What Is Hip Resurfacing?
Hip resurfacing is a bone-preserving alternative to total hip replacement. Instead of removing the ball (femoral head) of the thigh bone (femur), the surgeon sculpts the femoral head to accommodate a metal cap. The damaged bone and cartilage of the socket are also cleaned away and replaced with a metal socket. The most common implant used is called the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) System and often the term “Birmingham Hip” is used to describe the procedure. See an animation of how it’s done.
Is Hip Resurfacing Better Than Hip Replacement?
In addition to being bone preserving, hip resurfacing offers a variety of advantages over total hip replacement for the right patient, including:
- Providing optimal stability of the hip joint
- Reducing the risk of dislocation
- Preserving bone in case a future hip replacement is needed
- Allowing for a greater range of activities than what is anticipated after a total hip replacement
Hip resurfacing in its current form has been available for over 20 years. It is offered by only a few surgeons as not all surgeons are trained on the technique. Not all surgeons are trained on the technique and some surgeons prefer to only offer total hip replacements. The excellent results of hip resurfacing have been extensively published.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Hip Resurfacing Surgery?
Recovery varies between patients, but most are ready to return to most regular activities within 2 to 4 months. You will be encouraged to put weight on your leg immediately after surgery but will need to walk with crutches or a cane for 6 weeks. Patients typically need help with self care, daily activities, meals, and driving for 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.