This is a transcript of a Live Chat in the Surface Hippy Chat Room with Dr. Raterman on August 7, 2012
[Pat Walter] 7:59 pm: I would like to introduce Dr.
Raterman of FL. Thank You for taking time to do the doctor chat and answer
questions for us.
[dr raterman] 7:59 pm: Thanks for having me.
[Pat Walter] 8:00 pm: Dr. Raterman – Could you tell us
when you trained to do hip resurfacing and about how many you have done to date?
[dr raterman] 8:01 pm: I trained with Dr. McMinn in
Birmingham, England in December 2005. Did the first procedure in May 2006 and
currently have done approximately 1500.
[jim] 8:02 pm: how are the resurfacings holding up in
athletes in your experience
[dr raterman] 8:03 pm: They are doing extremely well in
high demand athletes. Prefer this procedure to anterior approach total hip
replacements in athletes, particularly impact athletes.
[Firemanrick] 8:03 pm: A panel of U.S. government experts
said Thursday, June 28, 2012, that metal-on-metal hip implants have little use
in most patients, with evidence mounting that the devices deteriorate sooner
than other implants, shedding particles of metal into the surrounding joint and
…The panel, convened by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, stopped short
of advocating a ban on the devices, as some experts have done in Britain, the
Associated Press reported. Your thoughts?
[dr raterman] 8:05 pm: The panel was commenting on total
hip arthroplasty with hip resuracing mixed in. I believe that they have
different outcomes and are two different procedures and should not be lumped
together. In my experience, to date, most ion issues are implant position
[Pat Walter] 8:06 pm: What device do you use for hip
[dr raterman] 8:07 pm: I use Corin predominantly with some
Smith and Nephew thrown in.
[arff2004] 8:08 pm: Hello Dr Raterman , I’m 6 months post
op from having my right hip resurfaced by you and have been felling great. Im
playing hockey at least once a week and back working at fire department. My
question is how many total hip replacements have u had to do of the 1500
resurfaced hips you have done?
[dr raterman] 8:09 pm: Thanks for the support. I do
approximately 425 hips a year, and very rarely convert a hip resurfacing to a
total hip replacement. Only exception is in the case of AVN.
[jbolling] 8:10 pm: Recent literature indicates that women
are not as successful as men with resurfacing. What are your thoughts on this
(reasons for the lower success rate)?
[dr raterman] 8:12 pm: You need large, strong hip bones to
adequately support a hip resurfacing. Men have more bone mass and generally
larger sizes of hip resurfacings are placed. McMinn’s data has shown that men
with small sizes have similar fracture rates to women.
[Firemanrick] 8:12 pm: Clarification. Birmingham
Resurfacing is the procedure, not the brand of components?
[dr raterman] 8:13 pm: No, Birmingham Hip Resurfacing is
Smith and Nephew’s version of hip resurfacing, while Corin Cormet is Corin’s
version of a hip resurfacing.
[stever] 8:12 pm: I have heard from other docs say ‘why get
a resurfacing and have to get a total later’ I guess they think it will not
last, any thoughts?,
[dr raterman] 8:14 pm: Data from Europe reflects high 15
year survival rate. It is a bone sparing procedure and very easily converted to a
total hip replacement. Total hip arthroplasty has a very high failure rate in
male patients under the age of 55 who are incidentally the best patients for hip
[jbolling] 8:15 pm: Regarding women and resurfacing, if
you have osteopenia should you consider taking bisphosphonates or other
bone-building medications before the procedure?
[dr raterman] 8:17 pm: I have treated a small number of
patients this way with good success. However, many insurance plans will not
cover the medicine for this purpose and out-of-pocket expenses are high in
Florida. If you can afford the medicine it is worth considering, but be aware of
side effects and don’t be surprised if it is denied by your insurance.
[Firemanrick] 8:16 pm: Anterior or posterior incision? Why
do you prefer the one you use?
[dr raterman] 8:18 pm: Hip replacements I prefer
anteriorly while resurfacing I still do posterior because there are no
instruments or guides for anterior hip resurfacings other than a free-hand
[mssams] 8:16 pm: Concerning candidate selection for
resurfacing, what info does an x-ray present to you?
[dr raterman] 8:19 pm: X ray templating is key to a
successful hip resurfacing. It provides me with data about size and/or technical
pitfalls that I may encounter during the procedures.
[dr raterman] 8:22 pm: I am also working with computer
navigation to optimize component position and reduce the outlier phenomenon with
[jim] 8:19 pm: do you ever use the cementless implants or
have you considered it?
