Neil McCritchie, 62, is a famous Kung Fu instructor and a manual therapist from Winnipeg. However, now the man can not work due to problems that he faced after putting a hip implant.
"I'm pretty beat up. I've had five hip surgeries now. It's a little bit of a hit to your force field shields," said McCritchie. "I feel exhausted. That's how I feel. I feel that I need a beach to lay on for a year. That's how I feel. I feel like I've been through a lot."
In 2006, McCritchie went to the doctor as arthritis tortured him. He was supposed to be helped by what was considered the ideal solution for him 13 years ago: hip resurfacing, which covered the head of his femur with a metal finish.
However, one leg was longer than the other, which led to a number of inconvenience and even severe pain for him. Then in 2008 the doctor offered him a novelty - an all-metal Birmingham system with a large metal head that would give him "a lot of stability and tremendous range of motion," an offer the fitness buff could not refuse.
At first everything was fine and the man returned to his former active life. However, after a while he began to notice some changes.
"Things slowly started to go wrong," he said. "It was very low-level stuff and it started to creep up. Over time it ramped up and ramped up and ramped up, and I never could really figure out why I was having these problems."
No doctor could explain why he began to experience unbearable pain in his legs and constant insomnia due to this.
In 2015, these implants almost ceased to be used. Some time passed and in 2017 he returned to his doctor. That times his blood tests showed high levels of cobalt and chromium. Then everything became clear. The doctor replaced his implant with the one having a ceramic head and polyethylene socket.
"I just went through nine miles of bad road. I mean, I just had months of sleep deprivation, massive pain, like ridiculous amounts of pain, where I just couldn't take it. So much pain, it didn't make sense to me," he said. "And as a chiropractor, I'd be thinking mechanically: how can this kind of pain be possible? But it's because it has nothing to do with mechanics. It's got to do with toxicity. Metal that's affecting the body and affecting the nerves."
Similar complications were first noticed by doctors from the UK and Australia in 2010.
The president of Canadian Arthroplasty Society said that despite the fact that Canada was lagging behind other countries at the time, it is now at a very advanced level.
"It crystallized the argument, made it that much more clear, that we should be doing it too," he said.
Dr. Eric Bom from Canadian Arthroplasty Society said that he is very ashamed of his country.
"It boggles my mind that we're doing this very high-volume medical procedure that costs a lot of money and not properly tracking the outcomes of what we're doing," Bohm said. "I also think it's a bit embarrassing for Canada that we didn't have a national mandatory registry for so many years, and I'm hoping that these kinds of things really spur the provinces into making it mandatory."
Now McCritchie gives his main advice to all Canadians:
"Become informed. Because no one's informing you."