Birmingham Hip Resurfacing

Birmingham Hip Resurfacing
Birmingham hip resurfacing is a bone conserving operation designed to replace the worn surfaces of an arthritic hip joint.  The hip socket is resurfaced with a metal cup.  The femoral head and neck (thigh bone) are not removed as in conventional total hip replacement.  The head and hip ball is reshaped and resurfaced with a metal cap.

The advantages of Birmingham hip resurfacing are:

Bone sparing bone conserving operation.
Maintains normal anatomy and muscle function.
Maintains bone stock and normal physiological loading to the upper thigh bone.

There is reduced risk of leg length inequality or hip dislocation. 
It is anticipated that when the Birmingham resurfacing wears conversion to a total hip arthroplasty will be an easier operation than current hip revision operations.

What are the disadvantages of Birmingham hip resurfacing? 
The principal difference between Birmingham hip arthroplasty (BHR) is that the femoral neck is retained in BHR patients.  If patients develop osteoporosis or suffer traumatic injuries, the femoral neck is subject to fracture (hip fracture is common in elderly osteoporotic patients) BHR is therefore not recommended in patients with osteoporosis.

Some concern has been expressed about the use of Birmingham hip resurfacing in young women who may fall pregnant.  There has been medical concern regarding the transfer of chrome and cobalt ions from the metal prosthetic surfaces, through the patients blood to a foetus.  These concerns are under continuous review, reassuring you to date there has been no evidence of any untoward effects from metal ions in patients blood or in relation to transfer to foetuses.

Who will benefit from Birmingham Hip Resurfacing?
BHR is a bone conserving hip resurfacing operation which is indicated in younger active patients who suffer the disabling effects of osteoarthritis of the hip.  BHR is also indicated in older patients who are involved in strenuous physical work or activity.

Who is not suitable for Birmingham Hip Resurfacing?
Patients who have developed osteoporosis or who have bone cysts (which usually arises as hip osteoarthritis progresses) are usually not suitable for BHR.  BHR is not suitable for patients suffering from advanced hip osteoarthritis which is associated with collapse of the femoral head and loss of bone stock.

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