Sunday 17 December 2017

Devastated by thought of even more surgery

Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

DODGY knees drove Dermot Drohan to seek help from a leading Dublin sports clinic.

Three years ago the married father-of-one attended the Northwood Medical Clinic in Santry, north Dublin, which specialises in orthopaedics.

After tests on his knees, he was diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA), a common degenerative joint disease, and he received surgery on his hips.

Dermot, then aged 37, was fitted with a resurfacing implant supplied by DePuy, part of the Johnson and Johnson Group, and spent six weeks recovering from the partial hip replacement surgery before he could get back to work.

After a week in the clinic following surgery, he spent five weeks at home and both his wife and mother had to take time off work to attend to his needs.

"You are on crutches all of the time, you are very restricted in what you can do," said Dermot, who converted his living room into a bedroom for the duration of his recovery as he could not manage stairs.

"I was a grown man who had to be looked after as if I was a child."

When DePuy's ASR hip resurfacing system was recalled late last month along with DePuy's ASR XL acetabular hip implant, Dermot was devastated at the thought of having to undergo the operation again.

He telephoned Northwood, who confirmed he was one of more than 3,500 Irish patients and 93,000 worldwide who had received the recalled units.

Now he is facing a battery of tests -- including deep tissue MRI and blood analysis -- to see if he will need to undergo further surgery.

Even if he is cleared, Dermot said he will elect to have surgery because of the unknown consequences on his health in the future.

"My main problem is the statistics," Dermot said of the 13pc revision (resurgery) rate within five years based on British data.

"What will that rate be like after six or seven years if one out of eight people need revision surgery within five years?" he asked.

Irish Independent

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