Hip Resurfacing

Hip resurfacing is similar to a hip replacement, with minor differences in the procedure and what it entails. Hip resurfacing may decrease the risk of certain complications and is recommended for younger adults with healthy bones. This procedure will make it easier for any possible future revision surgeries you may need. In addition, it may be recommended if a patient has damage to their hip joint or a medical condition such as osteoarthritis affecting the hip area.

What is Hip Resurfacing?

In the hip joint, the rounded head of the thighbone (the femoral head) moves smoothly inside the round socket of the hip bone. Normally, the socket is lined with cartilage, which helps the bones move smoothly. However, when there is damage to this joint, moving the femoral head may cause pain as the bones scrape together abnormally.

Hip resurfacing is a type of hip replacement surgery. In traditional hip replacement surgery, the surgeon removes the femoral head entirely instead of capping it with a metal covering. They also replace the socket of the hip bone, just like in hip resurfacing surgery.

The benefits associated with hip resurfacing consist of:

  • Decreased risk of hip dislocation
  • Regular and stable walking pattern
  • Hip resurfacings may be easier to revise
  • Minimal bone removal
  • Shorter recovery time

Symptoms That May Indicate Hip Resurfacing is Needed

The signs and symptoms someone may be experiencing vary depending on the injury to the hip. They may include:

  • Pain persists or recurs over time
  • Hip aches during and after exercise
  • Reduced mobility
  • Stiffening in hips from sitting for long periods
  • Pain in rainy weather
  • Difficulty walking or climbing stairs and/or getting in and out of chairs or bathtubs
  • Experiencing morning stiffness typically lasting 30 minutes
  • A sensation of grating in your joint
  • Previous injury to hip

Hip Resurfacing Procedure Explained

Hip resurfacing is performed under general anaesthetic. The femoral head (top of the thigh bone) is trimmed and capped with a metal or ceramic covering. The socked’s degraded and damaged cartilage surface is then removed before a metal socked is put in place. A spacer is inserted between the ball and socket to allow smooth and comfortable movement. Physiotherapy will be required following surgery, and you may have to stay overnight.

What Are The Risks of Hip Resurfacing?

As in the case of any other surgical procedure, there are some risks when it comes to hip resurfacing. These include:

  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Fracture
  • Dislocation
  • Change in leg length
  • Loosening of the joint
  • Nerve damage

How Much Does Hip Resurfacing Cost?

  1. Performed privately in the UK, hip resurfacing surgery costs between £7,000 – £11,000. 
  2. This treatment is available on the NHS for those who meet the criteria, however there is a waiting list of more than 15 weeks.
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