Hip Resurfacing

Hip ResurfacingHip resurfacing is an alternative to total hip replacement for younger, active patients. It involves removing the cartilage from the surface of the femoral head and replacing it with a metal cap. Patients, physicians and physical therapists are seeing quicker recoveries, less pain, earlier and more aggressive rehabilitation, and increased range of motion with this technique. 

A recent advancement in resurfacing is the advent of an uncemented technique, in which the new implant is not cemented to the femur (thighbone). Instead, a type of porous ingrowth technology is used. SPH was one of the first hospitals in the Midwest to offer the uncemented resurfacing option in September 2008.

How is hip resurfacing different from total hip replacement? 
With total hip replacement, both the neck and head of the femur (thigh bone) are removed and replaced with a prosthesis. The resurfacing technique, however, spares much of bone by removing only the cartilage from the head of the femur and replacing it with a metal cap. Because the bone is spared, the patient can still be a candidate for a more traditional artificial hip 20 or 30 years in the future if need be.

Who is a candidate for hip resurfacing?  
The resurfacing technique is a good option for younger, active patients in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s who would otherwise be likely to wear out a total hip replacement in their lifetime. Some medical conditions may prevent you from being a candidate for the resurfacing option. For a complete evaluation and to find out more about this procedure, ask your family physician for a referral and schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic surgeons.

How does uncemented resurfacing differ? 
The new implant is not cemented to the femur (thighbone), unlike standard resurfacing. Instead, a type of porous ingrowth technology is used. Uncemented resurfacing is approved by the FDA. It has been used in the United States since 2007 and in Europe for several years.