Two American orthopaedic surgeons have been taught
an innovative hip surgery technique by a local
Leith Stewart, an orthopaedic surgeon at Claremont
Hospital (South Arfrica), last week demonstrated the Birmingham Hip
Resurfacing (BHR) procedure to his guests, Ian
Kovack from Kansas and Donald Polakoff from New
One patient was a professional golfer in her 30s and
the other an active woman in her 60s. Both were told
they would be up and on crutches within two days,
instead of six weeks if normal surgery was done.
Both will also be able to drive, cycle and swim
within three weeks instead of six.
Stewart, an avid cyclist and snowboarder, has been
performing the procedure for six years. He had a BHR
performed on his left hip about four years ago, with
Since 1997 the procedure, developed by two British
surgeons as a bone conserving alternative to total
hip replacement, has been used on about 51 000
patients in the UK, Germany, Australia and South
The procedure was only recently approved by the US
Food and Drug Administration, on condition that
surgeons receive training.
While total hip replacement has yielded good results
in elderly inactive people, the procedure has been
less successful in young and active people, who
respond better to resurfacing.
Hip resurfacing is the replacement of the cartilage
covering the surfaces of the ball at the end of the
thigh bone (femur) and the cup-shaped cavity (acetabulum)
into which it fits, with cobalt chrome, into which
bone grows" in weeks".
This article was originally published on
page 4 of
The Cape Times on August 21, 2006