"Kept in the dark about my hip at Wrightington Hospital"

About: Royal Albert Edward Infirmary / Trauma and orthopaedics Warrington Hospital Wrightington Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

After having a hip replacement operation at Wrightington Hospital I went back for a 3 month post-operation x-ray. The consultant said that everything looked OK, but shortly after my leg began to swell. I was sent on to Wigan Infirmary, where an x-ray initially didn't turn anything up, but then a bone scan found a long-standing fracture in my knee. How this had happened I had no idea. Had a full leg plaster put on, which I wore for 8 weeks.

After having the plaster removed the registrar I saw examined my hip after I mentioned having had a replacement. They said it felt very tender, and so sent me for another x-ray. After examining this and my previous x-rays and scans, he asked me if I knew that at my 3 month post-operation check up the x-ray showed that one of the wires in my hip replacement had broken? I was shocked.

I wasn't due to see my consultant back at Wrightington for another 3 months, but made an appointment immediately. By this point I was on 2 crutches. I asked them why they hadn't identified or told me about the broken wire before? They replied that it wouldn't have made any difference. I feel that if I'd had the information I could have told the fracture clinic, and they could have given me the extra support necessary. Was I not intelligent enough to be given this information?

The consultant said I could either have the operation again, or I could have 4 months of physio. I felt this was quite flippant, and didn't take into account how concerned I was. I've really lost confidence in my consultant as a result of all of this.

I got a second opinion from Warrington Hospital, who were concerned about the condition of my hip. They said I'd have no option to have another hip replacement, and they offered to do it for me as after my experiences I didn't want to go back to Wrightington.

I'm going to be holed up for another 3 months because of this, and I'm devastated to be going through this again. I find life so difficult now as I'm worried constantly about my hip popping out. I feel that so much of this could have been avoided with better communication from my consultant.

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Response from Judith Marland, Patient Relations / PALS Officer , Patient Relations / PALS, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you so much for telling us your story and we are very concerned about this. This has been shared with the Acting Head of Nursing for the Musculoskeletal Division as a learning tool.

However, if you would like to raise this more formally, please do not hesitate to call me on 01942 773342.

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