901 Boren Avenue, Suite #900, Seattle, WA 98104
Phone (206) 323-1900 /  Fax (206) 726-6166

Orthopedic Surgery: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Orthopedic Surgery

I am from Out of Town. Does this present any difficulties with my Care?

Most of our patients are from out of the area. We can accommodate your needs by collecting information in advance and coordinating your visits. Most patients make one trip to Seattle for the consultation and surgery and have a follow up visit and then rehabilitate under our supervision at home.

How many resurfacing procedures have you performed?

More than 5200. I also perform other procedures such as hip and knee replacement.

Do you perform hip resurfacing procedures for women?

Yes. We perform nearly as many resurfacing procedures for women as men. Our results have been just as positive. More often women elect the soft polyethylene for their acetabular bearing.

Can you perform joint implant surgery for patients with metal sensitivity?

We treat metal sensitive patients frequently and successfully but we use alternative bearing surfaces.

What is the advantage of hip resurfacing over hip replacement?

The functional outcomes are better, the recovery is shorter and the bone is preserved for future use.

Why should I come to your program for care?

We offer the most experience in joint implant procedures. We have a published peer reviewed tract record of success.

Will insurance pay for my care?

Essentially every major insurance plan pays for hip resurfacing surgery. We have a reduced payment plan for cash payment as well.

Can I play sports after a joint resurfacing procedure?

Yes. We do not limit patients from sports participation

Will I still have my knee ligaments with a knee resurfacing procedure?

If your ligaments are present (or have been reconstructed) they will be preserved to give your knee full stability.

Will my hip come out of joint after a resurfacing procedure?

There is a very small chance this could occur and only with an unusual movement or injury.

Will my new joint last as long as I do?

In the vast majority of cases the answer is yes. Unlike total hip replacement which may fail within 20 years, there is not finite life span for hip resurfacing. Typically the procedure will last as long as the bone remains healthy.

How long will I be away from work?

For sedentary jobs just a couple of weeks. For heavy work 4 to 6 weeks is recommended.

How long will I be in bed after surgery?

Just a matter of hours as the effects of anesthesia wear off. You can use your new joint right away.

Will my surgery be "less invasive"?

Yes, new techniques limit the extent of surgery from what was done just a few years ago.

Will I receive new technology?

Yes, you will receive the newest metallurgy, ceramic or cross linked polyethylene.

Will my joint be replaced?

No. Your joint will be resurfaced. The old term is still often used but almost all your bone is kept and only the damaged surface is replaced.

How long will I be in the hospital?

Almost all procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. The recovery is faster and the risk of blood clot and infection is lower on ambulatory cases.

Which hospital will be used?

The Swedish Orthopedic Institute or the Ambulatory Center.

Will there be a need for banking of my own blood, or do you use a blood salvaging technique?

No blood donation is necessary. Blood transfusions are not necessary.

How many BHR resurfacings have you performed?

We have used the BHR since it came to America in 2006. Before this we also used the Conserve Plus. We only offer surgery with FDA approved implants. We do not offer the Magnum from Biomet as it is not FDA approved.

Will my implant be Metal on Metal? Is there a problem with this?

We offer procedures with both metal and polyethylene bearings for the socket. We have seen the occasional issue with metal sockets and we have been able to successfully revise these procedures.

Have you had any failed procedures?

Yes, but very few and many fewer than a reported in the major registries. We have been able to successfully revise the relatively few number of failed situations. It is rare for the procedure to fail completely and a partial revision is all that is typically needed. The recovery is shorter for most revision procedures.

Do you have experience with revising hip resurfacing procedures?

We have extensive revision surgery experience. Some of the older implants did not perform at the same high level as current implants. We have experience with revising the ASR, Corin and Durom. The revision experience has been quite favorable with similar outcomes to primary cases.

Did you use any recalled prostheses?

No. We have revised recalled prosthesis but did not place any.

When did you complete you BHR training?

In 2006 (before the US release). I originally learned hip resurfacing from Dr. Townley in the 1980s as a resident trainee.

