What Is Birmingham Hip Resurfacing?

Athletes who begin training and practicing sports at young ages when their bodies are still developing subject their hips to physical stress that can gradually wear down the joint.

Several conditions can likewise debilitate the hip joint, causing pain, encumbered mobility, and difficulties sleeping, including:

  • Tumors
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Injuries
  • Osteonecrosis

When this occurs, the damaged hip may require surgical intervention known as arthroplasty to alleviate the symptoms and help individuals recover their mobility.

What Does It Involve?

The femur bone connects to the pelvis through a ball and socket joint, with the ball (known as the femoral head) situated at the tip of the femur. In a normal hip, the femur ball fits right in the pelvic socket (known as the acetabulum).

The socket and ball are lined with cartilage to prevent bone friction while moving. When the cartilage is worn down through progressive use, the femoral head and pelvic socket begin to grind against each other and require an intervention to address the pain and mobility difficulties.

Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) is a less invasive option than Total Hip Replacement. It involves two implants made from a durable chromium-cobalt alloy. The femoral head is resurfaced before the metal replacement is fitted over it. The acetabulum is likewise replaced with a metal component that allows the reconstructed femur ball to fit adequately.

With more than 100,000 interventions performed, Birmingham Hip Resurfacing is considered the gold standard and is especially recommended for young, active individuals. Athletes can expect to fully return to high-impact sports as soon as 12 months, and the durability of the implants is reported to last for 10 to 15 years.

The primary advantages of a Birmingham Hip Resurfacing are:

  • Reduced risk of post-op dislocations
  • Reduced risk of revisionary surgery
  • Reduced bone removal favoring regrowth
  • It is usually performed as an outpatient operation