Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Surgery

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Birmingham Hip Resurfacing

The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Surgery is a surgical procedure first introduced in the United Kingdom by manufacturer Smith & Nephew in 1997 and is currently implemented in over 26 countries as a medical alternative to Total Hip Replacement. The surgical procedure is recommended for patients who suffer from bad or worn out hip problems as the procedure aims to relieve intense hip pain and stiffness by ‘resurfacing’ a portion of the damaged hip bone.

What is Hip Resurfacing and how is it Different from Hip Replacement?

The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing surgery (BHR) is an alternative medical option to Total Hip Replacement (THR) where doctors place a mushroom-top cap over the head of the femur bone and another matching metal mushroom cap on the pelvis socket. Before the metal caps are inserted, a small part of the damaged bone is shaved or ‘resurfaced’. On movement of the hip bone, the joints produce a synovial fluid that acts as lubrication between the two metal surfaces and this pain from bone friction or stiffness is eliminated.

This procedure differs from the traditional hip replacement method where the entire hip joint is replaced completely leading to maximum bone loss, a situation that might not be favorable for younger patients. However, the hip resurfacing surgery needs to be done under an experienced medical team since it involves careful alignment of the metal caps in order to avoid future complications after the surgery.

When does a doctor recommend BHR?

Hip damage can be caused by different arthritis types such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, trauma etc. Conditions like bone tumour, avascular necrosis or dysplasia too can cause hip bone damage. Conditions like these affecting young patients can cause permanent hip bone damage but medical treatments like a total hip replacement surgery can prevent any possible future surgery options in young patients. Doctors hence recommends hip resurfacing surgery which preserves future surgical treatment options.

Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Benefits

  • The hip resurfacing surgery allows maximum bone conservation and is considered an apt medical treatment, especially for younger male patients ( less than 50-60 years old).
  • The BHR success rate worldwide has been 90.2% to 98.6% making this medical procedure one of the most recommended treatment technique.
  • Effect of the hip resurfacing surgery is known to last much longer than hip replacement method which makes it apt for long-term results.
  • This medical procedure has the fastest recovery rate with documents revealing how some patients could go back to normal leg functioning within just 4 hours of the surgery. The usual time for complete recovery is 2-3 weeks within which the patient can go back to their normal life.
  • This medical procedure also reduces hip dislocation complications significantly.

Common Diagnostic Tests Before Hip Resurfacing Surgery

Before recommending the surgery, your doctor or medical team might run a few clinical exams to diagnose the exact cause of the underlying condition and to determine whether hip resurfacing surgery is the best medical option for your condition or not. Usual tests may include physical tests or movement tests to determine the exact location or intensity of the pain. Doctors may ask about your medical history or possible bone or hip complication of the past and may ask for MRI or ECG results to determine whether the condition is merely related to the bones or does it have neurological complications involved. Doctors may also prescribe other necessary clinical exams if needed to understand the condition better.

Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Surgery Process

Preparation

There are no exclusive preparations needed for this procedure. Patients should inform the medical team of any past or present medical condition including intake of any daily medicine like antibiotics, blood thinners, pain killers, herbal or vitamin supplements, homeopathy doses, etc. You can ask your doctor for a detailed dietary chart to follow before the surgery. Doctors usually recommend no eating or consuming alcohol 12 to 10 hours before the surgery.

Procedure

The detailed procedure for this surgery may vary from patient to patient based on their surgical condition. Generally, an orthopaedic surgeon conducts the surgery with the help of a medical team and the entire procedure takes about 2-3 hours in total. This is a two-part surgery.

Step 1:

It starts with the patient undergoing local or full anaesthesia to avoid any pain or discomfort during the procedure. The surgeon will then make a small incision in the patient’s thigh, preferably in the back to reveal the femoral bone once it’s been taken out of the hip joint socket. The top of the femoral bone is then trimmed or shaved with the help of surgical instruments and the doctor fits a metal cap over the head. This concludes the first part.

Step 2:

The second part of the procedure starts with shaving or trimming the damaged bone or cartilage lining the pelvic socket before another metal cap is fitted into the socket. The surgeon now places the femoral bone back into the socket and aligns the metal-to-metal implant. The procedure ends with the surgeon closing the incision.

The Hip Resurfacing Surgery is Not Appropriate on these conditions:

  • If the patient is pregnant
  • If the patient’s bone health is weak or filled with multiple cavities
  • If the patient has a kidney disorder
  • If the patient is sensitive to metal
  • If the patient is overweight or obese
  • If the patient has chronic blood or bone infection
  • If the patient has an immunity disorder due to diseases such as AIDS.

Risk Factors of Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Surgery

  • Blood Clot
  • Bone infection
  • Bleeding Disorder
  • Injured Nerves in and around the operation area
  • Femoral fracture 

Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Surgery Precaution & Care

Pain or soreness in the muscle or hip joint is normal after the surgery. The pain or soreness might be prominent near the incision area including chances of fluid leaking in and around the incision. While doctors prescribe pain medications for the soreness, fluids yellow or white in colour should be reported to the doctor immediately, especially, if the fluid draining is accompanied by redness or swelling. However, minimum fluid leakage is actually normal for this treatment.

There are no special diet regulations but it’s always better to check in with the medical team regarding diet to avoid interaction with medications prescribed. Based on your recovery rate, the medical team may ask for imaging scans or will advise you for physical therapy. A cane or a crutch for the initial recovery days might also be prescribed. Doctors will also determine when the patient can start applying pressure or go back to their normal lifestyle.

FAQs

How long do I have to stay in the hospital after a hip resurfacing surgery?

About 4-5 days hospital stay is needed.

How fast can I recover from the hip resurfacing surgery?

Usually, patients can start walking after 4 hours of the surgery, but that is completely based on the patient’s recovery rate. Doctors usually keep 2-4 weeks as the general recovery period.

Do I have to undergo hip resurfacing a second time?

Taking wear and tear into account, patients after 10-20 years might have to reappear for a resurfacing or total replacement surgery based on their condition.

Is this surgical procedure safe?

This surgery was approved by FDA in 2016 and so far 3000+ hip resurfacing surgeries with successful results have been performed.

Can I run after my hip resurfacing surgery?

Clinical documentations say running is possible after this surgery. However, long-term effects such as wear and tear are not calculated in this documentation. Your doctor will be able to guide you better on this.

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