What would be my "window of opportunity" time frame for having hip resurfacing?

Anytime symptoms warrant. Patients need to have resurfacing procedures performed while their bone remains healthy.

Is hip resurfacing new?

No, but it has greatly improved as the result of better instruments, implants and knowledge.

My orthopedic surgeon does not recommend hip resurfacing. Why?

Hip resurfacing is more difficult to perform and special training is required. It also lakes longer and we do not charge more for the procedure. Most surgeons find total hip replacement quite satisfactory.

Do you see an increased risk of loosening of the cup component due to bone stock, and would that be the same for resurfacing as for total hip replacement?

There are more options for cup fixation with total hip replacement although the risk of loosening should be minimal with resurfacing.

Are there issues for resurfacing due to leg length?

Leg length is not addressed with the resurfacing procedure. It is very unusual for patients to have a significant leg length issue after resurfacing. Patients often feel the leg is longer at first since the wear of the joint results in gradual shortening over the preceding months or years.

With hip dysplasia, do you anticipate any need for bone grafting or screw fixation in the cup component?

We have the ability to perform this if needed.

What will the availability of the devices be in the next six months?

We have full availability of devices now. There are no new devices anticipated for release in the near term.

Do you use spinal or general anesthesia resurfacing surgery?

The surgery can be done with either anesthetic. The choice of anesthesia used is generally decided by the patient and the anesthesiologist. Most patients prefer a spinal anesthetic with sedation that has them asleep during the procedure.

How long does an average resurfacing procedure take?

Usually between 1 and 2 hours.

Which incision approach would you use for a case such as mine?

Either an Anterior or Superior approach can be used. Patients seem to recover faster with the posterior approach. I have done an equal number of each of each at this point.

What do you use to close the incision?

Usually intradermal sutures (they don't need to be removed).

Do you anticipate any post-op weight-bearing restrictions?

No.

What are your other post-op restrictions and for how long?

Limit flexion to 90 degrees for one month.

How many resurfacings have you performed on dysplasia patients and how many of those would you consider successful?

Most of our patients have dysplasia and the results have been excellent.

How many planned resurfacings have you had to convert to THR during surgery?

None as of yet. We would do this though in the very unlikely event of an intraoperative fracture.

How many THR's a year/month do you perform?

It varies. Have performed approximately 12,000 joint implant procedures.

When did you complete your BHR training with Ronan Treacy?

January 2006. Trained on the TARA and C+ in the 1980's and 1990's.

Can you provide your personal statistics on your resurfacing successes and failures?

See the articles posted on this site.

What are the statistics of getting a post- operative infection at the hospital?

Less than a 1% chance.

Is there an increased risk of AVN with a femoral head deformity?

Yes. There is still a small risk.

Is there a risk of dislocation?

Yes, but this does not reach a percentage point as a risk. The risk is less than with total hip replacement.

Is there a risk of nerve damage?

Yes. 1%

Are there any unusual risks or complications as compared with THR?

Yes. Component positioning is more difficult with resurfacing.

How long would you anticipate a resurfacing to last for me?

The implants will not wear out. The main concern is the bone.

Do you see a possibility of any unusual device wear or load issues?

No.

Should I go out of the Country for Hip Resurfacing?

No. Hip resurfacing can be done here. We are concerned about the Americans that go abroad. We are not seeing that accurate follow-up of Americans that have gone abroad is occurring.

Is there anything I will not be allowed to do after my hip resurfacing procedure?

No. We have a number of professional athletes from a variety of different sports

Criteria for Resurfacing

When Should a Resurfacing not be performed?

Are there Alternatives to Metal for Resurfacing?

We have performed more than 2500 hip resurfacing procedures using highly cross linked polyethylene over the last 14 years. We have no failures of this material (and none have been reported in the literature). Our wear simulator study found minimal wear in 30,000 cycles (equates to more than 20 years of active use in the body.)

Copyright © 2017 James W. Pritchett, MD | Disclaimer
Last Modified: September 8, 2017