Who Is a Good Candidate for Birmingham Hip Resurfacing?

Since every hip injury and patient are unique, not anyone is a suitable candidate for Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR). A comprehensive diagnosis ensures that patients undergoing this procedure have the physical capacity and the right pathology to qualify for this type of prosthetic intervention.

The procedure is mainly recommended for younger people with an active lifestyle, but it can also be performed successfully in individuals under 65. Patient suitability is established by the operating physician and involves bone quality analysis and the evaluation of the femoral head size.

It should be noted that women have a higher revision rate and have less favorable outcomes, making qualifying criteria more stringent. Women of childbearing age that intend to have offspring might not be suitable due to the ionic reaction of the metal components and how it could affect infants in-utero. Women past menopause face a decrease in bone quality, and a thorough evaluation is needed before considering BHR.

BHR isn't recommended for patients displaying several other conditions, including:

  • Blood and body infections.
  • Underdeveloped bones.
  • Increased metal sensitivity.
  • Deficient immune system.
  • Femoral head cysts larger than 0.4 inches.
  • Underlying blood vessel, muscle, and nerve conditions that may inhibit post-op joint stability and recovery.
  • Impaired liver and kidney function due to the ions released by the metal replacements.
  • Obesity or increased weight is likely to place too much stress on the healing prosthetics.

Are There Any Disadvantages?

As with all other surgical interventions, a low level of risk is always involved, with potential complications including infection, nerve injury, or blood clotting. Other counter-indications or post-op difficulties may include:

  • Metal-On-Metal Friction – There are currently no ceramic alternatives. The interaction of the metal replacements displaces cobalt and chromium ions. While no cancer cases have been recorded in more than 25 years of clinical use, BHR isn't recommended for women of childbearing age and individuals with liver and kidney sensitivities. As with any other implants, gradual wear down is to be expected.
  • Fractures and Dislocations – Some individuals can develop a femoral neck fracture, though the incidence is low at 1-2%. Older women with less bone density are the most susceptible. Even though BHR is very stable and has a low rate of dislocations, they can invariably occur if the patient engages in intense hip bending and twisting motions.