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Hip Motion Restored to Normal with Hip Resurfacing

Posted on: 05/31/2007
Today's modern adult is active and on the go. And many adults are wearing out their hips and knees. Total hip replacements have been reserved for older adults. This leaves younger adults with pain from arthritis without many options until now. A new orthopedic procedure called total hip resurfacing may be changing all that.

Hip resurfacing is a type of hip replacement that replaces the arthritic surface of the joint. But it removes much less bone than the usual total hip replacement. Instead of cutting off the femoral head and replacing it, a metal cap is put 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 implant. It's as if there has never been an artificial joint. The bone in this area has not been cut away or cut down.

Total hip resurfacing can improve hip range of motion. But by how much? In this study, surgeons from the Joint Replacement Institute in California look at hip motion before and after hip resurfacing. All patients were followed for one full year.

Results showed that a person's preoperative hip motion gave an indication of the postoperative results. Those patients with higher degrees of hip flexion had better flexion after the procedure. Patients with less motion did regain more total range of motion. No increase in motion was seen after six months.

The authors conclude that hip resurfacing is a good alternative to total hip replacement. Young patients can avoid some of the stiffness and loss of motion that comes with putting off surgery because of their age. Now hip motion can be restored to normal or near-normal amounts.

Mylene A. dela Rosa, BS, CCRP. Range of Motion After Total Hip Resurfacing. In Orthopedics. May 2007. Vol. 30. No. 5. Pp. 352-357.

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