My background is that I am 50 year old male
doctor living in the south island of New Zealand. I am now 2 months
post op right Birmingham hip resurfacing performed by Mr. Hugh
Blackley in Auckland New Zealand (on the north island)
I love most sports and have really hammered my
body over the years. My main passions are Tae Kwon Do and soccer.
Nearly 18 months ago I sustained a right knee injury during a
master’s soccer tournament. As this improved I noticed progressively
that I had hip and groin pain on the same side. I work as a
Consultant in Emergency Medicine and so after 9 months of self
prescribed rehab, followed by a further 4-5 months of physiotherapy
I consulted with one of my orthopaedic colleagues. Plain X rays
revealed marked osteoarthritis. I received very sensible advise to
restrict my activities to low impact exercise (cycling, swimming),
regular analgesia and a "wait and see policy" until I reached a
suitable age for a total hip replacement. I tried this but found it
to be massively frustrating. My sleep was interrupted by pain every
night. I could walk only about 100 m before having to stop. I could
no longer engage in the sports that I particularly enjoyed and
perhaps most importantly felt more like a grandfather than a father
to my children (oldest 13, youngest 9).
Having done my research (one of the most valuable
sources of information being the Surfacehippy site), I discussed the
possibility of a resurfacing procedure with my colleague but he
advised strongly against this approach. I believe that this was
based primarily on the poor performance of one particular prosthesis
– the ASR, which in 2010 was recalled by the manufacturer. I also
believe that other poor results occurred due to the performance of
the operation by relatively junior and inexpexerienced surgeons.
Given that no-one could help me locally, I
approached Hugh. He has performed in excess of 500 hip resurfacing
operations. To my knowledge he is the only surgeon in New Zealand to
perform this operation and again, to my knowledge was trained in
this procedure by Ronan Treacy who was involved in the development
of the procedure. Hugh uses only the Birmingham prosthesis which has
the best track record of all the available implants. Indeed in a
recent article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2011;342:1123)
John Skinner, Chair of the British Orthopaedic Association stated
"Hip resurfacing with components that have proven track records are
an effective and safe treatment in the active under-55 age group,
with favorable hip anatomy and component survival rates of 97-98%
at 10 years in men and slightly less in carefully selected women."
Hugh works with an excellent team including anesthetist Keith
Barclay (who gave me an excellent anesthetic and after attended to
every facet my post operative pain relief), physio Debbie Barclay
and Hugh’s PA Nikki (who was very efficient and helpful in making
all the pre-op arrangements).
My surgery was performed on a Wednesday morning,
I was walking with two crutches later that same afternoon and was
able to comfortably fly home (2 hour flight) on the third day post
op. I used one crutch the next week and was walking without aids the
week after that.
The immediate benefits have been superb. I walk
without pain and sleep soundly again. Other benefits are that my
mood is much improved and back pain that I was also experiencing has
virtually disappeared. I am currently working on regaining lost
range of motion at the hip joint whilst also strengthening the
muscles of the thigh, hip and core.
If I could give two pieces of advice to those of
you contemplating this surgery it would be to firstly choose a
surgeon with expertise in the procedure, I believe that this is a
technically demanding. Secondly I would strongly recommend intensive
"prehab" – preparing for surgery with an exercise program that
minimizes muscle wastage around the hip and that provides a good
base fitness upon which you can build post operatively.