Petition Closed

Reversal of decision to withdraw Birmingham Hip Resurfacing implants for women

This petition had 1,374 supporters

On June 4th 2015, without any consultation or prior notice, Smith & Nephew PLC removed all small size Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) implants used for women, releasing a statement announcing "the voluntary removal from the market of 46mm diameter and smaller femoral heads and corresponding acetabular cup components for the BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing (BHR) System".

The decision was so unexpected that patients already booked in for their operations had to be turned away when they arrived at hospital for admission.

Smith & Nephew’s action will affect the quality of life of thousands of women who could have benefited from a BHR performed by an experienced surgeon. Hundreds if not thousands of active women now face the choice between years of pain or having a less bone-conserving Total Hip Replacement that can be restrictive in areas where a BHR would not and potentially requires at least one if not more revisions in the future - a difficult surgical procedure with varying degrees of success.

Smith & Nephew’s decision was based on data from the National Joint Register (NJR) whose results reflect the total results from experienced surgeons, inexperienced surgeons and trainee surgeons. The latter two groups have significantly lowered the average results, enabling Smith & Nephew to use this as a representation for all small size BHRs.

Whilst we wholeheartedly share Smith & Nephew’s focus on patient welfare and the need to maintain a quality reputation, we see the way to achieve this is not to withdraw the smaller cup sizes but to only supply them to experienced surgeons with successful results.

The decision to 'voluntarily remove' the smaller sized BHRs from our hospitals was made without consulting any experienced and higher-use surgeons, ignoring the results of experienced surgeons such as Mr Derek McMinn MD FRCS' 15 year results that show the results for women with osteoarthritis (OA) are as good as the results of men with OA. Full details about the discrepancy between the NJR results and The McMinn Centre results are explained by Mr McMinn in the following lecture:

The McMinn Centre has been overwhelmed by contact from concerned male and female patients who are devastated by Smith & Nephew’s decision and its implications. Many of our female patients have stated that after successful BHR surgery with Mr McMinn, they were planning to have the same operation on their other hip when it became necessary. Now this is not possible due to Smith & Nephew's life-changing decision.

We propose to Smith & Nephew to re-consider their decision to remove smaller sized BHRs and instead, restrict the usage to experienced surgeons with successful results.

Your signature on this petition will endorse our proposal to Smith & Nephew and show your support for the many women who are being denied the benefits of the BHR. There are thousands of women whose total quality of life and activity levels can be restored with a Hip Resurfacing when carried out by an experienced surgeon.

Thank you for your support.
Derek McMinn MD FRCS
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon


Today: Patricia is counting on you

Patricia Walter needs your help with “Smith & Nephew PLC: Reversal of decision to withdraw Birmingham Hip Resurfacing implants for women”. Join Patricia and 1,373 supporters today.