Hip resurfacing: A better option for some

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – One of the biggest demands in medicine today … hip replacements. But, a different kind of hip procedure, called Birmingham hip resurfacing, may be a good option for active men with arthritis.

Coach Danny Witt loves pushing himself to stay fit while teaching kids tennis fundamentals.

But at 28, the tennis pro hated what he heard from his doctor.

“I probably left there that day, and long ride home,” Witt told Ivanhoe.

He learned to live with the pain of an arthritic right hip, but it kept getting worse.

Witt said, “It was like almost having a bad toothache but on a larger scale. At some point I had to get something done.”

“Danny came to me with absolutely no range of motion in the hip. It was a square peg in a round hole, him trying to move his hip,” said Brett Frykberg, MD, orthopaedic surgeon at Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute.

After 16 years of worsening pain, Witt said ‘enough’ and went in for a hip resurfacing procedure recommended by his doctor for active males with good, strong bones.

“The pain I used to have, I’ve never experienced again,” Witt told Ivanhoe.

In this procedure, the femur is shaved off and then capped with metal hardware.  Traditional hip replacement replaces the entire neck and head of the bone.

“The range of motion is much greater than probably anyone can do outside of a yoga instructor,” Frykberg said.

For younger patients, like Witt, the surgery can be life changing. But it’s not without risks.

“Those metal ions can cause issues later in life if the components aren’t placed in the appropriate positions,” Frykberg warns.

Frykberg says pick your surgeon carefully, make sure you’re a good candidate for this technique, and then don’t forget to stay active and follow up with your doctor.

“Everything is great now, I feel a lot younger than I was feeling about a year ago,” Witt said.

For Danny Witt the benefits far outweigh the risks.

Doctor Frykberg says that this procedure isn’t great for women because it is thought that it requires stronger bones than women typically have and studies have shown that there have been higher cases of revisions in females.

Contributors to this news report include: Shirin Faridi, Field Producer; Brogan Morris, Assistant Producer; and Brent Sucher, Videographer and Editor.