St. Nicholas Hospital Services > Care Management and Social Services


Frequently Asked Questions

Since the BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing implant is new in the United States, is it clinically proven?
While the BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing implant is new to the United States, it is not a new implant or technique. It has been in use worldwide since 1997, and the US Food and Drug Administration reviewed a tremendous amount of resulting clinical data before approving it for use in this country.

Who is a candidate for the BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing System?
The typical patient will be physically active, under 60 years of age, and suffering from hip arthritis, hip dysplasia or avascular necrosis of the hip. The implant can be used in patients over 60 whose bone quality is strong enough to support the implant. Your surgeon will make the determination if you are a candidate for hip resurfacing.

How long will the BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing implant last?
It is impossible to say how long your implant will last because so many factors play into the lifespan of an implant. In the case of resurfacing, for instance, the metal-on-metal bearing surfaces of your new joint may extend its life longer than that of a traditional total hip replacement, but failure to comply with your physical rehabilitation regime may cause your implant to fail within months. A clinical study showed the BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing implant had a survivorship of 98.4-percent at the five-year mark, which is comparable with the survivorship of a traditional total hip replacement in the under-60 age group.

How long will my scar be?
Your surgeon will use an incision of between six and eight inches in length. While some surgeons may use a slightly smaller incision, most will fall in that range.

What are my physical limitations after surgery?
Most surgeons will tell you that after the first year, you can return to whatever physical activity you enjoyed before hip pain limited your mobility. For instance, unlike total hip replacement, you will be able to return to jogging or singles tennis after your first year after surgery. During your first year, more conservative, low-impact activities like walking, swimming and bicycling are recommended for strengthening your femoral neck and the muscles around your resurfaced joint.

How can I receive more information about hip resurfacing and the BIRMINGHAM HIP implant?
Ask your surgeon for BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing System patient information, or visit www.BirminghamHipResurfacing.com.

*Trademark of Smith & Nephew.