Harbin Clinic Orthopaedic Surgeon Performs First Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Procedure in Georgia

Harbin Clinic Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Kenneth C. Sands, successfully performed the first Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) procedure in Georgia. The BHR procedure, which is an alternative to total hip replacement, was performed at Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia at 7 a.m. EST. Dr. Sands performed the BHR procedure on a 53-year-old female from El Paso, Texas.

Dr. Sands is part of an elite group of 50 surgeons in the U.S. who have been trained in the remarkable new Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) technique. Rather than replacing the entire hip joint, as in a total hip replacement, hip resurfacing simply shaves and caps a few centimeters of bone within the joint.

“This is an exciting time in the field of Orthopaedic Medicine,” said Dr. Sands. “For the first time in Georgia, we have been able to perform the new Birmingham Hip Resurfacing procedure which is an excellent option for younger patients who need hip replacement. I am pleased to be able to provide this new service to patients in the southeastern United States.”

The bone-conserving approach of the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System preserves more of the patient’s natural bone structures and stability, covering the joint’s surfaces with an all-metal implant that more closely resembles a tooth cap than a hip implant. This approach reduces the post-operative risks of dislocation and inaccurate leg length, and because the all-metal implant is made from tough, smooth cobalt chrome, it has the potential to last longer than traditional hip implants.

“This is one of the most exciting procedures I’ve seen in years,” explains Dr. Sands. “I see hip resurfacing as the ideal solution for many young, active people who suffer from hip pain. As my patients are getting younger and younger, and are staying physically active much later in life, I’ve needed an alternative to total hip replacement that accommodates their age and lifestyle. The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System is that alternative.”

The Birmingham Hip implant is intended for patients suffering from hip pain due to osteoarthritis, dysplasia or avascular necrosis, and for whom total hip replacement may not be appropriate due to their increased level of physical activity. For this reason, most surgeons feel it will be ideal for patients under age 60 who live non-sedentary lifestyles.

While the BHR implant closely matches the size of a patient’s natural femoral head (hip ball), it is substantially larger than the femoral head of a traditional total hip replacement implant. This increased size translates to greater stability in the new joint, and it decreases the chance of dislocation of the implant after surgery. Dislocation is a leading cause of implant failure after total hip replacement.

Total hip replacement involves the removal of the entire femoral head and neck. The Birmingham Hip resurfacing technique, however, leaves the head and neck untouched. It is this neck length and angle that determines the natural length of a patient’s leg after surgery, and since it is not removed and replaced with an artificial device during the resurfacing procedure, there is a greater likelihood of maintaining accurate leg length.

The Birmingham Hip implant is an all-metal ball and socket joint. Traditional hip replacements use a metal ball and a plastic socket. As would be assumed, this plastic socket wears down over time, and may need to be replaced surgically. In fact, it is a leading cause of follow-up surgeries. All-metal total hip replacements reduce joint wear by 97-percent compared to total hip implants containing these plastic sockets.

Dr. Sands joined the staff of Harbin Clinic Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine on August 1, 2006. He came to Rome from Texas where he served as Chief of the Orthopaedic Joint Reconstruction Service at William Beaumont Army Medical Center. Dr. Sands received his Medical Doctorate degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana. He completed a residency in Orthopaedics at State University of New York in Brooklyn, N.Y. He completed a fellowship in Orthopaedic Joint Replacement at Florida Orthopaedic Institute in Tampa, Florida.

Dr. Sands served as a Major in the U.S. Army Medical Corp. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Sands is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a member of the American Medical Association and Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons.