Total Hip Resurfacing

Total Hip Resurfacing Candidates

Total hip resurfacing is an alternative to total hip replacement for some patients who are experiencing constant pain in the hip due to arthritis or other hip conditions. Hip resurfacing leaves much more bone to support a later procedure, compared with a total replacement. This is especially important for younger, more active people, because a total hip replacement can be performed later when there is a greater chance it will last most or all of their lifetime. This surgery requires the patient's bones to be in generally good condition.

Understanding the Total Hip Resurfacing Procedure

During total hip resurfacing surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will implant a metal socket in your hip, much the same as in a total hip replacement. The difference comes in the treatment to the top of your femur, or thigh bone. Rather than removing the head of the femur and implanting a stem into the bone, the surgeon will trim and round the existing damaged ball and cover it with a metal cap anchored to the bone. The additional bone left on the femur will make it much easier to successfully implant an artificial ball if a total hip replacement is needed later. Total hip resurfacing takes slightly longer than a total hip replacement and involves an incision that is larger than that used for total hip replacement.

Total Hip Resurfacing Recovery

Recovery time from total hip resurfacing is typically very similar to that for a hip replacement. Most people can begin physical therapy the day after surgery and start walking with a walker, crutches, or a cane. You will probably need to continue physical therapy for several days to several weeks after your surgery. Most patients experience a significant reduction in pain and an increase in the range of motion of their hip equal to or better than for a hip replacement. There are some important differences between total hip replacement surgery and hip resurfacing that your doctor will explain to you if you are a candidate for this procedure.

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