Unlike a total hip replacement, hip resurfacing doesn’t replace the entire head of the femur (thigh) bone with a metal ball. Instead, the damaged femur head is reshaped and capped with a metal implant. The damaged hip socket in the pelvis is also fitted with a metal prosthesis.


Boulder Community Health was one of the first Colorado hospitals to offer a procedure called  Birmingham Hip Resurfacing. This bone-sparing technique has a low risk of joint dislocation and reduced wear on artificial joint implants, making it a great alternative for active people under the age of 60. 


Dr. James Rector was the first surgeon to offer this procedure in Colorado.

Call 303-449-2730 to schedule a consultation.



Symptoms That May Make You a Candidate for Hip Resurfacing Include:
  • Pain that keeps you awake at night

  • Little/no relief from anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy

  • Difficulty walking up/down stairs

  • Difficulty getting up out of a seated position

  • Hip arthritis



Questions and Answers about Hip Resurfacing Surgery


How will I benefit from this procedure?

By reducing hip pain, increasing mobility and restoring your range of motion, hip resurfacing surgery can help you reclaim your active life. Hip resurfacing is a good alternative when non-surgical treatments fail to restore the health of your hip joint.


How long will the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing implant last?

Many factors contribute to the lifespan of an implant. In the case of resurfacing, the metal-on-metal bearing surfaces of this implant may extend its life longer than that of a traditional total hip replacement. However, failure to comply with your physical rehabilitation regime may cause your implant to fail within months. A clinical study showed 98% of Birmingham Hip Resurfacing implants were still in place five years after surgery. This is comparable with people who have total hip replacement before age 60.


Can I resume my normal activities?

Recovery from hip resurfacing usually begins the day after surgery. Many patients begin by taking a few steps with crutches. If there are no complications, you can plan on returning home within four to six days. You may be able to move on to walking and low-stress activities a few weeks after surgery if you don’t have any special conditions. Once your doctor feels that you are ready, maintaining a walking regimen will help you return to your active lifestyle quickly. After a year, you probably can return to activities you did before your hip pain started.


You must avoid all impact activities and heavy lifting for the first year following surgery. This is when the bone holding the implant is most susceptible to fracture. During this first year, the femur and pelvic bones get denser and stronger, allowing more use of your hip as time progresses. But, you can’t run, jump, or lift anything until after the first year. Your commitment and cooperation are vital to a successful recovery. Following your orthopedist’s advice and your rehabilitation plan will increase your odds of resuming activity and reducing recovery time.


What are the risks of this surgery?

Hip resurfacing surgery is generally safe, but as with any surgery, complications can occur. The risks or complications are minimal and can be successfully treated. Possible risks of this surgery include the following:


  • The bone supporting the hip resurfacing implant could fracture. While studies have varied, the risk of fracture of the bone seems to be between 1% and 20% of patients. Fractures are more common in patients with poor bone quality, obese patients and women.


  • Hip resurfacing implants can become loose over time. If the implant loosens, a standard hip replacement surgery usually needs to be performed.


  • Metal ions are released from the metal implants as they wear out. The effect of these metal ions in the body is
    not known.


  • Infections can occur at the site of your incision and in the tissues near your new implant. Most infections are successfully treated with antibiotics.