The hip joint is also known as a "ball and socket joint", where the ball (femoral head) of the thighbone fits into the socket (acetabulum) of the pelvic bone. Damage to the hip bones can be treated by hip resurfacing, a surgical procedure in which the damaged parts of the femoral head are trimmed, and the socket is removed and replaced with metal caps.
Hip resurfacing is an alternative to total hip replacement surgery, where both the ball and socket of the hip joint are completely removed, and replaced with plastic, metal or ceramic prosthetics.
Your surgeon may recommend hip resurfacing surgery if you suffer from severe hip arthritis that affects your quality of life, and the symptoms have not been relieved with conservative treatment options such as medications, injections and physical therapy. In addition, younger, larger-framed patients with strong and healthy bones are more suitable candidates for hip resurfacing surgery. Hip resurfacing surgery is not recommended in patients with known metal hypersensitivities, osteoporosis, diabetes, impaired kidney function and large areas of dead bone (avascular necrosis).
Hip resurfacing surgery is performed under spinal or general anesthesia. Your surgeon makes an incision over your thigh to locate the hip joint. The femoral head is displaced from its socket, trimmed of the damage using special instruments, and fitted with a metal cap. The damaged bone and cartilage lining the socket is removed, and a metal cup is fixed. Finally, the femoral head is repositioned into the socket and the incision is closed.
The advantages of hip resurfacing over total hip replacement include:
The disadvantages of hip resurfacing are:
As with any surgery, complications are rare but can occur. Hip resurfacing patients may have complications including: