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Hip Resurfacing Recovery

Hip resurfacing is one of the newer methods of treating hip arthritis and hip pain and contrasts itself with hip replacement, claiming that hip resurfacing recovery is quicker and less complex, without the need for physio supervision. Developed in Birmingham UK, the Birmingham Hip is aimed at younger people who are more active and might have a worse outcome with cemented hip replacement.

Much less bone is removed in hip resurfacing than in typical total hip replacement, with a smaller layer of bone taken off the hip socket and the ball of the femoral head. The shaved surfaces are then replaced with metal hemispheres which articulate with each other with low friction and so allow easy movement of the metal on metal hip resurfacing.

Recovery from hip resurfacing surgery is claimed to be quicker than for hip replacement and patients are allowed to to do hip resurfacing exercises under supervision of the physiotherapist. There are no specific restrictions, unlike for hip replacement, as the large size of the femoral head means that dislocation is unlikely so patients are free to move as they can.

Crutches are typically used for three to four weeks with as normal a gait pattern as possible, then progress to using one crutch on the unoperated side for a further three or four weeks. The level of operation performed and the quality of the patient's bone will have an effect on this advice, either lessening or lengthening the time with walking aids.

Hip resurfacing complications and hip resurfacing problems do exist as with all joint replacement operations, but there seem to be good results with hip resurfacing. NHS hospitals primarily use cemented hip replacement, even for younger patients, although some units may offer hip resurfacing also.

More reading about recovery is here at and an NHS Clinical Knowledge Summary here.

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