When non-inflammatory arthritis causes cartilage loss in the hip joint, patients often suffer from pain and loss of mobility. In young people with good bone strength, Birmingham Hip Resurfacing is often preferable to hip replacement to preserve bone, eliminate pain and increase a patient’s quality of life.
Birmingham Hip Resurfacing vs Hip Replacement
During traditional hip replacements, the surgeon removes the femoral head and the acetabulum, replacing both with prosthetics. A Birmingham Hip Resurfacing procedure differs in that just a few centimeters of both bone surfaces are removed and fitted with the femoral head resurfacing component. Unlike a traditional hip replacement, patients can resume vigorous physical activities after their hip has healed, such as running or tennis.
How Does the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Work?
There are two components of the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing system: a shallow cup that takes the place of the socket and a cap that resembles the ball head of the joint. The cup replaces the damaged portion of the acetabulum or hip socket. The cap covers the femoral head at the top of the thigh. The metal surfaces are highly polished, allowing the cap to glide smoothly in the cup.
What Occurs During the Procedure?
While under general or localized anesthesia, the surgeon makes a six to eight-inch incision above the hip joint. The surgeon then removes a few centimeters of bone around the femoral head. The femoral head is shaped to fit precisely within the cap and the cap is cemented firmly to the bone. The acetabulum is prepared in a similar manner with a few centimeters removed before the cup is pressed securely into place. The incision is then closed.
How Successful Is Birmingham Hip Resurfacing?
Studies have shown that five years after receiving the procedure, patients reported better quality of life and more improvement in pain versus a traditional hip replacement. The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing method has the lowest risk of revision due to fractures.
Learn More About This Procedure at Alexander Orthopaedic Associates
Not everyone is a candidate for Birmingham Hip Resurfacing; only a medical professional can determine if this procedure or a total hip replacement is best. The caring professionals at Alexander Orthopaedic Associates are available to assess each patient’s unique situation to determine the proper course of treatment. Contact us today to get relief from the pain that comes from hip arthritis.