Hip resurfacing helped triathlete compete again
The patient before: Michael Montgomery, 33 years old, of Trophy Club was a
31-year-old Ironman triathlete.
For more than three years, triathlons offered him some semblance of normalcy.
Most of his life revolved around a stressful job in which he traveled the
country as a business-applications consultant.
That is, until he began having intolerable hip pain after the 2006 Ironman
Arizona. In four months, he went from finishing a marathon to being unable to
run a 5K.
An old hip injury from his college wrestling days probably caused avascular
necrosis, a condition following the loss of blood supply that resulted in his
hip tissue dying and the bone collapsing.
Initially, Mr. Montgomery thought total hip replacement was his only choice and
that he would never run again. Through research, he learned that cyclist Floyd
Landis of Tour de France fame had a similar diagnosis and had undergone a newly
approved option using the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System.
Dr. Jay Mabrey, chief of orthopedics at Baylor University Medical Center at
Dallas, had just become certified to use the device. He had chaired the Food and
Drug Administration Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Devices Panel, which approved
the implant in May 2006.
It’s riskier than total replacement and appropriate only for young, active
The patient now: Six months after the procedure, he completed the April 2007
What is it? The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System preserves more bone than total
hip replacement. It’s similar to a tooth cap. Doctors shave and cap a few
centimeters of the bone within the joint with a metal implant rather than
replacing the entire joint.
Why he chose it: Mr. Montgomery wanted to resume running. A total hip
replacement device can’t withstand the impact of running.
What you need to know: The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System has a higher
failure rate than total hip replacement. Total hip replacement makes sense for
most people who are content to do low-impact activities.
Collapsing bone threatened to sideline triathlete Michael
but a hip resurfacing procedure returned him to competition.
Dr. Jay Mabrey examine his X-rays.