Replacement vs. Hip Resurfacing
The hip is responsible for carrying the bulk of the body’s weight, and due to the routine use the joint receives, the components of hip can become damaged over time. As patients age, everyday use wears on the hip’s bones and cartilage, and often results in significant pain during movement or natural flexion. Commonly affecting the hip joint, this natural degeneration of the bones and cartilage is called osteoarthritis, a painful condition that limits mobility, causes stiffness in the joint, and inhibits everyday life.
If surgical intervention is required to treat hip osteoarthritis, patients often have two solutions: hip resurfacing and hip replacement. Hip resurfacing and hip replacement both involve removing the damaged hip joint and replacing it with a prosthetic; however, hip resurfacing preserves more bone, and is often considered to be a better solution than hip replacement.
Hip Resurfacing Expert in Minnesota
Hip resurfacing is generally a more difficult procedure to perform; thus, it is important to choose an orthopedic surgeon you trust. Dr. Jay Kruse, a minimally invasive surgical expert in the Twin Cities area, specializes in hip resurfacing, and has performed countless operations with great success.
Anatomy of the Hip
The hip is a ball-and-socket joint used during a number of routine activities, including walking, picking up a newspaper, or getting up from a chair. The hip joint is comprised of the femur, or thighbone, and the acetabulum, a cavity located within the pelvis. The round head of the femur fits snugly within the acetabulum, and allows the leg to rotate with a wide range of motion. Cartilage rests between the femoral head and the acetabulum, and prevents friction from wearing down the bones. Damage to any of the hip joint components causes significant pain, discomfort, and dysfunction.
Total Hip Replacement
Hip replacement is a solution for patients with severe osteoarthritis who have already attempted conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, steroid injections, weight loss, or activity modification. Hip replacement alleviates pain by removing the affected bones and cartilage and replacing it with a prosthetic implant that imitates the function of the joint.
Hip resurfacing is a less invasive approach to hip replacement, and involves removing only the affected portions of the hip joint. More bone is preserved during a hip resurfacing procedure, affording for a more natural feeling joint. Orthopedic surgeons performing the procedure will reshape the damaged femoral head and cap it with a prosthetic component. Additionally, the acetabulum is scraped clean of any damaged bone and fit with a metal prosthesis.
Benefits of Hip Resurfacing
Hip resurfacing provides a number of potential benefits to patients, including a lowered risk of dislocation, preservation of natural bone, as well as easier revision surgery process for any procedures to correct the implant later in life. For these reasons, hip resurfacing can be a favorable solution to severe arthritis in younger patients. To determine whether you are a candidate for hip resurfacing, it is best to speak to an orthopedic doctor who can properly advise you.