THE NEED FOR HIP RESURFACING
Your hip is a ball and socket joint. Both the ball and socket are covered by a protective layer of cartilage which makes the joint smooth and hip movements swift.
Any condition that damages this cartilage leads to pain, dysfunction and eventually arthritis. Injury, infection, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and bone dysplasias are some reasons that can cause damage to this cartilage thereby necessitating a hip resurfacing surgery.
Traditionally, such issues have been addressed by a total hip replacement (THR) which is a surgery to replace the hip joint by a prosthetic implant. A THR removes part of your healthy bone so the implant can be fixed deeply into the femoral bone. Patients also have certain movement restrictions following a THR surgery.
By contrast, resurfacing, which is a less invasive bone-preserving technology, replaces only the worn, diseased and damaged surfaces of the hip joint, and places an all-metal 'ball and socket' implant in the hip joint. Resurfacing allows return to normal and sporting activities post-surgery, reduces the risk of dislocation and makes revision easy (if at all needed).
These reasons make hip resurfacing more favourable over hip replacement in certain specific cases. The anatomy and bio-mechanics after resurfacing mimic a normal hip very closely making it an ideal choice for young or more active patients with non-inflammatory degenerative hip joint disease.
HOW IS A HIP RESURFACING SURGERY PERFORMED?
After separating the femur or thigh bone from the hip socket, your surgeon reshapes the head of the femur. Next, the diseased bone and cartilage are removed from the hip socket.
Then, the implant, which comprises of two parts the metal shell component for the hip socket, and the metal ball component with a short stem for the thigh bone, is placed.
First, the metal shell implant is firmly pressed onto the hip socket. After this the surgeon drills a hole in the femur (so the stem of the femur implant can be fitted into it), fills the metal ball component with bone cement, and fits the ball on top of the thigh bone with its stem into the drilled hole.
Finally, the femur with its new metal head and the hip socket with its new metal shell are put together to form a new resurfaced ball and socket hip joint that looks and functions like a normal hip.