What Is Total Hip Resurfacing?
Total hip resurfacing is a common orthopaedic procedure that can help those suffering from different varieties of hip arthritis. This article will help you understand who this procedure can best help and what it involves.
What does total hip resurfacing involve?
Total hip resurfacing is a surgical procedure used to treat a damaged hip joint. A healthy hip is composed of a ball and socket joint. The head of the femur (thigh) bone forms the ball of the joint which sits in the socket of the pelvis bone to create the hip. A layer of articular cartilage surrounds and protects the joint, allowing it to glide smoothly during movement.
In a diseased hip joint, that cartilage begins to wear away, leaving the femur bone and the pelvis to rub painfully together. This friction can lead to pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving the affected hip. Bone spurs, or osteophytes, can even develop where the bones rub together.
To treat the hip joint, an orthopaedic surgeon may recommend total hip resurfacing. In this procedure, the surgeon will remove the damaged portion of the socket in the pelvis and will replace it with a metal shell that will now form the socket of the hip joint. The head of the femur is not removed as it would be in a traditional hip replacement. Instead, the femoral head is trimmed to remove any damaged areas or bone spurs and then topped with a metal cap that fits smoothly into the new socket.
This procedure is an alternative to a traditional hip replacement and involves less removal of normal bone structure, meaning more original bone is preserved.
What conditions can total hip resurfacing treat?
The best candidates for total hip resurfacing are those who are suffering from particularly damaging arthritis and who have already tried a variety of nonsurgical treatments. The conditions that most often lead to total hip resurfacing include
- Osteoarthritis: gradual wear-and-tear from age or intense physical activity
- Rheumatoid arthritis: an autoimmune condition that attacks healthy joints
- Traumatic arthritis: a hip fracture or injury that ends up damaging local cartilage
- Avascular necrosis: destruction of bone tissue from an interrupted blood supply
- Hip dysplasia: the hip becomes easily dislocated because the joint socket doesn’t fully cover the ball
Older adults may benefit more from a traditional hip replacement surgery as they tend to have weaker bones, which can complicate a total hip resurfacing procedure and make it riskier for them. Typically, younger, physically active males suffering from hip arthritis are the ideal population for total hip resurfacing.
Your orthopaedic specialist or surgeon will evaluate your specific case and determine the best course of treatment for you.
Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System
The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System (BHR) is one of the original hip resurfacing procedures and remains one of the most effective and commonly used options for orthopaedic patients seeking resurfacing. BHR has a number of advantages for those who suffer from hip arthritis, including
- Reduced loss of original bone structure
- Long-lasting resurfacing device that minimizes need for revision
- If necessary, revision tends to be simpler and less risky
For some who suffer from hip arthritis, BHR is a remarkably effective procedure and comes with a high patient satisfaction rate.
What does recovery from total hip resurfacing look like?
Recovery from total hip resurfacing varies from person to person. To manage pain following the surgery, your doctor may prescribe pain medication or instruct you to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. You may also benefit from a physical therapy routine that helps stretch and strengthen the affected hip, which can aid and speed up your recovery.
While you will likely start putting weight on the affected leg shortly after the procedure to begin restoring your mobility, total recovery time to resume normal activities can take around 6 weeks.
Total hip resurfacing at Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants
At Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants, we know how frustrating it can be to deal with persistent arthritis without relief from other treatment options. Our team of orthopaedic specialists and surgeons are committed to offering innovative treatments and compassionate care so that you can get back to doing your favorite things.
Only a doctor can tell you if you have this ailment. This is for informational purposes and should not be used in lieu of a doctor’s opinion.