Older Athletes Get New Hip Resurfacing Options

The Birmingham Hip is specially designed for patients under age 65 who are very active.

Active, athletic people with hip problems in southern Vermont now have a new option for getting rid of nagging hip pain.  SVMC orthopedic surgeons Robert Block, MD, and William Ketterer, MD, are now offering the new Birmingham Hip resurfacing technology. Because it lasts longer than conventional artificial hip joints, the new Birmingham Hip is perfectly suited for younger active people who want to stay active.

The Birmingham Hip preserves much more of the patient's bone. Conventional hip replacements replace both the ball and the socket of the hip joint. The Birmingham Hip resurfaces the hip joint. It creates a metal socket in the pelvis and a metal cap on the head of the femur.

The metal on metal joint doesn't wear out as fast as other joint replacement. The metal is a high-carbide cobalt chrome. This metal has been used in hip replacement for about 40 years. It has an excellent track record for wear and durability.

Who is Right for Resurfacing?
Most patients who are good candidates for hip resurfacing are under 65 years old. Older people also may be good candidates. But they must be physically active and pass a simple bone quality examination. It is not recommended for the elderly or inactive.

The Birmingham Hip has been studied extensively.  Very few patients with Birmingham hips need additional surgery to repair problems. More than 99 percent of patients reported that they were "pleased" or "extremely pleased" with the results.

Watch a video about Daniel Hier's Birmingham Hip Resurfacing at SVMC.

Read more about the Birmingham Hip.

Read a New York Times article about Hip Resurfacing here.