Medicine: Amateur Hour

Anyone for surgery?

When a Long Island, N.Y., service-station operator named Franklin Mirando checked into a suburban hospital in July 1975 for the implanting of an artificial hip joint, he had little reason for concern. Such operations are routinely performed more than 100,000 times a year in the U.S., and have kept countless people on their feet who might otherwise be left permanently crippled by arthritis and other ailments. But Mirando's surgery turned into a permanent nightmare. He was left in constant pain, with a right leg two inches shorter than his left and unable to walk without crutches. Now Mirando's...

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