‘I was told it was the best, but it was agony’

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JOANNE Tiffany was told the resurfacing of her hip joint would last 30 years when she underwent surgery after suffering increasingly debilitating symptoms caused by arthritis.

But she was left in excruciating pain following the operation to fit a metal-on-metal implant until she had a full hip replacement last year.

Following her ordeal, the mother-of-three says: “I am not the person I was five years ago.”

The 46-year-old of Thornton Dale, near Pickering, had always been very active. She and her husband Paul breed working dogs and she spent many hours walking miles with them at weekends.

But the arthritis in her right hip was beginning to affect her walking and left her with increasing pain.

She was referred by her GP to the Clifton Park NHS Treatment Centre at York and told an implant, made by manufacturer DePuy, would be best for her as she was younger and it would last longer before being replaced.

But she said: “It hurt from day one – it was agony. I was crying in pain.”

She was assured the pain would wear off but everything from putting on socks to going for a walk caused her problems.

Mrs Tiffany also had to change jobs. She had been a community carer but it became increasingly difficult and she now works at an optician’s.

In March last year she underwent revision surgery.

“I was in so much pain but this time the operation was completely different,” she said.

She has since suffered much less pain although she has twinges when the weather turns colder.

Of her original operation, she said: “I wish I’d never done it and just hung on. But like anything else if you’re told this is the best, you go for it.”

Concerns over MoM devices, revolve around tiny metal particles or debris breaking off, triggering inflammation and discomfort which can cause damage in the bone and tissue surrounding the implant and joint. Manufacturer DePuy has set up a helpline for patients on 0800 279 4865 to register a claim.