Birmingham Hip Resurfacing in Hong Kong
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Birmingham Hip Resurfacing in Hong Kong

Birmingham Hip Resurfacing in Hong Kong

A Bone-Conserving Total Hip Solution for Enhanced Mobility



 Hip pain and limited mobility can significantly impact one's quality of life. However, advances in medical technology have led to innovative solutions that aim to restore hip function and improve overall well-being. One such solution is the BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing System (BHR), a bone-conserving total hip system designed for younger or more active male patients.

Hip resurfacing is not widely available in Asian countries, and only a few surgeons possess the skill to do such a procedure. Even as said, Hip resurfacing is still a viable alternative to THR especially when the patient would like to preserve as much of the bone as possible.

 Though being said, even if you don't reside in HK, you might still want to consider to have a BHR in Hong Kong as travel nowadays is very convenient and affordable.


What is the HIP Resurfacing?

Hip resurfacing is a special form of hip replacement for young men with arthritis of their hips. The damaged cartilage and only a thin layer of bone supporting the cartilage are removed, and replaced with artificial material - hence the name ‘resurfacing’.

Why would a young man need hip replacement?

The commonest reason is osteoarthritis (‘wear & tear’) from kicking and lunging sports like tennis and football, but fortunately, most young men don’t need their hips replaced, so it’s not very common. In the joint registries for both Australia and for England & Wales, resurfacings make up about 3% of all hip replacements.

What’s so special about hip resurfacing?

Young men put a lot of bearing on their hips, and they have thus done relatively poorly compared with the elderly with conventional total hip replacement (THR). Resurfacing was developed to tackle this problem - and it has been successful - in men 55 years and under with osteoarthritis the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing is the most successful of all types of hip replacement in the National Joint Register for England and Wales. Generally, hip resurfacings provide excellent function, and patients are able to return to competitive sports, including professional sports. Andy Murray has returned to tennis with a Birmingham Hip Resurfacing.

Is Hip Resurfacing available in Asia?

Osteoarthritis of the hip is not very common in Asia, probably because most people don’t play much sport in the past days, so demand is low.

Hip resurfacing is only available in a few Asian countries: Turkey; India; Hong Kong, and Japan. and only a few surgeons possess the skill to do such procedure. Even as said, Hip resurfacing is still a viable alternative to THR especially when the patient would like to preserve as much of the bone as possible.

I’ve been told I’m too young for a hip replacement?

If you have painful arthritis of your hip despite first line treatment, it’s time for hip replacement, regardless of your age. If you are a man aged up to 55 with osteoarthritis, hip resurfacing is probably the best choice. If you are a very active older man, you may still consider hip resurfacing. If you are an older more sedentary man, or if you are a woman, conventional THR might be your best option.

How long do hip resurfacings last?

The first successful modern hip resurfacing, the ‘Birmingham Hip Resurfacing’ (BHR), was introduced in 1996, FDA approved in 2006, and remains the most successful and popular type of resurfacing with excellent results reported at 20 years (1).

What is the BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing System?


The BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing System is a total hip solution has been available in HK since 2003, and FDA approved in 2006,

It is meticulously designed based on insights gained from earlier generation metal-on-metal total hips and a deep understanding of hip resurfacing principles. This system is specifically tailored to meet the needs of younger or more active male patients who desire a long-lasting, bone-conserving solution for hip-related issues such as osteoporosis.

Key Features of BHR:

  1. Metallurgy: The BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing System is produced using the investment casting process from high-carbon cobalt chrome. This material provides exceptional strength and durability, allowing for long-term performance.
  2. Wear Testing: Rigorous wear testing has been conducted on the system, demonstrating its ability to withstand millions of cycles. This testing confirms the system's reliable performance and its contribution to the fluid film, which helps reduce wear and tear over time.


Benefits of the BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing System:

  1. Bone Conservation: Unlike traditional total hip replacements, the BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing System preserves more of the patient's natural bone. This bone-conserving approach can be advantageous for younger or more active patients, as it allows for potential future surgeries, if necessary.
  2. Enhanced Mobility: The BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing System aims to improve overall hip mobility by restoring the natural anatomy and function of the hip joint. This can result in an enhanced range of motion, enabling patients to return to their active lifestyles and engage in activities they enjoy.
  3. Long-Term Survivorship: Clinical studies have shown promising long-term survivorship rates for the BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing System. This indicates that the system is designed to provide durable and reliable performance over an extended period, offering patients the potential for sustained relief and improved function.

Considerations and Patient Information:

Before considering the BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing System, it is essential for patients to consult with their orthopedic surgeon. The suitability of this system depends on various factors, including the patient's age, activity level, bone quality, and overall health. A thorough evaluation by a qualified healthcare professional will help determine if this system is the right choice for the individual patient.

