You may be surprised to learn that total hip joint replacement surgery (arthroscopy) shows up in medical literature as early as 1891, when a German physician attempted to replace the damaged joint structure with ivory.
We have, of course, made significant strides in successfully replacing problematic hip joints with synthetic materials that restore movement and relieve the debilitating pain damaged joints can cause.
In the 1960s, orthopedic surgeons began to develop a new technique known as hip resurfacing, which has since become a successful alternative to traditional hip replacement for many of our patients. But which hip surgery is best?
W. Joseph Absi, MD, is a well-known expert in joint replacement and leads our team here at Orthopaedics of Atlanta and Aesthetic Institute in Smyrna, Georgia. We’re proud to serve the communities in and around Atlanta with outstanding care.
We combine state-of-the-art technology with Dr. Absi’s stellar surgical skills to deliver the most successful treatments available for a wide variety of orthopedic concerns.
Whenever possible, Dr. Absi prefers to take a less invasive approach to any remedy he offers, and hip resurfacing meets the criteria for many of our patients. Learn more about who might benefit from hip resurfacing and why.
What is hip resurfacing?
During total hip replacement, the goal is to remove and then replace the entire hip joint with a synthetic prosthesis. Once the surgical site has healed, this helps relieve the pain and restores loss of function caused by damage to the joint, most often related to aging and arthritis.
Hip resurfacing involves shaving and capping only a few millimeters of the joint surface. This surgical technique leaves much of your natural bone in place and may offer superior results for certain patients when compared to traditional hip replacement.
What are the benefits of hip resurfacing?
While we don’t recommend it in every case and each individual is unique, the potential benefits of hip resurfacing compared to total hip replacement include:
- Less risk of postoperative complications
- Greater stability of the joint and decreased possibility of dislocation after surgery
- Reduced potential for changes in leg length
- More normal feel during weight-bearing activities
- Durable, long-lasting relief from pain and loss of normal hip function
Hip resurfacing in general offers a more acceptable alternative than total hip replacement for anyone interested in continuing with certain sports and exercise activities.
Total hip replacement, for example, often excludes you from participating in:
- Softball or baseball
- Contact sports
Most patients who have undergone hip resurfacing can return to their previous activities after adequate healing, including running, climbing, and contact sports.
Who is a good candidate for hip resurfacing?
Dr. Absi first completes a thorough evaluation before determining whether hip resurfacing may be a viable alternative for your condition. But generally, hip resurfacing may be a better choice for active, younger patients, those under 60, who have strong bones and are healthy overall.
Men typically do better with hip resurfacing than women, but that can vary according to your activity level and bone density.
Schedule a visit with Dr. Absi today to learn more about hip replacement surgery versus hip resurfacing and which may be best for your circumstances.