At the Leone Center for Orthopedic Care, we treat and care for many patients who have developed problems associated with their prosthetic hips or knees. Recently, a number of specific prostheses, including a class of hip stems with modular necks, were recalled because they had been determined to cause significant problems in some individuals.
After learning about the recall, we contacted all of the patients on whom I had used the prostheses in question to direct a new course of action. Fortunately, the vast majority have been revised. Now, I also am revising many patients who had their primary surgeries performed in other U.S. cites or abroad.
In an earlier series of blogs (Metal Ions Caused By Some Hip Replacement Prosthetics, Common Symptoms of Corrosion Problems, When to Have Hip Revision Surgery), I detailed the worrisome local and systemic effects that high levels of cobalt and chromium can have in some patients, even if they aren’t presenting with symptoms. I strongly believe that if a decision is made to remove a prosthetic, whether it is the full hip or a component of the hip, it’s better to do it as soon as possible.
For this blog post, I would like to share the experience of patient Danny More.
My whole life has revolved around sports and sports management, personally playing golf, tennis and running marathons, and professionally as an agent consulting with sports coaches, companies and teams.
When I met Dr. Leone and he performed my first total hip replacement, I had waited too long so the recovery actually was tougher than my second hip. But it was the experience with the revision surgery to my second total hip that really impacted my life.
Unfortunately, I had been implanted with a hip prosthetic component, now under recall. When I first heard about the potential problems, I was in Chicago and saw a few doctors there who in my opinion glossed over it. However, when I called Dr. Leone he told me that we needed to take care of it right away.
Upset doesn’t begin to describe how I felt about having to have my hip revised a second time. I was in shock, but as soon as I walked into the office, Dr. Leone assured me he would fix the problem. In fact, he was as upset about it as I was and I knew he and his team would take care of me and they did. The whole team was so supportive and everyone went out of the way to make me feel as comfortable as possible about what I was facing. I never had a doubt that I would be fine.
There are superstars in every field and to me, Dr. Leone is a superstar. It begins with how he genuinely cares about each and every patient. He took the time to explain to me why the revision needed to be done and the sooner the better. He also explained the risks of not having the surgery, especially after my MRI showed a very high level of cobalt and what that was doing to my body and would continue to do over time.
Although he took the fear out of the process and got me as excited as I could be for the procedure, he also outlined step-by-step through rehab what I needed to do recover fully and as quickly as possible. He made it very clear what part I needed to play and then he said to me, ‘I am taking care of you and we will get thought this.’ And, we did.
Dr. Leone creates this cocoon of success from the first minute you walk into the office which radiates throughout the entire team. Once you are healthy again, they make sure you stay healthy.
The fact that Dr. Leone could do the second hip revision without breaking my femur was everything to me. He made sure the revision was approached correctly so I could get back to my life. And, I did.
Ultimately, it’s about the surgeon and his skill and I tell everyone that Dr. Leone is ‘the guy.’ Yet, he also is one of the finest people you’ll meet, and that really makes him special. He gets inundated with other people’s mistakes because he is that good. But, he’s also a friend. In fact everyone I’ve referred to Dr. Leone tells me I didn’t rave enough.
One of my clients, Art Shell, is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and that’s how I think of Dr. Leone: he’s a hall of famer.
Danny More, Boca Raton, Florida