While traditional total hip replacement removes the worn-out femoral head, an alternative method of addressing an arthritic hip joint, known as hip resurfacing, exists. This is done by replacing only the surfaces of the ball and cup that rub against one another, while retaining the underlying remaining femoral bone. This has several theoretical advantages, including:
However, when compared to total hip replacement surgery, there are many drawbacks to hip resurfacing procedures. These include:
Because of these risks, fewer patients qualify for this type of surgery than total hip replacement. An ideal candidate would be a younger, active, taller male with good bone. However, in this population, a tissue sparing total hip replacement would work equally well. Since hip resurfacing is a technically demanding surgery with a number of potential risks, patients should seek the advice of an experienced hip surgeon if they are interested in this procedure.