What is Hip Resurfacing?
Hip resurfacing is a procedure that creates artificial replacements for worn surfaces of the hip joint, but preserves more of the natural bone than a traditional hip replacement procedure.
In hip resurfacing, the femoral neck (top of the thigh bone) is left intact and the femoral head (ball joint) is resurfaced rather than entirely replaced. Then a cap is placed on the femoral head and another on the acetabular surface, creating a new, smoother joint surface.
The latest hip resurfacing method is called the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing. This method has been used worldwide since 1997, and was approved for use in the United States in 2006.
Should You Have Hip Resurfacing?
Hip resurfacing is usually recommended for younger patients who will be living longer with an artificial joint. Since resurfacing only replaces part of the joint and leaves more thigh bone intact, a later revision surgery, usually a total hip replacement, will be easier to perform.
Candidates for a hip resurfacing must have strong bones around the hip joint. Patients with severe arthritis, osteoporosis or cysts within the bone are not candidates for hip resurfacing. Also, studies have shown a higher rate of complications after hip resurfacing for women and people who are overweight.
In addition, most patients over age 60 will do best with a total hip replacement, since they will have less need for a revision surgery after their original operation. Talk with your orthopedic surgeon to determine if hip resurfacing is the right option for you.
Choosing an Orthopedic Surgeon
Recovering from Hip Resurfacing
Recovering from hip resurfacing is similar to recovery from hip replacement surgery. Precautions include no flexing of the hip joint over 90 degrees; no crossing of the legs and no turning in or out of the hip joint.
Recovery from hip replacement surgery.
During the first year after resurfacing surgery, all impact activities and heavy lifting must be avoided, since this is the timeframe when the bone holding the implant is most susceptible to fracture. Therefore, current recommendations are to avoid running, jumping, and lifting for the first 12 months after surgery.
Your physical therapist in the hospital and at home will show you how to move safely and efficiently while recovering from a resurfacing operation. Hip exercises after surgery
After consulting with your surgeon, you may be able to return to previous activities and even more vigorous athletic activities, such as skiing, cycling, kickboxing and weight lifting.