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The Difference between Resurfacing Hip and Total Hip Replacement.

Whereas total hip replacement requires the removal of the femoral head and the insertion of a hip stem down the shaft of the femur (thighbone), resurfacing hip, on the other hand, preserves the femoral head and the femoral neck. During the procedure, your surgeon will only remove a few centimeters of bone around the femoral head, shaping it to fit tightly inside the BIRMINGHAM HIP Resurfacing implant. Your surgeon will also prepare the acetabulum (the socket in the hipbone that receives the head of the thighbone) for the metal cup that will form the socket portion of the ball-and-socket joint. While the resurfacing component slides over the top of the femoral head like a tooth cap, the acetabular component is pressed into place much like a total hip replacement component would be.

Another difference is that resurfacing hip is intended for young, active adults who are under 60 years of age and in need of a hip replacement. The typical patient will be physically active and suffering from hip arthritis, hip dysplasia or avascular necrosis of the hip. The implant can be used with patients over 60 if their bone quality is strong enough to support it. Your surgeon will make the decision whether you are fit for hip resurfacing. Adults of over 60 who are living non-sedentary lifestyles may also be considered for this procedure. However, this can only be further determined by a review of your bone quality. Talk with your orthopaedic surgeon to determine if hip resurfacing is the right option for you.

Until just recently, your orthopedist would likely be recommending total hip replacement surgery at this point of your disease state. While it is clearly a more bone-sacrificing procedure than hip resurfacing, total hip replacement is a safe and effective surgery, and is performed more than 300,000 times per year in the United States.

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