sold on the idea of metal on metal devices being the most durable option available.  She has been to numerous doctors and specialists to try to figure out how to become pain free.

She says, "I appreciate the doctors that say I believe that you hurt and I don't know what is wrong and I'll keep looking."

We wanted to learn more.  We asked Dr. Michael Wolf, a Carilion Clinic Orthopaedic Surgeon, to help us understand.

Dr. Wolf and his partners no longer perform metal on metal hip replacements because there are too many questions that don't have answers.

He says,  "We do know that certain people, as I say, about one to two percent, develop this inflammatory response to the metal on metal implants, which we are really still trying to fully understand."

Before Frances goes through another replacement she wants to be certain that's the best option for relief...

She says, "We are checking my back now to see if that could be a factor. I do have a herniated disc, and that could be the cause." 

We talked to Frances and have learned she and her family are relocating to Texas where she will have a team of doctors monitoring the metal toxicity levels in her blood every six months and will continue to work to find her pain relief.

Learn more about metal on metal hip replacements

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