Benefits on Hip Resurfacing by Dr. Vijay Bose

October 2005
Hip resurfacing is a technique invented specifically for younger patients with hip problems. Conventional Total hip replacement, while being a good option for an elderly person (above 70yrs) is a poor choice for young patients as it will fail rapidly. The hip resurfacing operation is an alternative to hip replacement and has 3 crucial advantages. The first is that no plastic (polyethylene) is used like in conventional hip replacement. Since a anatomical sized 'metal on metal' bearing is used it lasts for a very long time, manifold that of conventional hip replacement and is extremely popular in Europe, Australia and some parts of Asia. The anatomy and bio-mechanics after resurfacing mimic a normal hip very closely.

The second advantage is post operatively patients are encouraged to be very active and must play some sport, do swimming etc. No activity is restricted including sitting on the floor, crossing legs etc. In short, it behaves like a normal hip, enabling patients to return to their normal lifestyle. In contrast after a hip replacement one has to behave like an elderly person (for whom this has been designed) to be safe from dislocation and to prolong the life of a prosthesis. There are of course other advantages in Resurfacing like preservation of bone stock ( as no bone is removed in this operation unlike hip replacement where the head and neck of the thigh bone is completely removed.) Further it has been proven that bone stock actually increases after hip resurfacing due to the restoration of normal biomechanics in the hip and proximal femur.

The 3rd advantage is that the polyethylene 'wear particles' does not damage the surrounding bone like in conventional hip replacement and the quality of bone actually improves with time after hip resurfacing. This makes a revision solution (if at all needed) very straight forward surgery, unlike the very complicated revision scenario in a conventional THR.

The patient is usually made to walk full weight bearing the day after the operation and is usually discharged from the hospital at about 5-6 days from the operation. They can resume any work at 3 
weeks from operation and sport is started 6 weeks from operation."