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Amy Brown - Revision Surgery for Metal On Metal Prosthesis Failure
Hip revision surgery due to metal on metal (MoM) prosthetic failure is appallingly common these days. Amy Brown, a certified Iyengar yoga teacher, has been blogging about her experience: http://yogamorethanposes.blogspot.com
Her revision surgery is June 18th, 2012. May all be well!
I look forward to learning about her recovery from revision surgery and her return to her athletic life.
The material below is excerpted from Amy's blog with her permission.- NR

Amy BrownI had hip replacement surgery in September 2007. I suffered from Osteoarthritis of the right hip and after many painful years we decided a THR was what I needed. Things went great. Successful surgery and post operative recovery without incident and I was back to my Yoga and cycling in 4 months. This hip was to last me until I died - at least that is what they said (this is where the ominous music plays).
Over the 4.5 years since my THR I'd had bouts of pain that I attributed to my active lifestyle. Yoga teacher, Spinning instructor, and road cyclist. Thought it was sciatica, tight hips, weak muscles at surgery site, piriformis issues from cycling - never once did I think it was my metal on metal (MoM) hip implant. Boy was I wrong.
In December 2011 I decided to quit my credit union management job to open a Yoga studio (wow talk about expert timing). I was experiencing some more groin pain and inflamed buttocks muscles and decided to go check on my implant with my surgeon - just to check that everything was fine and finally get some resolution on this pain I was having and what I could do to make it stop. After issues with health insurance and two months later I finally got a bone scan of the R hip. In conclusive they say - could you go have some blood tests done?
So I skip off to the lab, have 5 vials of blood drawn and a week later I get a call from the surgeon's nurse. You have elevated levels of Chromium and Cobalt ( metals from the implant that can cause hip and groin pain, bone and tissue destruction and nerve damage) in your blood. Doctor is recommending a hip replacement revision. Can you come see us next week?
So off I go to see the surgeon about my results. Lab tests show Cobalt levels at 156 - normal is 2. Chromium levels at 15 - normal is .15 (this is a rough estimate since my actual results are at the revision surgeon specialists office). Needless to say - not good. Basically this Dr. days I need revision surgery in the next 3-6 months. I ask for a 2nd opinion.
2 weeks later I'm off to the 2nd opinion. This Dr. is a MoM revision specialist who has done hundred of these surgeries and has a FDA grant to study the results of MoM issues in the body. He tells me that he has NEVER seen anyone with higher levels of Cobalt and Chromium in their body and that I need to get that device out of me ASAP - it is a ticking time bomb (that is always so reassuring to hear from a Doctor). It could cause tissue, bone and/or nerve damage which is irreparable.
As of today I am awaiting insurance company approvals for referrals for a MRI and Cat-scan (hmmm... wonder how long that will take) to determine what if any damage exists at the hip replacement site. Surgery will be in the next 4-6 weeks - but no surgery date as of yet.
Surgeon says it is OK to continue doing what I'm doing until surgery - at this point it really can't do any more damage - I guess that is a bright spot. I can still cycle and do yoga until surgery date.
Revision Surgery - Learning to let go and accept my fate
hipOne of the complications of the THR revision surgery is the removal of the metal cup on my acetebelum: This is the place where the femoral head connects at the hip joint. Because the metal from the original surgery fused into the acetebelum (better than cement they say - yeah as long as you don't have to try and remove it), they have to pry the "cup" off of that bone. It's tricky and could shatter the hip - and that would be very bad.
The femoral head they installed from the original surgery is modular - so they can take off the other metal head and replace with a new ceramic head or another metal head with no history of metal leakage. Not sure what they are going to do at this point.
Because of the invasive procedure the recovery will be much longer and the bone will not be weight bearing as quickly as the initial surgery. So that means I will be in the hospital longer, with a walker longer and unable to do many normal things for up to six months. Yoga and cycling - obviously are completely out of the question until healing has completed.
I guess the worst part of this is knowing what I am going to go through during the surgery and recovery- because I have been there before. Last time I didn't know what I didn't know - this time I do. It wasn't fun before and this time it will be less fun than last time.
Blog Entry June 4th 2012
So it's official. Surgery date is set Monday, June 18th 2012.
Dr. will take me off on disability on June 11, 2012
I will end my classes at the YMCA on Sunday, June 10, 2012.
I will finish up my classes at the studio the week of June 11th.
I will temporarily close the studio until I am able to teach again.
Amy Brown
Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor
Owner, Divine Yoga Studio