How is BHR different from THR ( total hip replacement)?

Both surgical procedures are used to address hip joint problems. The goals are to alleviate pain, improve mobility, and restore function in patients with hip conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis, or hip fracture.  And the postoperative rehabilitation process of both BHR and THR is similar, which involves physiotherapy, exercises to strengthen the hip muscles and gradual progression of weight-bearing activities under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Following is a simple table that illustrates the differences of both surgeries:




Preservation of Femoral head

YES- aim to maintain the anatomy of the hip

NO- more extensive removal of bone and tissue

Bone Removal

Less bone is removed from the femur

Future revision surgeries easier

A larger portion of the femoral head and neck is removed to accommodate the prosthetic ball component

Size limitation

Generally more suitable for patients with larger bone structures  (male)

can be performed on a wider range of patients, including those with smaller bone structures

Bone quality requirement

Have requirements for bone quality

It can be performed on patients with compromised bone quality

Target Patient Group

Younger, active patient(despite age) with good bone quality and minimal bone deformities.

A wider range of patients includes those who are older and have various hip conditions. 


I have osteonecrosis, not osteoarthritis. Can I still have hip resurfacing?

If there is not too much bone loss (maximum about 30%) the results of the BHR are as good in osteonecrosis (also known as ‘avascular necrosis’ or ‘AVN’) as in osteoarthritis - in other words - the results are excellent. In borderline cases it may not be able to tell from X-ray or MRI whether the hip will be resurfaceable, so starts the operation by preparing the femoral head for resurfacing. If the head is suitable for resurfacing he continues with the resurfacing. If not, he switches immediately to conventional THR. This only adds about 10 minutes to the operation time.

Is Hong Kong a good place for a hip resurfacing?

The BHR was introduced to Hong Kong in 2003, by Dr Jason Brockwell, who has performed over 500 BHRs since.  Many patients are from Hong Kong, and many come from the region. Visitors usually come to Hong Kong the day before their operation, and then go directly from the hospital to the airport to fly home 2 - 3 days after the operation. 

Booking a BHR surgery in HK

If you're considering booking a Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) surgery in Hong Kong, Asia Medical specialists have made the process as seamless as possible. Follow these simple steps to secure your appointment:

  1. Enquiry: Simply email your X-ray and any medical reports to or WhatsApp us, and the doctor will be able to tell you if your hip is likely to be suitable for resurfacing.
  2. Consultation and Assessment: Once we receive your inquiry, we will schedule a Tele-consultation with Dr Brockwell. During this consultation, the surgeon will evaluate your condition, answer any questions you may have, and discuss the potential benefits and risks of the BHR surgery.  Dr Brockwell will send you a medical report for your insurance company.
  3. Pre-operative Preparation: If you decide to proceed with the BHR surgery, our team will guide you through the pre-operative preparation process. This may include medical tests, imaging scans, and necessary paperwork. Our aim is to ensure that you are physically and mentally prepared for the procedure.
  4. Surgery Scheduling: Based on the availability of our surgical team and taking into consideration your preferences, we will work together to schedule a convenient date for your BHR surgery. Our goal is to accommodate your needs while maintaining a high standard of surgical care.
  5. Logistics and Accommodation: You have an option to choose to either book the hotel and tickets by yourself or you can entrust our Customer Service team to arrange everything for you.
  6. Surgical Day: On the day or the day before surgery, you will be admitted to the hospital, and our team will guide you through the process.
  7. Postoperative Care: Following the surgery, our dedicated medical staff will provide comprehensive postoperative care and guidance. We will monitor your recovery progress, prescribe necessary medications, and schedule follow-up appointments to ensure optimal healing and rehabilitation.  If needed, we will also collaborate with your local physicians to help you to continue your rehabilitation process at your own place.

Can I have both hips resurfaced in one operation?

Yes. It’s safe and saves time and money. Most patients are delighted with the results. Surprisingly, patients are not particularly disabled after having both hips operated - they can walk with crutches and climb stairs and get to the bathroom independently.

How much does hip resurfacing cost in Hong Kong?

Currently we are partnering with Matilda International Hospital to provide a ‘total care package’ with a fixed price of around HK$240K for one hip and less thanHK$430K for both hips, staying in a multi-occupant room. Twin and private rooms are more expensive. Most insurers reimburse hip resurfacing.

*Note* above price doesn't include hotel accommodation and travel expenses

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  1. Dhawan, R., et al., Birmingham Hip Resurfacing at 20 years. Bone Joint J, 2023. 105- B(9): p. 946-952.