[dr raterman] 8:20 pm: Would love to try cementless hip
resurfacing, as intuitively it makes excellent sense, but it is not FDA
[Firemanrick] 8:22 pm: I assume you bring in THR
components contingent upon what you find inside?
[dr raterman] 8:23 pm: I do enough hip work that we always
have a back-up plan available should any unforeseen problems be encountered.
[kc_nole] 8:22 pm: Dr Raterman, at what threshold are you
choosing a total hip over a resurfacing?
[dr raterman] 8:25 pm: Women between the ages of 58 and 65
with osteopenia have the highest fracture rate in my series. I recommend either
biphosphonates or total hip replacement. Patients with AVN that have whole head
involvement or at high risk for ongoing problems secondary to asthma or alcohol
I have a low threshold to convert.
[abc123] 8:23 pm: Dr. Raterman, Do you believe that
running after hip resurfacing decreases the lifespan of the device? What is your
estimate of the lifespan of a BHR
[dr raterman] 8:27 pm: I am cautious about running in that
in my series I have had several BHR cups fail to ingrow which necessitated an
early revision. I have not seen higher rates of fracture or metalosis in
runners. But I am cautious about early return to running and most of them tend to
cheat on me.
[Firemanrick] 8:25 pm: When speaking of cemented v.
uncemented, are we talking about the “socket” component?
[dr raterman] 8:28 pm: All acetabular components are
press-fit and all FDA approved femoral components are cemented. So cementless in
this regard is in reference to the femoral component.
[jbolling] 8:27 pm: What is the T score threshold for you
to consider biphosphonates?
[dr raterman] 8:29 pm: There is no data to support
biphosphonates for this use so I generally speak to the patient about the risks
and benefits and examine the X ray and don’t realy utilize any particular T
[Firemanrick] 8:30 pm: Preserving the hip capsule, can you
[dr raterman] 8:30 pm: I always repair the posterior
capsule as well as the external rotators as part of my surgical technique.
[abc123] 8:31 pm: So, in terms of running after a BHR.
Provided that the patient waited for 1 year post op (Upper end range of general
surgeon recommendation), then you feel that running is OK? Or do you advise your
patients against running at all after a BHR
[dr raterman] 8:33 pm: I talk with the patients about the
level of running they wish to return to; I have patients who have actively
competed in marathon distance events and try to win their age group. However I
recommend against full return to running for 6 months to give the acetabular
component plenty of time to ingrow.
[dr raterman] 8:33 pm: More casual runners, tennis players
and ice skaters, I’ve had no problems with.
[stever] 8:34 pm: how bout surfers
[dr raterman] 8:34 pm: Surfers are easy.
[Pat Walter] 8:34 pm: I had some asking about sky
diving – what do you think?
[dr raterman] 8:35 pm: Never jump out of a perfectly good
airplane is my motto. However the Tampa area is home to a very active sky diving
community, several of which are dong it on hip resurfacings, compliments of me.
[Firemanrick] 8:35 pm: I live alone, 6′ 1″, have an
Infiniti 2-door A/T. How soon can I drive post-op?
[dr raterman] 8:36 pm: My rehab protocol is very
aggressive and I allow driving at three weeks or when you’re off narcotic
[jim] 8:36 pm: have you seen any ‘yoga’ people or such
dislocate the device? i’ve seen tae kwon do guys do 180degree splits after the
[dr raterman] 8:37 pm: No, the yoga people do extremely
well and I encourage all my patients to begin yoga at 6 weeks post-op.
[mssams] 8:36 pm: What criterion do you utilize to
determine if someone over 60 years old could be a candidate for BHR?
[dr raterman] 8:39 pm: I have a series of over 100
patients over the age of 65 who have had no revisions secondary to fracture or
metallosis. I do not believe chronological age is the limiting factor, but
physiologic age is the determinate in my practice. My oldest hip resurfacing is
a 75 yea old male scuba diver.
[fmmike] 8:37 pm: Dr. Raterman, I am 8 days post operation
from a left hip resurfacing by you and your team at Florida Hospital in Tampa. I
can’t speak highly enough of your expertise and professionalism. Anyone
considering this precedure in Florida (or anywhere else for that matter) would
be wise to seek your council. Thank you!
[dr raterman] 8:39 pm: Thanks for the plug! Try to do the
best I can for everyone.
[Pat Walter] 8:40 pm: Do you do bilaterals at the same
time or prefer to do them one at a time with some time inbetween?
[dr raterman] 8:41 pm: I do bilaterals in selected
patients and have had no significant problems. However they are in excellent
condition with no cardiovascular history and a reasonable BMI. Most patiens
prefer to space the procedures approximately 2-3 months apart.
