FDA OKs Hip Resurfacing System
Metal Devices Used to Replace Parts of Damaged Hip Joint
WebMD News Archive
May 11, 2006 -- The FDA has approved a hip resurfacing system for people
with hip damage.
The product is called the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) System. It's
designed to relieve hip pain and improve hip function by replacing parts of the
hip joint while conserving more bone than in traditional hip
The system is made by Smith &amp; Nephew Inc. of Memphis. A Smith &amp;
Nephew news release notes that the system is the only FDA-approved hip
resurfacing system in the U.S. It was first introduced in July 1997 in the U.K.
and has now been implanted in more than 60,000 patients in 26 countries.
Smith &amp; Nephew says it will train 50 U.S. surgeons in the first phase of
the system's U.S. introduction. "Training will be provided in the U.S. and
Europe, with the first U.S. surgeries expected to take place this summer,"
states Smith &amp; Nephew's news release.
How It Works
The system has two parts: a metal cup that replaces the damaged surface of
the hip socket and a cap that covers the resurfaced ball-shaped bone at the top
of the thigh (femoral head). The cap has a small stem that is inserted into the
"The cap moves within the cup," says the FDA. "The surfaces that
rub against each other (the bearing couple) are made from highly polished
"The BHR System relieves hip pain and improves hip function by replacing
the parts of your hip that have been severely damaged by degenerative joint
diseases," says the FDA. Those degenerative joint diseases include osteoarthritis
The FDA says that the BHR System is "intended for patients who, due to
their relatively younger age or increased activity level, may not be suitable
for traditional total hip replacement due to an increased possibility of
requiring future hip joint revision."