Question:I am a plumber in business for myself. After 20 years of crawling and climbing in cramped places, my right hip is about wore out. The doc says I'm too young for a hip replacement. I've been told I might be a good candidate for a joint resurfacing job. What good is that?
Answer:Accepting activity restrictions can be very difficult when your livelihood depends on moving freely. Workers of all types may be at risk of losing their jobs from disability of this type. Even some older but still active athletes face this same situation.
Over the last 25 years, major advancements in the treatment of hip arthritis have taken place. Improved implant materials and design have greatly improved the results of surgery.
Hip resurfacing arthroplasty is a new type of hip replacement. It replaces the arthritic surface of the joint but removes far less bone than the traditional total hip replacement.
Younger patients prefer this operation. Since hip resurfacing removes less bone, it leaves patients with options for revision surgery later if needed. Many patients are able to return to their prearthritic activity level, even workers involved in heavy labor.Thomas P. Schmalzried, MD. Why Total Hip Resurfacing. In The Journal of Arthroplasty. October 2007. Vol. 22. No. 7. Suppl. 3. Pp. 57-60.
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