NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia Trains Surgeons in New Alternative to Hip Replacement

Hip Resurfacing Device Is Designed for Patients with Active Lifestyles

Oct 25, 2006


NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center is one of the first hospitals in the United States to train surgeons in the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing™ System, a new option for patients suffering from hip pain who do not want to give up their active lifestyle. Recently approved by the FDA, the procedure, an alternative to hip replacement, involves shaving and capping the worn surfaces within the hip joint, helping to preserve bone and joint stability for young or active patients.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia's Dr. William B. Macaulay, was selected by device's manufacturer, Smith & Nephew, Inc., to be one of the first trainers in the U.S. Dr. Macaulay is director of the Center for Hip and Knee Replacement at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia, and associate professor of orthopaedic surgery and advisory dean at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

"The skills necessary for performing hip resurfacing are very specialized and different than those needed for hip replacement," says Dr. Macaulay. "It's important that more patients have access to the benefits of this procedure, and in order for that to take place, surgeons must be properly trained."

"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," he adds.

The innovative Birmingham Hip Resurfacing™ System preserves more of the patient's natural bone structures and stability, covering the joint's surfaces with an all-metal implant that more closely resembles a tooth cap than a hip implant. This approach reduces post-operative risks of dislocation and inaccurate leg length, and because the all-metal implant is made from durable, smooth cobalt chrome, it has the potential to last longer than traditional hip implants.

The procedure is indicated for patients younger than 60 who live non-sedentary lifestyles and suffer from hip pain due to a variety of diseases which affect the hip joint.

Total hip replacement involves the removal of the entire femoral head and neck. The hip resurfacing technique, however, leaves most of the head and all of the neck untouched. It is this neck length and angle that determines the natural length of a patient's leg after surgery, and since it is not removed and replaced with an artificial device during the resurfacing procedure, there is a greater likelihood of maintaining accurate leg length.

While the implant closely matches the size of a patient's natural femoral head (hip ball), it is substantially larger than the femoral head of a traditional total hip replacement implant. This increased size translates to greater stability in the new joint, and it decreases the chance of dislocation of the implant after surgery. Dislocation is a leading cause of implant failure after total hip replacement.

The Birmingham Hip implant is an all-metal ball and socket joint. Traditional hip replacements often use a metal ball and a plastic socket. This plastic socket can wear down over time, and may need to be replaced surgically. In fact, it is a leading cause of revision surgeries.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and its academic partner, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian, which is among U.S.News & World Report's top 10 hospitals nationally, also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and its academic affiliate, Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

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