Hip Resurfacing Surgery

If hip pain is getting in the way of your active life and you are younger than 60 years of age, hip resurfacing may be a good option for you. Symptoms of common diseases and injuries that can be successfully treated with hip resurfacing include:

  • Pain that keeps you awake at night.
  • Little or no relief from anti-inflammatory treatments, physical therapy, or walking aids such as canes.
  • Difficulty walking up or down stairs.
  • Trouble rising from a seated position.
  • Having to stop activities you enjoy, such as walking, because you're in too much pain.
  • Hip arthritis.

In many cases, patients having hip resurfacing surgery have been able to return to activities they enjoyed before their hip pain started.

Benefits of Birmingham Hip Resurfacing

Boulder Community was one of the first hospitals in Colorado to offer Birmingham Hip Resurfacing. The procedure’s bone-sparing technique, low risk of joint dislocation and reduced wear on artificial joint implants make it a preferred choice for active people who are younger than 60.

About Hip Resurfacing

Unlike a total hip replacement, hip resurfacing doesn't replace the entire head of the femur (thigh) bone with a metal ball. Instead, the damaged femur head is reshaped and capped with a metal implant. The damaged hip socket in the pelvis is also fitted with a metal prosthesis. This video further explains hip resurfacing. Femur Neck

Low Risk of Leg Length Disparity

The length and angle of the neck of the femur bone (see illustration) determine the natural length of your leg. Since the femur bone is not replaced with an artificial joint in hip resurfacing, the risk of leg length disparity is significantly less than the risk when the entire head of the femur is replaced.

Low Risk of Joint Dislocation

Adding a fitted metal cap on top of the head of the femur increases the size of the hip ball compared to what is typically used in conventional hip replacement. The resulting larger hip ball reduces the risk of joint dislocation.

Less Wear on Artificial Joint

The ball and socket used in the Birmingham prosthesis are made from tough, smooth cobalt chrome metal. When both components are made from chrome, wear on the artificial joint is reduced by 97%*, potentially extending the life of the implant.

Best Candidates for Hip Resurfacing

Hip resurfacing isn’t right for everyone. People with low bone density and those with hip arthritis that has caused extreme deformity of either the head of the femur or the hip socket are not good candidates for this surgery. Anyone who has the following conditions should also avoid this procedure.

  • Allergy to metal.
  • Insulin dependent diabetes.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis that is poorly controlled or that requires prednisone medication.
  • Lupus.
  • Chronic kidney failure.
  • Any immuno-compromising diseases such as amyloidosis.

Hip Resurfacing Surgery at Boulder Community Hospital

Our hip replacement program has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® by demonstrating compliance with national standards for quality and safety.  The Joint Commission is the nation’s largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. BCH is one of only five Colorado hospitals to have earned this important certification.

We use a patient-centered approach to medical care. Every patient receives a personalized care plan that guides the entire medical team — from the technicians who prepare the surgical suite to the rehabilitation therapists who will help you take your first steps after surgery. We’ll chaperon you through every step of the surgical process and keep your family members in the loop, too.

We offer a comprehensive range of services including a dedicated orthopedic unit where all clinical staff specialize in the treatment of orthopedic problems, physical therapy and home care.

Dr. James Rector was the first surgeon to offer this procedure in Colorado. More information about Dr. Rector’s experience can be found at Colorado Hip Resurfacing.

Call 303.449.2730 to schedule a consultation with him.

If you and your physician decide that hip replacement surgery is the best treatment option for you, read our Hip Surgery Handbook which will prepare you for surgery and guide you through the recovery process. We also encourage you to attend a free Pre-Surgery Total Joint Class to learn more about your procedure and how to prepare for it. This important education can help you get the best possible care from your medical team and improve your recovery.

Questions and Answers About Hip Resurfacing Surgery

How will I benefit from this procedure?

By reducing hip pain, increasing mobility and restoring your range of motion, hip resurfacing surgery can help you reclaim your active life. Hip resurfacing is a good alternative when non-surgical treatments fail to restore the health of your hip joint.

How long will the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing implant last?

Many factors contribute to the lifespan of an implant. In the case of resurfacing, the metal-on-metal bearing surfaces of this implant may extend its life longer than that of a traditional total hip replacement. However, failure to comply with your physical rehabilitation regime may cause your implant to fail within months. A clinical study showed 98% of Birmingham Hip Resurfacing implants were still in place five years after surgery. This is comparable with people who have total hip replacement before age 60.

Can I resume my normal activities?

Recovery from hip resurfacing usually begins the day after surgery. Many patients begin by taking a few steps with crutches. If there are no complications, you can plan on returning home within four to six days. You may be able to move on to walking and low-stress activities a few weeks after surgery if you don’t have any special conditions. Once you doctor feels that you are ready, maintaining a walking regimen will help you return to your active lifestyle quickly. After a year, you probably can return to activities you did before your hip pain started.

You must avoid all impact activities and heavy lifting for the first year following surgery. This is when the bone holding the implant is most susceptible to fracture. During this first year, the femur and pelvic bones get denser and stronger, allowing more use of your hip as time progresses. But, you can’t run, jump, or lift anything until after the first year.

Your commitment and cooperation are vital to a successful recovery. Following your orthopedist’s advice and your rehabilitation plan will increase your odds of resuming activity and reducing recovery time.

What are the risks of this surgery?

Hip resurfacing surgery is generally safe, but as with any surgery, complications can occur. The risks or complications are minimal and can be successfully treated. Possible risks of this surgery include the following.

The bone supporting the hip resurfacing implant could fracture. While studies have varied, the risk of fracture of the bone seems to be between 1% and 20% of patients. Fractures are more common in patients with poor bone quality, obese patients and women.

Hip resurfacing implants can become loose over time. If the implant loosens, a standard hip replacement surgery usually needs to be performed.

Metal ions are released from the metal implants as they wear out. The effect of these metal ions in the body is not known.

Infections can occur at the site of your incision and in the tissues near your new implant. Most infections are successfully treated with antibiotics.

To learn more, call 303.449.2730 to schedule a consultation with Dr. James Rector.

* Clarke IC, Good P, Williams P, Schroeder D, Anissian L, A. Stark, Oonishi H, Schuldies J, and Gustafson G. Ultra-low wear rates for rigid-on-rigid bearings in total hip replacements. Proc Inst Mech Eng [H]. 2000; 214(4):331-47.

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