• Surface hip replacement

      Hip resurfacing is an alternative surgical procedure for patients with advanced arthritis of the hip joint. In hip resurfacing surgery a metal “cap” is placed over the arthritic surface of the hip joint. This differs from traditional total hip replacement where a stem is placed in the shaft of the bone. In both procedures, treatment of the acetabular sided arthritis (the “socket”) is largely the same.

      The large metallic cap which is used in hip resurfacing allows for the preservation of more native femoral bone. Also, this large metal cap, when mated with the resurfaced metal on the socket side, allows for increased range of hip motion and decreased risk of dislocation. When hip resurfacing is performed in appropriately selected patients, recovery is often quick and overall function is excellent.

      Lately, concerns regarding potential complications following hip resurfacing have been raised in both the orthopedic literature and popular press. It is important for anyone considering hip resurfacing to be familiar with these issues. One risk in hip resurfacing is the possibility that the patient’s femoral neck may break. Another risk is the possibility that the resurfacing components can generate metal particles which may harm the patient’s surrounding soft tissues.