Hip Resurfacing

Introduction

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint and is one of the largest joints in the human body. The purpose of the hip joint is to support the upper body and is used in everyday activities such as standing and walking.

In a healthy hip joint the bones are connected to each other by ligaments which are lubricated allowing movement without friction. The surfaces of the bones are covered in a smooth cartilage allowing them to slide over each other and support the joint.

The hip joint can become damaged and diseased. Hip resurfacing replaces the damaged surfaces of the hip joint with metal implants.

Metal caps are fitted onto the damaged surfaces of the ball and socket joint in your hip. It is important that the bones are still strong and healthy to undergo hip resurfacing.

The new metal caps will help to improve the range of movement of the hip, increase activity and mobilisation and will reduce the risk of dislocation. 

Symptoms

  • Hip/groin pain
  • Difficulty performing everyday activities

It is important to try nonsurgical treatments first.

Nonsurgical Treatments

  • Painkillers
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Physical aids

Surgical Treatments

A hip resurfacing operation usually takes around two hours and is performed under a general anaesthetic or an epidural.

The consultant will cut over the hip and thigh and separate the ball and socket joint. The worn bone and cartilage will be removed and the remaining healthy bone and cartilage will be cleaned and covered with metal surfaces.

The ball is then placed back into the hip socket.

The cut will be closed with stitches and covered in a dressing.

Following the procedure, it is important to rest and a walking aid such as crutches will be needed for the first month or so.

It is then vital to follow the instructions given to you by the hospital regarding the exercise regime to maximise recovery and results.

Physiotherapy will help to restore movement in your hip and build strength and stability. There will be specific exercises relevant to the patient.

You can usually return to work after about six weeks.