Hip Resurfacing

Hip Resurfacing in Kansas City, MO

Patients with advanced hip arthritis may be good candidates for a traditional total hip replacement or hip resurfacing. Each of these is a type of hip replacement, but they are not the same in significant ways. 

In a traditional total hip replacement, the head of the thighbone, the femoral head, and the damaged socket, known as the acetabulum, are removed and replaced with metal, plastic, or ceramic parts.

In hip resurfacing, the femoral head is not taken off. Instead, it is cut down and capped with a smooth piece of metal. Like a traditional total hip replacement, the damaged bone and cartilage in the socket are removed and replaced with a metal shell.

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The Benefits of Hip Resurfacing

The benefits of hip resurfacing include the following:

  • Easier to revise – Because the parts used in hip resurfacings, known as implants, are mechanical, they can wear out or become loose over time. This usually happens between 15 and 20 years after the surgery, but implants can last longer or shorter. Hip resurfacing requires less bone removal from the femur, making it easier to “fix” or revise than a total hip replacement.
  • Decreased risk of dislocation – In hip resurfacing, the size of the ball is more significant than in a traditional hip replacement, and it is closer to the size of the natural ball of your hip. This means it may be harder to dislocate.
  • Improved mobility – After healing, most people who have hip resurfacing can run, jump, and do all other activities. People with replacements should stick to low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, and golfing. Activities with a lot of impact can loosen the artificial joints, which can cause problems in the future.
  • More equal leg lengths – Hip replacement surgery can sometimes leave the treated leg a little bit shorter or a little bit longer. With hip resurfacing, this problem is less likely to happen because your surgeon takes out less bone to perform the procedure.
  • Normal walking pattern – Compared to traditional hip replacement, hip resurfacing makes walking easier with a normal gait. But these differences in how people walk are very small, and special tools are needed to measure them.

Who is a Good Candidate for Hip Resurfacing?

Pain from osteoarthritis in the hip can be eased with hip resurfacing. Most hip pain is in the groin, but it can also be in the buttock or on the side of the hip. If your hip pain doesn’t improve with non-surgical treatments, your doctor may suggest surgery.

Not everyone needs hip resurfacing, and the procedure shouldn’t be done on people over 65. Hip replacement is a better option for the elderly. Unfortunately, this age group is more likely to have weaker bones or osteoporosis, making hip resurfacing and hip replacement more difficult.

Hip resurfacing is not suitable for all patients as hip replacement. Most of the time, hip resurfacing is best for people who:

  • Are younger, under the age of 65
  • Have a larger frame, which is often, but not always, male
  • Have strong, healthy bones

Patients who are older, female, smaller in size, and have weaker or damaged bones are more likely to have post-op complications and risks, such as a broken femoral neck.

Hip Resurfacing Procedure

Most of the time, hip resurfacing is done with spinal anesthesia and sedation. After that, you are asleep and breathing on your own. The whole process takes less than two hours.

During resurfacing of the hip, your surgeon:

  1. Makes an incision in the thigh so that the hip joint can be reached
  2. Cuts away broken bone and cartilage from the head of the thighbone, known as the ball
  3. A smooth metal cap is attached to the ball with surgical cement
  4. Bone and cartilage that are damaged are taken out of the hip socket
  5. A metal shell is pushed into the hip socket. The back of the socket is rough and connects to the bone of the pelvis
  6. Puts the ball of the femur into the hip socket
  7. Uses stitches to close the incision

What to Expect After Hip Resurfacing

You’ll be in the hospital for a day or two. When your surgeon gives you the okay, you can start putting weight on the leg. You should use crutches, a walker, or a cane for a few weeks until you feel comfortable getting around.

Pain can be relieved with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and physical therapy can help you regain strength and mobility. After about six weeks, you should be able to return to your everyday life, and after about a  year, you should be able to go back to doing anything you want, including sports.

Is Hip Resurfacing Effective?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved hip resurfacing in 2006, and it works just as well as hip replacement to relieve hip pain and make it easier to move around. In addition, hip resurfacing is an option for younger, more active people, especially men with hip pain from arthritis.

Hip Resurfacing Recovery

Most people go home between 1 and 4 days after surgery. However, depending on what your doctor wants and how strong your bone is, you may be able to put weight on your leg right away after surgery.

You may need a walker, cane, or crutches for the first few days or weeks until you feel confident enough to walk without help. You may also feel pain and discomfort for a few weeks after surgery, and if you need it, your doctor may give you pain medication to help.

After surgery, your doctor may have you begin physical therapy, where your physical therapist will give you exercises to help you keep your strength and range of motion. You will return to your orthopedic surgeon’s office for follow-up visits when needed.

You will likely be back to doing what you usually do in about 6 weeks after surgery.Are you struggling with hip pain? Check out our locations here to see which will best fit your needs, and give us a call at (816)296-6843 or book an appointment online.

Orthopedic Hip Doctors

If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, please contact Orthopedic Health of Kansas City and make an appointment with one of our Kansas City hip specialists. They will perform a complete examination, diagnosing and ultimately treating any problem. From simple physical therapy to complicated surgery, you’re in good hands with Orthopedic Health of Kansas City and we will do what it takes to get you active again.