image of hip resurfacing treatement

Hip Resurfacing

Hip resurfacing is as a surgical alternative developed to use in place of total hip replacement (THR). Hip resurfacing  consists of placing a cap  made of cobalt-chrome metal, which is hollow and shaped like a mushroom, over the head of the femur (thigh bone) while a matching metal cup is placed in the acetabulum (the socket of the hip, into which the head of the femur fits) replacing the movement surfaces of the patient’s hip joint and removing very little bone compared to a Total Hip Replacement. When the patient moves the hip, the movement of the joint induces synovial fluid(a structure like egg white) to flow between the hard metal bearing surfaces lubricating them when the components are placed in the correct position.

The surgeon’s level of experience with hip resurfacing is most important. Therefore, the selection of the right surgeon is crucial for a successful outcome.

Advantages of Hip Resurfacing

  • Hip resurfacing is easier to revise. Because the components (called implants) used in hip replacements and hip resurfacings are mechanical parts, they can and do wear out or loosen over time of 15 to 20 years after the procedure.
  • As hip resurfacing removes less bone from the femur (thighbone)than a traditional hip replacement, surgeons believe it is easier to exchange implants that fail after hip resurfacing.
  • Hip resurfacing decreases the risk of hip dislocation. Because the size of the ball is perfectly equal to the size of the natural ball of your hip. This stance is controversial because several factors can affect the risk of dislocation, such as the surgical approach, and the type and size of the implants used.
  • Some studies have shown that walking patterns are more natural following hip resurfacing compared to traditional hip replacement. These differences in walking are quite subtle.

Disadvantages of hip resurfacing

  • A small percentage of hip resurfacing patients will eventually break (fracture) the thighbone at the femoral neck. If this occurs, it is usually necessary to convert the hip resurfacing into a traditional hip replacement.
  • In hip resurfacing, a metal ball moves within a metal socket. which causes friction between the two surfaces because of which tiny metal molecules called ions are created. These ions cause a reaction called an adverse local tissue reaction, which may cause pain and swelling and may lead to the need for revision surgery. The ions may also enter the bloodstream and have systemic effects. For this reason, hip resurfacing is now performed less frequently than in the past.

Recovery after Hip resurfacing

In most cases, patients go home 1 to 4 days after surgery. You may start putting weight on your leg immediately after surgery, depending on your doctor’s preferences and the strength of your bone. Sometimes you may need a walker, cane, or crutches for the first few days or weeks until you become comfortable enough to walk without assistance. Some pain and discomfort for several weeks after surgery can occur. Your doctor may prescribe pain medicine or may recommend physical therapy which includes some exercise to maintain your range of motion and restore your strength.

You can resume your regular activities of daily living by about 6 weeks after surgery.