You are here: Home Patient Education Hip Hip Resurfacing


Hip Resurfacing

Hip Resurfacing is a surgical procedure that is suitable for 10 - 15% of patients with osteoarthritis of the hip.  Strong healthy bone is a requirement for long term success with this technique.  This procedure differs from total hip replacement in that the femoral head is retained.  The femur needs to be retracted so that the acetabulum or socket can be clearly seen.  The socket bone is reamed, as in total hip replacement, but the surface is replaced with a component of cobalt chrome, with a porous surface against the bone.  Bone ongrowth occurs readily.  The femoral head is then approached, and the surface is reamed away, to expose the underlying healthy bone.  A new polished cobalt chrome surface is placed onto the prepared femoral head, and held with acrylic cement.  This technique has been proven reliable, with excellent results in the appropriate patients.  Since the femoral head needs to be held away as the socket is prepared, the surgical incision, and muscle dissection is typically much longer than that used for total hip replacement.  The initial recovery process varies among patients, and can be longer than that for total hip replacement. 

The benefits of Hip Resurfacing include the fact that less bone is removed, which may allow for an easier revision surgery in young patients who are likely to require one.  The use of a larger head diameter may also improve the resistance to dislocation compared to smaller total hip replacement head diameters.  The range of motion with hip resurfacing has been shown to be the same, or perhaps a bit less that total hip replacement.

The typical hip resurfacing patient is male and under 50 years of age, with an active lifestyle.  Peri-menopausal women may have disltinctly lower bone density, and as such are less well suited for hip resurfacing.  There are 2 complications which are specific for hip resurfacing.  The first is femoral neck fracture, which has been noted in 1% of men, and 4 to 5% of women.  In this case, the patient would be converted to standard total hip replacement.  The second risk is allergic response to the metal wear particles, which can occur 1% of patients, most commonly, but not exclusively women.  In that case a complete revision of bothe components would be requred.

Well controlled studies have found that patients with hip resurfacing generally maintain a higher activity level than those with total hip replacement.

Hip Resurfacing VIDEO MEDIA

Get Adobe Flash player