Ken's Story: Birmingham Hip Resurfacing
Fifty-year-old Ken Clark of Hopkinton is looking to score big. In fact, he has already scheduled a re-match on the basketball court with his teenage son. Just two weeks after recovering from a hip resurfacing procedure at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Clark is quite anxious to return to his active lifestyle.
Getting help at the Joint Center
Clark, a 29 year veteran of the Hopkinton Fire Department, said his problems started over 20 years ago when he fell off a roof during a routine fire call. Then, several years later, he injured himself again while playing in a football fundraiser.
After enduring severe hip pain over the last three years, Clark finally decided he needed to seek medical attention.
"While I was coaching basketball for my youngest son, a mother of another player noticed that I was in pain. That’s when she recommended that I go see Dr. Snyder," he said.
One of the first Birmingham Hip Resurfacing patients
Clark was one of the first patients at Newton-Wellesley Hospital to undergo Birmingham Hip Resurfacing, a technology recently FDA-approved as an alternative to total hip replacement.
Daniel Snyder, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at Newton-Wellesley, is among one of a handful of physicians in the country trained on this new technique. He was trained in the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing method in Birmingham, England and operated with the original designer and developer Derek McMinn.
Unlike total hip replacement, which reconstructs the entire hip joint, hip resurfacing simply shaves and caps a few centimeters of bone within the joint. It is a new alternative to traditional hip replacement and now available in the United States.
An ideal candidate for Hip Resurfacing
Hip resurfacing is intended for active adults between the ages of 40 and 60 years, like Clark, who are suffering from hip pain due to osteoarthritis, developmental dysplasia and avascular necrosis (when poor blood circulation starves the bones that form the hip joint, causing the bone to die and hip joint to collapse).
This particular "Birmingham" approach preserves more of the patient’s natural bone structures and stability, covering the joint’s surfaces with an all-metal ball and socket joint that more closely resembles a tooth cap than a hip implant.
Hip Resurfacing vs. Traditional Hip Replacement
Traditional hip replacements use a metal ball and plastic socket. The plastic socket wears down over time, and may need to be replaced. In fact, according to Dr. Snyder, it is the leading cause of follow-up surgeries. Other benefits of hip resurfacing include the reduction of post-operative dislocation and inaccurate leg length, as well as shorter recovery times.
"This is one of the most exciting procedures I’ve seen in years," said Dr. Snyder, who has been on the Newton-Wellesley Hospital medical staff since 1985. "I see hip resurfacing as the ideal solution for many of my young, active patients who suffer from hip pain. As my patients are getting younger and staying physically active much later in life, I’ve needed an alternative to total hip replacement that accommodates their age and lifestyle."
"My progress so far has been phenomenal," said Clark. "I already have a date with my son to play one-on-one in about six months. If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is. Thanks to Dr. Snyder, I’m going to make that happen."
To make an appointment or find out more about the Jim & Ellen Kaplan Joint Center at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, please call us at 617-243-5155 or email us.
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