Total Hip Replacement vs Hip Resurfacing

With a wide range of motion and resilience to absorb extraordinary amount of forces while bearing the weight we walk, run, jump and leap, the hip joint is the strongest and largest joint in the human body. And that is exactly why hip injuries completely take away our freedom to live a normal life.

Especially arthritis strikes a big blow. The debilitation pain that doesn’t seem to go away either with pain medications, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs can make your life pretty hard and demand hip replacement surgery by hip specialist to get rid of the everyday brunt.

That said, Total Hip Replacement Surgery is not the only option that can help you get rid of the painful hip condition, Hip Resurfacing has other alternative procedure that helps treat painful hip conditions.

So what is the difference between Hip Replacement Surgery & Hip Resurfacing Surgery?  And how does it compare with the total hip replacement procedure? Read on to know:

Hip Replacement Surgery:

The patient suffering from end-stage hip arthritis or a devastating hip injury undergo hip replacement procedure where the cartilage and the ball-socket joint is surgically removed and replaced with artificial joints.

For this process, the femoral head is completely removed and the bone is shaped to fit the stem by the hip replacement surgeon. Similarly, the acetabulum is removed, the pelvis socked is shaped and the implant is placed. By completely removing the ball (femur) and socket (acetabulum), a stem with an attached socket is planted inside the bone marrow of the femur at one end and attached implant socket inside the pelvis at the other.

Hip Resurfacing Surgery:

While the entire femoral head is removed and the stem is placed inside the bone marrow in Hip replacement surgery, hip resurfacing preserves the femur bone and is comparatively a better way to give a new joint.

Instead of completely removing the femoral head, the ball is suitably shaped to fit a prosthetic ball as the new head and is fit into the socket implanted in the pelvis by the hip surgeon.

Benefits of Hip Replacement Surgery:

Hip Replacement Surgery does offer freedom from the debilitating pain of the hip which they have become used for so long. Improvement in mobility and range of motion along with a decrease in pain raises the equality of life.

However, like all the major surgeries, hip replacement also has its shortcomings. In addition to the risk of hip dislocation, increased stress, bone thinning (shaped, remember), the hip replacement lifespan (10-20 years) can be problems for younger patients. While older patients are prone to a few medical risks, younger patients may need revision hip replacement which can be risky as they gradually lose the bone in the process, say total hip replacement surgeons.

Benefits of Hip Resurfacing over Hip Replacement:

Hip resurfacing is a slightly different procedure to the total hip replacement surgery, offers a few benefits:

  • The risk of hip dislocation is greatly reduced with hip resurfacing due to the increases ball size as compared to total hip replacement.
  • As the femoral head is only shaped instead of complete removal, the bone of the patient is preserved making revision surgeries simpler and easier.
  • Hip resurfacing with its better resilience to activities like running, jogging & skiing is more suitable for young patients.
  • As only the femoral head resurfaces, metal is not placed inside the bone thereby reducing the stress distribution on the thigh bone.
  • Finally, hip resurfacing lasts longer than hip replacement surgeries.

The above benefits don’t mean hip resurfacing is completely better than hip replacement surgeries. Hip resurfacing is a tad more complicated, runs 1-2% of the risk of fractures and is still operating with metal-on-metal implants which can only improve.

So got more queries on hip replacement surgeries and hip resurfacing procedures? Hip Replacement Specialist Dr. Niraj Vora can help you answer your questions.

However, if you are in Mumbai, Dr. Niraj Vora is the best total hip replacement surgeon in Mumbai you can consult and he will be happy to help you in person.