Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Pain, 6 years post operation

Hello, Hiprunners!  I am a 64 year old avid runner.  I had a single metal on metal Birmingham hip installed 6 years ago.  It was super successful, I thought.  Since then, I have continued to run competitively, and enjoyed many other endurance sports, as I have for 50 years.  Since the hip surgery, I have completed the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, and set age group course records at about a dozen ultras.  My BQ is sub 30 minutes.  I enjoy the ride, and have been blessed with not having to train that much, for real.  I have run about 8000 miles on this hip.

But, this hip has been hurting increasing the last couple of years.  I cut out all good training about a year ago, and now can hardly run.  I limp when I stand and walk….argghhh! Even golf and bowling are nearly impossible!

7 months ago, I had repairs to my medius gluteus, and medius minimus.   That did not help.  I feel that repair is fine, but has no impact on the long term.  MRI for that repair is apparently ok.

The surgeons feel the metal on metal hip is in good as new shape, not loose, not worn.  x rays and MRI agree, they say.  Metal levels in my blood are ok.

Something is wrong, really wrong.  Limping and pain are increasing, and have been for several months.

Any one out there have had a similar journey and resolution???

Home Forums Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Pain, 6 years post operation

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    • #19943

      Hello, Hiprunners!  I am a 64 year old avid runner.  I had a single metal on metal Birmingham hip installed 6 years ago.  It was super successful, I t
      [See the full post at: Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Pain, 6 years post operation]

    • #19944

      Hi Henry,
      Sorry to hear about the pain you are experiencing.
      I can sympathise wholeheartedly as this feels very similar to what I was going through 12 months ago, prior to having a THR, ie. limping, hardly being able to run etc.
      I am new to the group and apologise in advance for “gate crashing” your post, however I am keen to get back running (even though I have been advised not too by my surgeon) and I am interested in finding out the different experiences following surgery.
      Can I ask, did you have a total hip replacement or was it hip re-surfacing? (sorry for my ignorance in this field)
      What is interesting is that your surgeon says that the hip has not worn after 8,000 miles – which is amazing. Do you now regret running following surgery?


    • #19947

      @bluebirds. Rob – it’s an alternative to THR where bone is preserved. Think Andy Murray.
      @henry. I am wondering why you had the BHR in the first place and whether the original cause of pain has re manifested, despite the hip looking ok on x ray?

    • #19948

      Hi Henry,
      I have a left BHR and a right THR, BHR is 7 years old and has less running on it than yours but still up to 30k, and slower because I am 70 but still trying to race 5k every week. I have always been able to feel my BHR hip but not painfully, my THR is generally unnoticeable but since June 1st I have had sciatica and could barely walk for a month. If I did not know better I would have thought the THR was failing but its actually my spine (L4/L5 vertebrae) causing the problem. Being stretched on an IDD machine has improved things to allow running and walking again, and walking really well, but there is still an impingement on the nerve which is taking ages to resolve. Maybe you have a back problem after all the ultra pounding you have experienced?
      Good luck on finding a resolution. If your metal ions are ok you can’t have worn your BHR out…


    • #19949

      Hello, All!

      Thanks for the thoughtful response.

      Rob- a BHR is a Birmingham Hip Replacment. You can google for images, and it is worth a thousand words.

      Codfish- I had classic bone on bone hip pain starting at 58 years old. At that time (7 years ago), the x ray showed classic bone on bone. That hurt then. Typical pain, poor sleep, suddenly could not run. (sorry for any confusion on that.)

      Today the exray shows the BHR is in tight still, bones are good today. The BHR was a good choice, I thought. Seems to have a great record for many athletes. No regrets until now , maybe. Definitely no regrets running- sports define me most days, and I was back. I have had no restrictions, things were good. Skate ski racing, inline marathons, long distance road biking, snowshoeing, volleyball, aplenty. I am almost good as before until the last couple of years. Yes, the pain is vaguely, but not exactly, like the bone on bone pain I had at 58. It sure does hurt to get up and start walking now.

      Cobalt and Chromium levels seem in the ok range. I would think BHR fail from cracking bones, coming loose, bones that get necrosis, etc? I can’t imagine that they wear out, since they are so big and robust. Or, do they?

      Pete- I think my back is good. I have gotten opinions from my 2 surgeons, and a running chiro, that agree with that.

      The doctors are not finding anything wrong by xray or mri……….

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Henry.
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Henry.
    • #19952

      Sorry to hear of the pain.

      I’d recommend you go to a physical therapist to see if there is some muscular imbalance that is getting in the way. The older we get, the more various muscles seem to go to sleep and over time those weak muscles or muscles we don’t use (don’t “activate” in the words of PT works) can cause all kinds of problems. Problems that can seem like device problems.

      Can’t guarantee that PT will help but that’s a good place to start. You mention repairs on two gluteus muscles. Did you do PT after those procedures? It’s very typical for those muscles to go to sleep as we age and after surgery. Since you’re athletic, PT’s will love to work with you. I say focus on finding a really smart PT over someone who emphasizes working you hard. You want the smartest most precise exercises, not just hard exercises randomly chosen.

      Good luck.

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