Question:I am a 35-year old hospital nurse. Eighteen months ago, I tried to help a patient keep from falling. In the process, I tore the labrum (cartilage) in my hip. Even though I'm fairly young, the X-ray showed advanced arthritis on top of the injury. Would I be a good candidate for a hip resurfacing instead of a total joint replacement?
Answer:The best candidate for a hip resurfacing is a young, active patient who has moderate to early advanced arthritis. Patients who have had this operation range anywhere from 16 to 60 years old.
The advantage of the procedure is that it preserves much of the patient's own hip. This makes it possible to have a total hip replacement later when the person is older. Older adults are less likely to outlive their implant.
Hip resurfacing may only affect the head of the femur or it may involve both the femoral head and the hip socket. The procedure is used because it removes as little bone from around the hip as possible.
The femoral component used during hip resurfacing is placed on the outside of the femoral head. The femoral shaft is never disturbed. This means that when a revision is needed, the femoral shaft can be used to hold the femoral component as if there has never been an artificial joint. The bone in this area has not been drilled, cut, shaved, or removed in any way.
Your surgeon will be able to advise you as to whether or not you may be a good candidate for this procedure. It is not advised for anyone with bone cysts or inflammatory arthritis. It is not for patients with severe arthritis or osteoporosis.Paul E. BeaulÃ©, MD, FRCSC et al. Femoral Head Blood Flow During Hip Resurfacing. In Clinical Orthropaedics and Related Research. March 2007. No. 456. Pp. 148-152.
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