The trademarked Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System (BHR) was introduced in 1997 as an alternative to total hip replacement. This bone-conserving procedure, combined with the virtual elimination of dislocation make BHR ideal for younger, more active patients. Dr. Lopez trained in England to perform the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing procedure.
The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System is the global market leader in hip replacement alternatives with over 125,000 implantations worldwide.
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How does BHR work?
The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. In a healthy hip, the ball-end of the thighbone swivels smoothly in the socket of the pelvis, but in an unhealthy hip, the thighbone and socket may become rough and worn. The bones of the joint rub together causing pain, swelling and stiffness. The BHR is part of a surgical procedure that replaces these worn ball-and-socket surfaces in the joint with smooth, durable high-carbide cobalt chrome.
With traditional hip replacement, the surgeon removes a lot of bone, but with BHR worn-out hip joints are resurfaced rather than completely replaced. This bone-saving difference is important. Since a BHR patient’s hip anatomy is closer to normal, they enjoy increased stability and range of movement.
Since BHR is new in the United States, is it clinically proven?
While the BHR procedure is relatively new to the United States, it has been used worldwide since 1997. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reviewed an exhaustive amount of clinical data before approving it for use in this country.
Who is a candidate for BHR?
The typical patient will be physically active, under 60 years of age, and suffering from hip arthritis, hip dysplasia or avascular necrosis of the hip. The implant can be used in patients over 60 whose bone quality is strong enough to support the implant. Your surgeon will decide if you are a candidate for hip resurfacing.
How long will BHR last?
It is impossible to say how long your implant will last because so many factors play into the lifespan of an implant. In the case of resurfacing, for instance, the metal-on-metal bearing surfaces of your new joint may extend its life longer than that of a traditional total hip replacement, but failure to comply with your physical rehabilitation regime may cause your implant to fail within months.
How long will my scar be?
Your surgeon will use an incision between six and eight inches in length. Some surgeons may use a slightly smaller incision.
What are my physical limitations after surgery?
Most surgeons will tell you that after the first year, you can return to whatever physical activity you enjoyed before hip pain limited your mobility. For instance, unlike total hip replacement, you will be able to return to jogging or singles tennis after your first year following surgery. During your first year, more conservative, low-impact activities like walking, swimming and bicycling are recommended for strengthening your femoral area and the muscles around your resurfaced joint.