Hip Resurfacing

What are the potential advantages of a hip resurfacing compared to a conventional hip replacement?

In my opinion, the biggest advantage of a hip resurfacing is a greater ability to return to activities that include running. While most studies suggest that pain relief is equivalent between a conventional hip replacement and a hip resurfacing, there are some other potential advantages to a hip resurfacing include a lower risk of dislocation, a lower risk of pain in the thigh and a lower risk of feeling like your lengths are different after surgery.

Journal Article: Do young, active patients perceive advantages after surface replacement compared to cementless total hip arthroplasty?

What are the negatives of a hip resurfacing?

Depending on your perspective there may be several. First, the most common complication of a hip resurfacing is a fracture of the femoral neck. The risk factors for this complication include female sex, older age and smaller patient size.

Hip resurfacing also requires a larger skin incision (as it is more difficult to perform), however in general, hip resurfacing patients seem to have just as fast of a recovery as patients who have a conventional total hip replacement.

The biggest risk, however, of a hip resurfacing may be the need for a metal on metal bearing. This is a complex discussion that needs to be undertaken directly with Dr. Della Valle if you are interested in this procedure.

Basic Hip Anatomy

Basic Hip Anatomy

Who are the best candidates for hip resurfacing?

Men under the age of 55 years old with osteoarthritis are in general the best candidates for hip resurfacing. Further, the larger the patient, the lower the risk of complications. These are complex decisions however, and require a full discussion with Dr. Della Valle to determine if hip resurfacing is an option for you.

What are my restrictions after surgery?

We ask patients to use a cane for the first six weeks after surgery. At six weeks, stretching exercises are encouraged to improve range of motion and flexibility. Light running is allowed at six months (at this point your bones should be strong enough to tolerate it) and unlimited activity is allowed at one year.

Can I return to work after surgery?

Yes, most patients can return to work after surgery but it depends on how strenuous your job is.

Journal Article: Do patients return to work after hip arthroplasty surgery »

When can I return to work after surgery?

For some desk jobs, patients may be able to return to work, on a part time basis, as quickly as a week to 10 days after surgery. For most desk jobs, patients can go back to work at 3-4 weeks after surgery. In all cases, patients should be able to return to work by three months.

What about return to sex after surgery?

Research that included our patients showed that patients have sex more frequently and of better quality after hip replacement surgery.

In general, you should avoid extreme positions for the first 6 weeks after surgery and it is safest for you as the patient to be on the bottom during this time period.

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