By Renee Allen – Reporter/Anchor CBS/NBC
October 10 2007
What happens when someone is too young to have a hip replacement but too old
to just put up with it? Well, there’s something called hip resurfacing. And
there are two physicians in Central Louisiana who were among the first to be
trained on how to do it.
NewsChannel 5’s Renee Allen introduces a patient who’s trying it on for size.
Billy Weatherford is 53 years old soon to be a retired fireman. He lives an
active life even with the pain from the arthritis in his hip.
“There are some days I’ll be able to work for an hour, then take a break. I’ll
take something for the pain and then in an hour I get up again and go a couple
Weatherford was told he would need hip replacement surgery. Doctors told him it
would be best to wait.
“He told me then I was too young for total hip. Years down the road you’re going
to have need a total hip. As long as we can manage the pain we’ll wait until
But then his doctor, Dr. David Pope, told him about an alternative for younger
patients. It’s called Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR). Dr. Pope and Dr. Jeffery
Garrison of Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine located in Alexandria are among the
first surgeons in the United States trained in this bone conserving technique.
“Younger patients are going to go hard on their hip. So you put a traditional
replacement in they feel better they’re going to go hard on it.”
Hip resurfacing simply shaves and caps a few centimeters of bone within the
joint. It has the potential to last longer than traditional hip implants and
conserves bone stock that otherwise would have been lost.
“If this hip has to be revised, which is probably a good chance if it’s done
primarily in a younger patient in the first place, it will actually make that
revision somewhat easier to do because you preserve bone in the femur.”
Dr. Pope adds that hip resurfacing is a more stable hip and an ideal procedure
for patients under age 60 who live an active lifestyle.