Hip resurfacing could become a great alternative to a full hip replacement surgery for younger patients with persistent hip pains. Hip resurfacing allows for more bone tissue to be saved for cases when a full hip replacement procedure might be necessary later in life. Hip resurfacing allows younger patients to start enjoying active lifestyles again and finally stop taking potentially harmful painkillers.
A lot of competitive athletes involved in high impact sports experience recurring hip injuries during falls or collisions causing damage to the hip cartilage, also called labrum tears. Torn hip labrum surgeries are recommended to clean up the cartilage debris to relieve significant pain and discomfort. In cases with repeat labrum tears, the damage to the cartilage is so significant that your doctor might feel that a torn labrum surgery might not address the problem and recommend you have a hip resurfacing surgery done.
The hip resurfacing procedure preserves more hip bone tissue as it is simply reshaped and fitted with a metal prosthesis. Hip resurfacing is performed only by experienced orthopedic surgeons as it requires a lot of surgical skills and knowledge of the process.
There’s a group of patients that will not benefit from the hip resurfacing procedure due to major underlying health conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, osteoporosis and known allergies to metals.
Hip replacement surgery and recovery stages are very similar to hip resurfacing phases. All heavy weight lifting and high-impact sports and activities should be avoided for at least 6 months following the surgery, so hip bone tissues have enough time to fuse with the new implant to form a strong bond. Due to hip resurfacing surgery methods using larger metal balls, the risk of hip dislocation is much smaller compared to traditional full hip replacement practices.
According to medical studies the average life expectancy of a hip resurfaced joint is about 10 years, which might require younger patients to have a revision hip resurfacing or full hip replacement surgeries performed after the prosthesis wears out. However, since the current generation of hip resurfacing is fairly new, there are only a few studies that go out 15 years or more. One study from an earlier generation, in a small group that used the then uncommon metal-on-metal prosthesis, showed 100% survivorship at 30 years. Most top resurfacing surgeons expect the vast majority of their current cases to last a lifetime.