[abc123] 8:41 pm: Dr. Raterman: What are your thoughts on
where hip replacement or hip resurfacing is going? What are patients 10 years
from now going to be looking at in terms of options? Same things as we see today
in the MoM(metal on metal) resurfacing devices, more CoC(ceramic on ceramic)?
[dr raterman] 8:44 pm: While I’m not on the manufacturing
side, it is very expensive to develop a new bearing surface and the market will
be a niche market more than likely, which in the future is going to be very
regulated, I am afraid. I have seen prototypes of ceramic and even carbon fiber;
however, the manufacturer did not feel certain that the market would warrant the
research and development costs. In the short term, I see metal on metal hip
resurfacing as weathering the metal on metal hip replacement storm…with only a few surgeons doing a
[Pat Walter] 8:45 pm: What is the importance of
choosing a surgeon with a lot of experience to one who does a few resurfacings
now and then? Is there a learning curve to hip resurfacing?
[dr raterman] 8:48 pm: In my opinion, the main problem
with metal on metal bearings has to do with technical issues of implant position
which are totally in the control of the surgeon. A more experienced surgeon is
helpful in this regard to lower the number of outlying positions which can
occur. Data has supported a steep learning curve for resurfacing of
approximately 100 procedures. And few surgeons seem comfortable with the larger
exposure and instrumentation that hip resurfacing requires.
[Firemanrick] 8:46 pm: I saw you 13 months ago,
apprehensive about giving up the bone I was born with, but now my hip is keeping
me from doing things that involve a lot of walking. I believe its time for
another appt. I’ve talked to several of your pts. in the Lakeland area & they
speak highly of you.
[dr raterman] 8:49 pm: Thank you, will be happy to re-evauluate
you at your discretion.
[GARYCAG] 8:48 pm: From your experience, can the hip
resurfacing be saved if a pseudotumor develops?
[dr raterman] 8:50 pm: Pseudotumors represent a soft
tissue reaction to a metal bearing and whether it is due to a patient
sensitivity or a poorly positioned implant I would recommend changing the
bearing surface at the time of excision of the tumor.
[jim] 8:50 pm: have any procedures been developed yet to
ascertain the health of the femoral head and implant connection under the cap
[dr raterman] 8:52 pm: Several isotope studies have been
developed but errors in interpretation are common and they are not widely
available. So they do not seem to be able to predict fracture and are used on a
limited basis for research purposes.
[Pat Walter] 8:51 pm: Do you feel there are very many
people with real allergic reactions to MOM or that many of the problems are from
poor placement of components?
[dr raterman] 8:53 pm: Statistically, implant malposition
is a much more common cause of soft tissue reactions than true allergy. Allergic
reactions are approximately 1 per thousand.
[abc123] 8:51 pm: Do you have a standard protocal in your
practice for blood work to test for Co/Cr levels at regular intervals? Should I
ask my surgeon or GP to have these taken?
[Pat Walter] 8:51 pm: Should MOM hip resurfacing
patients have blood test to check metal ion levels on a regular basis or only if
there are problems?
[dr raterman] 8:55 pm: Fortunately I have never implanted
a recalled hip. I would only recommend routine ion levels in that instance, as
the ion levels that are considered acceptable have proven to be a moving target.
With no one really having enough confidence to remove an asymptomatic hip in a
patient with slightly elevated ion levels.
[GARYCAG] 8:54 pm: When you state changing the bearing
surface in regards to the pseudotumor – does that mean a total hip replacement?
[dr raterman] 8:56 pm: Yes, I would convert to a total hip
[Pat Walter] 8:55 pm: Have you done any acetabular cup
revisions for another surgeon’s poorly place component to save a hip
[dr raterman] 8:57 pm: Yes, I have revised acetabular
components and preserved the femoral head to maintain a hip resurfacing. I have
not had good success repairing fractured femoral necks or other post-traumatic
[rob] 8:58 pm: I am a 37 year old BHR recipient. Dysplasia
and FAI were causal factors in my arthritis. I fear my son may have the same
issues. Is there any early intervention for people like this… saving them a
BHR or THR in the future?
[dr raterman] 9:00 pm: Yes, there is a strong familial
component to hip dysplasia and a pelvic osteotomy can be performed at an early
age which in European data has been successful in preserving or prolonging the
need for hip resurfacing or replacement. It is not very popular in the US
because of the size and magnitude of the surgery and is best done prior to the
onset of significant symptoms or any arthritic change.
[Pat Walter] 9:00 pm: Dr. Raterman, Thank You for
taking time to answer all our questions. It really helps to hear positive
information about hip resurfacing and the future of hip resurfacing.
[dr raterman] 9:01 pm: My pleasure. Thank you all for your