Mary's Story - Birmingham Hip Resurfacing

It is a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning and have no pain and not have to take any more tablets. To me, John O’Hara is “simply the best” orthopaedic surgeon I have met.


At the age of eleven I was playing netball when I fell on my hip; I got up and thought I was OK. The next day my mother took me to my GP because I was in pain. He said: ” it was growing pains ” and gave me some Transvasin cream to rub into my hip. I did this but it did not relieve the pain so my mother took me to the hospital where I had an x-ray, which showed I had slipped epiphysis. I was sent to the Orthopaedic Hospital Outpatient Department, which in those days was based in Broad Street in Birmingham, to see an Orthopaedic Surgeon who sent me straight into hospital. He said: “it was the worst slipped epiphysis he had ever seen in a child.”

I underwent an operation to insert a plate and screw in my hip. I was in plaster for three months and I had to stay in hospital for six months. A year later I had to go back into hospital and have the plate and screw taken out, as my body rejected it. The surgeon asked to see my dad because he was very worried about what course of action to take next. He had to look into a medical book to read about the slipped epiphysis. He also advised my dad that I might not walk again. The surgeon decided to put me on traction and I was in hospital for a further six months.

As the years went by, I started getting pain but I was unable to go back to the Orthopaedic Surgeon who operated on me because he had retired, so I went to my GP and told him I had pain in my hip again. I also said “I thought it was arthritis”, he said, “he did not think so”, but an x-ray I had carried out came back showing that it was arthritis, which was a surprise to me because I was told by the Orthopaedic Surgeon I would never get arthritis.

My GP advised me to lose weight and suggested playing badminton, which I did, but after a few games my hip was very painful, so I went back to my GP. He sent me for physiotherapy, but this was not effective because my hip has fused. I went back to my GP who then arranged for me to have hydrotherapy, which did help me for a short time.

Again, over time the pain returned and I went to the GP again who prescribed painkillers, but the tablets only helped for a while. I insisted on seeing an Orthopaedic Surgeon, who did say the arthritis was very bad in my hip, but told me to go away and lose weight. By this time I was not very impressed with his attitude, or with his lack of interest in my hip problem. I cannot believe that this surgeon is known now for resurfacing hips. I found it very difficult to lose the weight because I could not do much exercise.

As time went by I found it was getting harder for me to walk any distance and even getting out of a chair was causing me problems. The pain was getting worse and it was also getting me down. My mobility was becoming restricted and for about a year I had to get taxis to and from work. I felt that my life was passing me by and I couldn’t do all the things I wanted to do. I knew I could not carry on like this, as I am only in my mid-forties. Fortunately, my husband, through his job, had private health insurance and this enabled me to at last sort out my hip.

I phoned the Priory Hospital in Birmingham and asked for the best Orthopaedic Surgeon there and was given John O’Hara’s name. I went to see him in 2002 and was very surprised by the treatment I received. ” Thank god “, I met somebody who had time for me and who is a true professional who takes pride in his work and who cares for his patients, nothing was too much trouble for him. Despite the fact that I was still overweight, I was booked in to have my operation, which was on Monday 2 December 2002.

I have to say as the time came nearer I started getting nervous, but I knew I could not stand the pain any longer, so I went in to the Priory to have my hip re-surfaced by the Surgeon, John O’Hara.

The treatment I received was excellent, as each day has gone by I have got better. It’s wonderful to be able to get about and walk free of pain and I now have more movement in my hip than I have ever had. I will never be able to thank John O’Hara enough for all his help and kindness and for getting my life back on track. Also, I am determined to lose weight and get fit again.

It is a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning and have no pain and not have to take any more tablets. To me, John O’Hara is ” Simply the Best ” Orthopaedic Surgeon I have met.