Osteoarthritis of the hip joint can lead to severe pain and interfere with the quality of life for sufferers. Thanks to advancements in medicine over the past 20 years the afflicted can now have hip replacement surgery with an excellent outcome.
Arthroplasty of the hip, or hip resurfacing arthroplasty is accomplished by removing a considerably less amount of bone than a regular hip replacement during surgery. By resurfacing the hip and removing less bone the procedure becomes the better option for the younger candidate or patient who is suffering from osteoarthritis or other damage to the hip joint. This type of hip replacement will reduce the need for a secondary replacement as the years progress or will allow the patient to undergo another replacement if the joint wears out because more bone was left during the first procedure.
When a person suffers from arthritis the bones in this area rub together causing pain. A hip resurfacing is achieved by putting in an artificial implant and removing the arthritic joint. The joint is now able to move as it did before, but without the pain. The arthritis sufferer can now move as they were earlier accustomed and resume an active lifestyle.
By taking out less bone when the artificial hip is inserted replacement can now be done again without the worry of the age of the patient. When an artificial hip’s pieces loosen parts of the bone is lost through wear and tear.
The decision whether or not to have a total hip replacement or a hip resurfacing surgery is best made by the patient and the physician together. The pros and cons of each surgery should be gone over for the best educated decision. Certainly, age does play a factor in this decision and the younger patient is obviously a better candidate for a hip resurfacing than a total hip replacement. When a painful, arthritic hip troubles a younger patient it is assumed that this surgery might possibly have to be done again some time in the future.
A total hip replacement or a hip resurfacing surgery has the complications of any other common surgery done under general anesthesia, such as thrombophlebitis, infection, and/or complications with the chemicals and medications used in the anesthesia. Important decisions must be made not only prior to surgery, but afterwards as well.
After two to four days in the hospital the patient is generally allowed to return to home. However, they must be able to move safely about on their own with the use of crutches or a walker. Follow up care will include staple removal, routine check-ups and physical therapy. The addition of aqua therapy may also be implemented to help build muscle around the joint without weight bearing on the new joint. This physical therapy will also help to build up the patient’s strength and endurance levels.
Pain may still occur after hip resurfacing surgery. If the pain is severe your physician must be consulted to rule out any complications from the surgery.
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons: Hip Resurfacing
MayoClinic: Hip Resurfacing
Smith & Nephew: Birmingham Hip
University of Wisconsin Madison: Hip resurfacing