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Hip resurfacing is a type of hip replacement which only replaces the surface of the hip joint rather than the entire hip. It may be suitable for you instead of a hip replacement if your bones are in good condition. Hip resurfacing will benefit active patients who suffer from hip arthritis but who are younger than the average age of a hip replacement candidate. 

Your surgeon will reshape the femur or “ball” to allow a metal cap to be cemented on top of it and the surface of the acetabulum or “socket” is also replaced with a metal implant. This technique helps to restore the natural shape of the joint. The operation is usually performed under spinal anaesthetic and takes between 90 minutes and two hours. You will need to stay in hospital for around three days.

If you have been recommended for hip resurfacing, you will have been experiencing increasing pain in your hip that hasn’t been helped by painkillers and has been restricting movement and activity. Once you have recovered from surgery, you should be pain-free and able to resume normal activity and movement. Hip resurfacing is a more conservative procedure than a total hip replacement, and the benefits of the procedure should last at least ten years. Revision surgery which may be necessary after 10 years but is a slightly smaller procedure than redoing a conventional hip replacement.

After your operation, you’re likely to feel pain around the hip for a few weeks. We will aim to get you weight-bearing on day one and you will be helped by a physiotherapist to get out of bed and walk. Once you can walk up and down stairs, you will be discharged and seen again in six weeks. By this time you should be walking comfortably, and most patients will return to work between six and eight weeks after the operation. We’ll provide you with an exercise programme you can follow at home and any information you need.

As with all surgical procedures, there can be some risks.

At the McIndoe Centre, we do everything we can to minimise risk of complications. Your surgeon will talk to you about any possible specific complications before you decide to have your operation.

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