As much as hip replacement surgery has improved over the years, for many people it still means early retirement from sports and intense exercise. Now there is a new option for those with hip pain who do not want to give up an active lifestyle — hip resurfacing.
Known as the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing~A System, the new technique involves shaving and capping bone within the hip joint, which preserves bone and joint stability. Joint surfaces are coated with a cobalt chrome implant that resembles a tooth cap. Not only is it less invasive than the traditional hip replacement, it is expected to last longer. Today, many people who have hip replacements can look forward — ten or fifteen years down the road — to having to have the procedure again, after the artificial hip wears out.
"Hip resurfacing is ideal for many of my young, active patients who suffer from hip pain. As we've seen greater numbers of younger patients and older patients that are physically active, there's been an increased need for an alternative to total hip replacement that accommodates their age and lifestyle," says Dr. William B. Macaulay, director of the Center for Hip and Knee Replacement at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia.