As opposed to a hip replacement, where the damaged hip socket and head of the femur are replaced, a resurfacing instead only trims the head of the femur and then places a metal cap over it. The damaged socket portions are removed and replaced just as in a traditional hip replacement. Hip resurfacing is an alternative for some patients with hip arthritis to total hip replacement.
Hip resurfacing has a few advantages over total hip replacement in that they may be easier to revise, decrease the risk of hip dislocation, and result in a more normal walking pattern. However, there is a risk of femoral neck fracture in a small percentage of hip resurfacing patients, which would then necessitate a switch to a total hip replacement. Hip resurfacing is also more invasive than a total hip replacement, and can cause a metal ion allergy from the metal capped femur and the metal shell of the socket rubbing against one another and releasing metal ions into the boyd.
Who is a candidate?
Candidates for hip resurfacing typically suffer from arthritis that has led to the degeneration of the hip joints, reducing patients’ quality of life. Hip resurfacing should be considered as a last resort for improving quality of life and reducing joint pain. It is typically performed in patients under 60 years old, with larger frames that have strong, healthy bones.
Who is not a candidate?
Patients who suffer from an active hip infection, are obese, or have weight-related issues such as diabetes may not be good candidates for hip resurfacing. Chronic hip pain from infection or from obesity-related issues should be addressed before pursuing hip resurfacing. Patients who are older, have smaller frames, and/or have weaker bones should also consider a total hip replacement as well as hip resurfacing.
Like other surgeries, hip resurfacing requires certain general surgery protocol such as preoperative blood testing and the use of prophylactic antibiotic medications. Additionally, patients must stop smoking and using any pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs (blood thinners) one week prior to surgery. You will likely be asked to stop eating or drinking the night before the surgery.
Your home should be modified to be more comfortable and ensure a safe and rapid recovery. It is a good idea to move your bed to the first floor and to get rid of hazards such as loose rugs.
A 3-4 day hospital stay is usually required. You will be prescribed pain medication to manage post-surgery pain. You will need to prepare for the longer-term recovery process at home. It is wise to hire at-home care help or enlist the help of family or friends in the first few weeks after the surgery.
Performing light activity will be essential to the recovery process, but if necessary, a walker or cane should be used. Full hip movement and return to most daily normal activities should be regained after about 6 weeks. Physical therapy will also help you adjust to the resurfacing.
As with any surgery, there are risks of complications related to blood clots, infection, injury to nerves or blood vessels, or adverse reactions to anesthesia. Other known complications specific to hip resurfacing include femoral neck fracture, dislocation, metal ion allergy and requiring revision surgery or conversion to total hip replacement.
Average US cost