Healthcare Industry News:  joint replacement 

Devices Surgery Orthopaedic

 News Release - May 30, 2006

New Jersey Hospital Introduces Unique Alternative to Total Hip Replacement

Innovative Birmingham Hip Resurfacing(TM) System Preserves Bone and Joint Stability for Young, Active Patients

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--May 30, 2006--Reinforcing the hospital's leadership in orthopedics, a Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital surgeon is one of the first doctors in the nation trained in a breakthrough hip replacement technique recently approved for use in the United States.

Dr. David Harwood, an attending orthopedic surgeon at RWJUH and an associate professor of Surgery at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, is one of approximately 50 surgeons in the U.S. offering the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) System, a bone-conserving alternative to total hip replacement surgery approved May 9 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in this country.

The Birmingham Hip's approach preserves more of the patient's natural bone structure and stability, covering the joint's surfaces with an all-metal implant that more closely resembles a tooth cap than a hip implant. 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.

In use outside the U.S. since 1997, the Birmingham Hip's approach has been shown to reduce the post-operative risks of dislocation and inaccurate leg length. In addition, 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 to come along in years," said Dr. Harwood. "I see hip resurfacing as the ideal solution for many of my young, active patients 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 active lifestyles.

Dr. David Harwood specializes in reconstructive surgery of the hip and knee. He is a leading surgeon in computer-assisted joint replacement and has been involved in joint replacement research and total joint prosthetic design.

About Orthopedics at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Supported by the intensive medical infrastructure of a Level 1 Trauma Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital has a long history of excellence in orthopedics. As the principal teaching hospital of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the hospital and its orthopedic patients benefit from access to the latest techniques and technology, as well as the expertise of specialists recognized as leaders in the treatment of injuries and diseases of the bones, muscles and joints. The hospital's Center for Orthopedics offers services in spine surgery, hip and knee replacement, orthopedic trauma, sports injuries, pediatric orthopedic surgery, physical rehabilitation, hand surgery, shoulder surgery, foot and ankle surgery, scoliosis and work injuries.

About Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is a 600-bed academic medical center providing state-of-the-art care across a wide range of health care services. Specialties include cardiac care from screening to heart surgery and transplantation, cancer care, emergency medicine, pediatrics and maternal-fetal medicine. The hospital has earned significant national recognition for clinical quality and patient safety. Consumers Digest Magazine ranked the hospital fifth in the nation in patient safety initiatives. Harvard University researchers, in a study commissioned by The Commonwealth Fund, identified RWJUH as one of the top 10 hospitals in the nation for clinical quality. New Jersey Monthly and New York Magazine report that RWJUH has more top physicians than any other hospital in New Jersey. RWJUH is also a three-time recipient of the prestigious Magnet Award for Nursing Excellence.

Birmingham Hip Resurfacing is a trademark of Smith & Nephew, Inc.


Source: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

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