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  • Writer's pictureDr. Troy Miles

Do I Need Hip Resurfacing?

For qualified patients, hip resurfacing can be an excellent option for restoring function to a hip joint that has been compromised by localized arthritis or inflammation. This bone-preserving procedure is often viewed as an alternative to total hip replacement. It involves having a surgeon reline the hip joint and capping it with a rounded implant to restore integrity to the femoral head.

Unfortunately, hip resurfacing isn’t for everyone. The ideal candidate for hip resurfacing is someone whose hip has been compromised by localized arthritis, inflammation, prior injuries, or just general wear and tear. Patients who undergo hip resurfacing tend to be younger than those undergoing total hip replacement—most are under 60 years old—and they need to have healthy bones in order for the procedure to be as successful as possible. However, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to qualifying candidates for hip resurfacing or hip replacement surgery. Lifestyle factors and general health tend to be more accurate predictors of successful outcomes than age alone.

The main advantage of hip resurfacing, for suitable candidates, has to do with preservation of the upper thigh bone and femoral canal. This hip preservation technique allows for revision in the future, if necessary. Hip resurfacing also carries a reduced risk of dislocation when compared to total hip replacement.

Most disadvantages of hip resurfacing have to with the size of the incision, which is larger for a hip resurfacing than for a total hip replacement. Although it is rare, some patients may experience pain or hypersensitivity following hip replacement. Blood clots, infection, and injury to the blood vessels are all potential complications, as well.

It’s because of these disadvantages that I recommend patients think long and hard while deciding between hip resurfacing and total hip replacement surgery. Coming in for a consultation appointment will give you the opportunity to ask questions and have an individual assessment of your condition. Based on this assessment, I will be able to make a recommendation as to the best course of treatment and discuss the pros and cons of all the options available.

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