Dec. 4, 2020

Taking the long view – safety and outcomes for hip resurfacing

The Alberta Hip Improvement Project, a long-term cohort study measuring safety and effectiveness of a hip resurfacing procedure, prepares to analyze years of data

Long-term research studies take determination, dedication, and a willing group of participants—a notion that has researchers in Alberta celebrating a near 14-year accomplishment as the last set of patient surveys for the Alberta Hip Improvement Project (HIP) have made it out the door. HIP is a long-term cohort study measuring the safety and effectiveness of a bone-saving hip resurfacing procedure. In the early 2000s, metal-on-metal hip resurfacing emerged as an alternative to total hip arthroplasty, particularly for younger, more active adults who had not responded to non-surgical osteoarthritis treatment. HIP was designed to address the knowledge gap on safety and efficacy of the procedure by long-term tracking of patients who received either a Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) or total hip arthroplasty.

Beginning in 2004, patients were recruited from 11 participating orthopaedic surgeons from offices in Calgary and Edmonton. Patients were followed annually with questionnaires since their initial surgery. As of October, 68% of the 834 BHR patients initially enrolled in the study were retained until the 10 year follow up, which is promising news for achieving statistically significant results.

Led by orthopaedic surgeons, Dr. James MacKenzie and Dr. Jason Werle, the project is coordinated by the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute with oversight from a HIP Advisory Committee comprised of clinicians and researchers. Once the last of the survey data is collected, the committee will examine any unanticipated events or complications experienced by participants. Results will then be combined with the survey data from the BHR and total hip arthroplasty patients. HIP aims to support the evidence-base with a full understanding of health outcomes for those in Alberta who undergo a BHR procedure.