When hip pain continues despite non-surgical treatment, it might be time for a hip resurfacing surgery. This minimally invasive treatment can have you back on your feet and living pain-free in no time flat. You can make an appointment to speak with your Florida orthopedic surgeon to see if you’re a good candidate for this procedure. While you wait for your visit, here’s everything you need to know about hip resurfacing surgery.
Hip Resurfacing Surgery, Defined
Hip resurfacing surgery effectively replaces damaged cartilage and bone in your hip socket with a sturdy metal shell. In addition, your surgeon will trim down the femoral head on your affected hip instead of removing and replacing it. After trimming it, they will infuse metal over the femoral head, allowing it to smoothly rotate within the new metal socket.
By leaving the femoral head largely intact, this procedure carries a lower risk of hip dislocation and helps retain your normal walking pattern. Beyond that, you’ll likely enjoy overall better mobility as the metal ball and socket prevent painful bone on bone contact.
Reasons You Might Need Hip Surgery
Most people get hip resurfacing surgery due to damage caused by osteoarthritis, but any condition that degrades the hip joint can lead to the need for repairs.
Other medical conditions that may result in the need for hip surgery include:
- Bone tumors
- Rheumatoid arthritis
If you’ve fractured or otherwise seriously injured the hip joint, the bone-on-bone contact may also result in the need for hip resurfacing surgery.
Your doctor will have you try non-surgical hip treatments first to see if they help reduce pain and improve your mobility. You might need to try corticosteroid injections, physical therapy, or make lifestyle changes, like losing weight, for example. If those treatment methods do not work, then they will reassess your condition and determine if hip surgery will help.
When Total Hip Replacement is a Better Choice
Despite its ability to effectively improve mobility and decrease pain, hip resurfacing surgery is not for everyone. In certain cases, your orthopedic surgeon in Florida may determine that total hip replacement is the better surgical treatment option for your needs.
If you’re over age 65, for example, then the hip resurfacing procedure may not work as well for you. Above that age, your hip bones may not have the strength needed to support the metal sleeve and socket. With total hip replacement surgery, key structures in your hip are replaced outright, eliminating the risk of fractures of the femoral neck.
People with a history of allergic reactions to metal are also better off getting total hip replacement instead of resurfacing. Composite materials are not yet available for hip resurfacing procedures, although that’s likely to change in the future.
Your orthopedic surgeon will look at your medical history, care preferences, and risk factors to help you find the best treatment for your needs. During that process, please feel free to ask questions and voice your concerns, so you can make the best care decision possible.
What to Expect During Hip Resurfacing Surgery
If you decide to go with hip resurfacing surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will have you schedule your appointment at a convenient time and date for you. You can expect to be at the surgical center for the better part of the day, and then go home later in the evening if there are no complications. The surgery itself takes about two to three hours.
At the start of your visit, your care team will help you get comfortable and discuss what to expect. Once you go back to the operating room, you’ll likely receive general anesthesia to keep you resting comfortable while your surgeon repairs your hip. Your anesthesiologist will keep a close eye on your vitals while keeping you under sedation until the surgery is over.
Your surgeon will make a single incision in your thigh to access your hip joint. Then, they will trim the femoral head and install the metal cap before moving onto the socket repairs. To repair the socket, they will need to remove all the damaged bone and cartilage before putting in the metal socket. Once that’s done, they will put the metal-capped femoral head back in the socket and close the incision.
You’ll then go to the recovery room where nurses will continue watching your vitals until you wake up. They will also help keep your pain under control and possibly administer antibiotics to help prevent infection.
How to Breeze Through the Recovery Period
Before you leave the hospital, your orthopedic surgeon in Florida will provide aftercare instructions for you to follow. You’ll likely need to keep weight off your leg by using crutches or other mobility devices, for example. Plus, you’ll need to watch your incision site and report any changes to your care team. By following your aftercare instructions as written, you can breeze through the recovery period and get back to your normal activities fast.
If you’d like to discuss hip resurfacing surgery in more detail, please call 727-513-7277 to reach our team at Full Circle Orthopedics. We’re here to help you find relief from hip pain and maintain your mobility through the years.