An Alternative to Hip Replacement
Active patients suffering from hip pain due to degenerative hip disease
and abnormalities such as osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, dysplasia
or avascular necrosis, may benefit from hip resurfacing. Unlike total
hip replacement, this procedure resurfaces just a few centimeters of the
bone, preserving the original joint, enabling individuals to return to
high-demand occupations and recreational activities.
Hip Resurfacing vs. Hip Replacement
During traditional hip replacement surgery, both the head and neck of the
femur (thighbone) are removed and replaced with metal or plastic implants.
In hip resurfacing, the head of the femur is resurfaced with a metal hip
"joint" and the rest of the thighbone is left intact.
Some implants used in traditional hip replacement surgery are smaller than
the bone which they replace. Hip resurfacing was conceived as a way to
more closely match the size of the head of the femur bone while potentially
increasing stability and decreasing opportunity for dislocation, one of
the most common complications of total hip replacement.
Benefits of Hip Resurfacing
All forms of hip replacement allow improved mobility; however, hip resurfacing
more closely mimics the normal hip. After a total hip replacement, it
is difficult to return to activities such as golf or tennis and only light
activity is recommended. In comparison, after hip resurfacing, patients
can often return to high levels of activity without complications.
Potential advantages of hip resurfacing:
- Bone preservation (less bone removal)
- Increased stability
- Decreased risk of hip dislocation
- OW wear rate with expected long implant lifetime
- Few, if any, physical limitations on patients following surgery
- Less bone loss over time (stress shielding)
- Faster recovery
Hip resurfacing has certain advantages and disadvantages and is not for
everyone. It is intended for active patients who are under 60 years of
age and in need of a hip replacement. Adults over 60 who are living an
active lifestyle may also be considered for this procedure, which is determined
by a review of bone quality. Patients with osteoporosis, limb shortening
more than one-half inch, severe hip deformity and prior hip surgery are
not good candidates for hip resurfacing.