Birmingham Hip Resurfacing vs Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Matched-Pair Comparison of Clinical Outcomes


Background: Birmingham hip resurfacing (BHR) has proven to be a good alternative for younger patients with osteoarthritis. Some have asserted that BHR may yield outcomes which are superior to total hip arthroplasty (THA), and that some studies which failed to show a difference were plagued by ceiling effects and lack of sensitivity of outcome measures. The purpose of this study is to compare outcomes of BHR and THA using the "Forgotten Joint" Score-12 (FJS), a more sensitive score with lesser vulnerability to the ceiling effect.

Methods: Patients who underwent BHR were matched to patients who underwent posterior THA by computing a propensity score using 5 covariates: age, body mass index, gender, worker's compensation claims, and previous hip surgery. Surgical outcomes were assessed using 6 patient-reported outcome measures, including the FJS, the visual analog scale for pain, and patient satisfaction.

Results: There were 42 patients in the BHR group and 18 patients in the THA group. The FJS was 78.0 for the BHR group and 76.0 for the THA group. The Veterans RAND 12-Item Health Survey Mental Component Summary and Short Form 12 Mental Component Summary were significantly higher in the BHR group. No differences were seen between all other patient-reported outcomes.

Conclusion: BHR offers excellent results in young patients that are comparable to THA. As no clinical difference could be shown between BHR and THA, even with the use of the FJS, the choice between BHR and THA should not be based solely on any expectation that either yields superior clinical outcomes compared to the other at short-term follow-up.

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