What is Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery

Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery is an alternative to total hip replacement (THR). Rather than replacing the whole joint with a prosthesis (an artificial joint), Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery only resurfaces the damaged parts of the joint. This restores the hip as it would feel ‘normally’ and avoids some of the complications associated with a total hip replacement.

Who can benefit from having Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery?

Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery is usually seen as an earlier alternative to THR. Ideal candidates are individuals who are active and under the age of 60-65, with strong bone around the hip joint. Surgeons are not keen to perform total hip replacement at an early age, as this will most likely result in additional replacements later on. Individuals who suffer from certain medical conditions, for example arthritis, may only be suitable for the total hip replacement surgery.

Procedure

Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery is performed under general anesthetic. An incision is made to expose the hip joint and the cartilage removed. A metal cap is then fitted onto the femoral head – the top of the femur (thigh bone). A metal cup is then fitted into the hip joint socket – this has a textured surface at the back, allowing the continuation of bone growth. The metal cap is fitted into the new metal cup socket and held in place using bone cement. The original incision is then closed using sutures. It is usual to have a drainage tube left in the hip following surgery for around 48 hours to help prevent fluid build-up.

Recovery

Patients will be allowed to leave hospital a few days following Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery. It is encouraged to begin minimal exercising – walking for example – as soon as possible. You will be assigned a physiotherapist following surgery who will advise you on what activities you can do and any exercises that will help strengthen the hip. You should avoid strenuous exercise until your physiotherapist tells you otherwise. Most patients can begin driving around 3-6 weeks after Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery and can return to work after six weeks.

Risks

Complications associated with Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery include bleeding, infection of the wound, fracture of the bone and loosening or wearing out of the metal cap or cup, among others.