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Hip-Hip-Hooray! Exciting New Hip Surgery Comes to SJCH

Orthopedic Like most people, you probably want to keep your body parts for as long as possible. After all, God gave them to you for a reason. Innovative hip and knee surgery at San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH) can help you do just that. It’s called resurfacing, and it’s life-changing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 383,500 hip replacements and 550,800 knee replacements in the United States in 2005, and the numbers are rising. You don’t have to be one of them.

Birmingham Hip Resurfacing
Gary Shepard, a 56-year-old from Bakersfield, has been athletic most of his life. It took its toll. He’s been in pain for countless years, limping and walking at a 45 degree slant. He couldn’t even cross his legs, so in 2007 he had Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR™).

“The change is dramatic. It feels like my own hips. I walk straight, I’ve grown two inches, and even my knees don’t swell anymore. People can’t believe it when they see me—I feel fantastic,” says Shepard.

Your hip is a ball-and-socket joint that unites two separate bones—femur (thighbone) and pelvis. The femoral head is a ball that fits into the pelvis socket. In the standard total hip replacement (THR), ball and socket are completely removed and replaced. The femoral shaft (thighbone’s long part) is hollowed out and a spike, which holds the ball, is pressed into the bone. The spike can loosen and cause bone wear. 

It’s completely different with resurfacing. The femoral shaft is never disturbed—there is no spike. A minimal amount of the ball is shaved and then fitted snuggly with a smooth metal cap. The socket is shaped to fit a polished metal cup that the bone naturally takes on as its own.

Resurfacing preserves bone, improves range of motion, and gives you freedom to have a highly active, normal life. And that’s a great thing.

Resurfacing was available years ago; it didn’t last long. Technology and metal implants were far less sophisticated than today. Patients can now expect superior results with new medically-advanced implants.
In 2007, BHR™ celebrated its 10th anniversary. It has been used in 26 countries with a worldwide success rate of 97.2 percent. The FDA approved its use in the United States in 2006.

“With BHR™, I remove a lot less bone than in hip replacement. Oftentimes it’s only 10 percent of the femoral head,” says Tom Ferro, MD, FAAOS, orthopedic surgeon. “Patients experience less pain and report that it feels like their own hip. Resurfacing patients appear to feel normal very quickly, frequently by the second day after surgery.

“Another huge advantage to preserving bone is that you have more to work with later if your hips are injured.”

It’s just a fact of life: once bone is removed, you can’t put it back.

Ferro, the leader in BHR™, is one of approximately 50 surgeons nationwide who perform this procedure. It requires considerable expertise in resurfacing. Although his clinic, the Bone & Joint Center, is located in Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo, Ferro also performs BHR™ in Bakersfield but only at SJCH.

“The hospital is extremely receptive to state-of-the-art procedures, and they have the patient’s best interests at heart. It’s important that patients have the finest technology used by the best people and in a highly efficient system—that’s San Joaquin,” says Ferro.

This procedure is recommended for active people under 66 years of age with good bone quality. There are some exceptions. Always talk to a physician to identify your best options.

“After seeing the huge change in me, friends and relatives are considering this for themselves. My wife spent a lot of time researching BHR™. I highly recommend it, and you can’t do much better than Dr. Ferro,” says Shepard.

Partial Knee Resurfacing
Your knee has three compartments or areas where different bones of the knee make contact: femur (thighbone), patella (kneecap), and tibia (shinbone). Instead of replacing the whole knee, partial knee resurfacing only removes the damaged compartment or bone.

The benefits are numerous: faster recovery, less pain, smaller implant, smaller incision, and your healthy tissue remains intact. Plus, the procedure has minimal age restrictions. It doesn’t get much better than that.
No two knees are exactly the same—knee implants should be different too. MRI data can now be used to create a 3-D computer model of your knee. The result is a precise implant that doesn’t force your surgeon to cut more bone so that your knee can match a generic implant.

If you think tailor-made clothes would feel great, wait until you experience a body part made just for you.

The next time your hips and knees twinge, don’t grimace. You have easy access to a top surgeon, leading-edge procedures, and San Joaquin Community Hospital, where integrity meets you at the door. And that’s a great thing.