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I was a hip op guinea pig

MagazineNovember 1996 (Vol. 7 Issue 8)I was a hip op guinea pig

In August 1992 when I was 55 I had a total hip replacement after I had been having trouble with osteoarthritis off and on for years

In August 1992 when I was 55 I had a total hip replacement after I had been having trouble with osteoarthritis off and on for years.

Since the operation I have had pain and sometimes it really hurts and I have to use a stick. This I put down to muscle, since I'd been born with a flattened thigh bone. My doctor thought this as well.

Just by fluke I happened to be watching a documentary on hip replacement. I was horrified to learn that the cement Boneloc had been used on unsuspecting patients while still on trial. My hospital was one of the four involved in the trial. During the programme, people who had total hip replacements at these hospitals from late 1991 till mid 1993 were advised to get in touch with the hospital concerned to check whether they had had this particular cement because of questions associated with it.

This I did and was quite distressed to discover that I was one of a selected few to have had Boneloc. I am absolutely livid to think that things like this are being done. I was not told about Boneloc cement being on trial.

I now have to go back to my hospital for another operation to replace the hip replacement. If, as I suspect, I have to have further surgery, how am I to know about the cement they use, and if it is to an approved standard? I have a right to know but which medical body actually approves these things, and how am I to know that I can accept what I am told?

I now know I should have given formal consent. I feel badly let down by the whole medical profession.

I have written to my local MP as I feel so strongly about such practices being carried out on unsuspecting patients. I have also written to another MP who appeared on the programme. He, wisely, declined a hip operation.

When I recall the orthopaedic clinic I attended, the last one before my operation, the doctor, who was running late came in and told me, "You have osteoarthritis in both hips and you have osteoporosis and you must have that hip done". That is all the consultation I had. E R, Carmarthen, Dyfed.

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