July 29, 2015
As one of Dr Gross’ earlier patients, and a woman with small bones, I am saddened to hear the decision by S&N to prevent access of women to hip resurfacing. The real truth of it IS and HAS ALWAYS BEEN the expertise of the surgeon that determines your outcome. I recall when S&N was so anxious to get their products out that they required very minimal standards for surgeons.
At one time (it may have changed) their requirement was simply to have observed (even by teleconference) two resurfacing surgeries and to have done one on a cadaver and then to have oversight by a company rep (non-physician) for the first few surgeries.
I knew many patients were in the first few (1-6) resurfacing their doctors performed, including a friend of mine that was #5 for his surgeon (mid-west) and has had trouble ever since the surgery was performed. In “the old days” of hip resurfacing, we continually nagged patients to look for experience surgeons, but regardless many felt that any surgeon cleared by his governing body and the device manufacture was as good as any other surgeon, no matter how many successful resurfacing operations they had done.
This never made sense to me, as in all areas of my life I prefer to deal with those who are experienced in their field, knowing that they are more likely to have good results. I suspect that if the studies were comprehensive enough that it would become clear that the common element is not the woman and/or the size of the device but rather the experience of the surgeon and the number of successful surgeries he has performed.
It is sad indeed that S&N prefers to remove the product, rather than dealing with the real reason that there has been a problem. Were a study to be made public I suspect that a very high number of failures would have to do with the number of resurfacing surgeries performed and not the size of the device.
I’ve had 9 years of good service from my wonderful BioMet implant and I continue to thank my lucky stars for my reluctance to settle for a device and surgery designed for elderly sedentary patients. That, along with the expertise and loving devotion to hip surfacing shown by Dr Gross, Lee Webb and their entire team is what gave me the good results I am enjoying as I bike, ride, swim, hike, walk and anything and everything else that I enjoy doing. My only restriction is personal, I refuse to try bungee jumping as I’m sure it would not be good for my resurfaced hip or the height phobic person it resides in. Best Wishes to all. Pat(ricia) Dukes
R Biomet Dr Gross/Lee Webb 2006