Hip Resurfacing

Orthopaedic Trauma Hip Knee Consultant SurgeonThe hip is a ball (femoral head) and socket (acetabulum) joint. A hip replacement becomes necessary once all medical treatments have been exhausted. The diseased hip joint becomes so badly damaged that, in spite of painkillers, it causes significant pain which interferes with your quality of life. The purpose of surgery is to relieve pain and therefore improve function and quality of life.



Hip replacement is one of the most successful operations performed and thousands are performed each year. Whilst for most patients a cemented or uncemented hip replacement is sufficient, it is not always the best option for young active males. Hip replacements can wear out requiring further surgery (revision) which can be technically difficult for the surgeon and a greater risk for the patient with a less predictable outcome.

Orthopaedic Trauma Hip Knee Consultant SurgeonHip resurfacing offers an alternative to the fit active patient who wishes to continue with sports or has a high level of physical activity, such as a farmer. One of the greatest benefits is virtually eliminating the risk of dislocation (disengagement of the hip joint) which is common with these activities. Early results (up to 8 years) are excellent and are comparable to traditional hip replacement but there is no long term follow up data. My resurfacing of choice is the Birmingham Hip Replacement

Surgery either takes place under a general anaesthetic or with an anaesthetic injection in the back (spinal anaesthetic) with or without sedation. It involves resurfacing both the femoral head and acetabulum with a metal alloy which is extremely durable. By not violating the shaft of the femur (thigh bone) it makes revision surgery easier to perform, particularly on the femoral side.

Hospital stay is between 2 and 4 days and it usually takes 3 -4 months to get over the procedure and return to normal activities, although this is variable upon individual circumstances. Rehabilitation starts the first day after surgery. The physiotherapist will advise you when to do this and will provide you with a programme of activities to perform in hospital and when you go home. Long term recovery and function is dependent upon not only the quality of the initial surgery but also the amount of work done by the patient in the rehabilitation phase.