Dr. Considine examining patient's shoulder.

Hip resurfacing

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Hip resurfacing is a surgical treatment option appropriate for the healthy, younger and active osteoarthritis patient who wants to get back to a normal lifestyle.

Candidates for the hip resurfacing procedure

  • Patients with osteoarthritis

  • Patients with rheumatoid arthritis

  • Those with good bone quality

  • Younger, more active patients (less than age 60)

Benefits of hip resurfacing

  • Bone conserving: More of your healthy bone is kept intact than with other procedures. The damaged area is simply resurfaced, not fully removed.

  • More natural motion and less chance of dislocation: The surgeon does not remove a large amount of bone, meaning the resurfaced hip is closer to the size and shape of your natural hip and you get a better fit inside your hip socket. This may result in greater stability and the potential for an increased range of motion — so you can return to the activities you enjoy.

Hip resurfacing procedure

In this innovative process, two separate metal pieces are implanted. The end of the thigh bone (femur) is capped with a strong metal covering. The covering fits neatly into a metal cup that sits in the hip socket. The head swivels within the cup, gliding together to replicate the hip joint. The surfaces then rub against each other smoothly for improved mobility. Depending on the condition, a patient may only require that the femur be capped.

Hip resurfacing vs. hip replacement.

Hip resurfacing surgery removes less bone than in a standard hip replacement procedure. In a standard hip replacement, the entire ball of the ball-and-socket hip joint is removed. In a hip resurfacing surgery, instead of removing the ball, a metal cap is placed around where the cartilage has worn off. Should a total hip replacement ever be required in the future, hip resurfacing prepares a patient for a later treatment.

Hip resurfacing cannot treat all conditions of the hip joint. Patients with a hip infection, poor bone quality, multiple cysts, skeletal immaturity or a weak immune system should not undergo the procedure. Also, hip resurfacing is not recommended for women in their child-bearing years, individuals who are extremely overweight or who have impaired kidney function, diabetes, avascular necrosis (dead bone) or for those who have metal allergies.

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