About Total Hip resurfacing:

Total hip resurfacing is a bone preserving procedure that aids in restoring the function and comfort of the hips of the patient which is damaged because of traumatic arthritis or osteoarthritis rheumatoid, developmental hip dysplasia or avascular necrosis. It is an alternative treatment option for hip replacement to help the patient return to their active lifestyle. There is a huge difference in the amount of bone removal in the resurfacing procedure in comparison to the traditional hip replacement procedure. In the hip resurfacing the surgeons replace the hip socket in a similar manner as in the Hip replacement but the femoral head is not removed but resurfaced.

Who should consider total hip resurfacing?

Young active patients should consider the hip resurfacing in the following circumstance:

  • The patient is adequately healthy to undergo the procedure.
  • The patient understands and is aware of the risks and alternatives.
  • Arthritis has been unaffected to conservative measures.
  • The surgeon is experienced and trained in hip resurfacing surgery.
  • No surgical or medical contraindication to hip resurfacing exists.



There are risks involved with hip resurfacing in accordance with the surgical procedure. The surgeon will discuss all the risks prior to the surgery and will take particular measures to help avoid potential complications.

Rare but most common complications of hip resurfacing are:

  • The patient will be given antibiotics prior to beginning the surgery and will be continued for about 24 hours after the surgery to prevent infections.
  • Dislocation
  • Femoral neck fracture
  • Injury to vessels or nerves. It rarely happens but the blood vessels or nerves might get injured or stretch during the procedure.
  • Blood clots. Blood clots in the veins of the legs are a common complication of the surgery. After the surgery, blood clots can form in the deep veins of the pelvis or legs. Blood thinners, aspirin or drugs can prevent these problems.
  • Risks of anaesthesia


Surgical procedure

A hip resurfacing surgery generally lasts for about one and a half hour to three hours.

The surgeon will make an incision in the thigh to reach the joint of the hip. The femoral head is dislocated out of the socket. Later the head is trimmed with specially designed surgical instruments. Over the prepared femoral head, a metal cap is cemented. With the power tool (reamer) the cartilage that lines the socket is removed. A metal cup is pushed into the socket and held in place by friction between the metal and the bone. The femoral head is relocated back into the socket once the cup is in place followed by the closing of the incision.

After the surgery, the nurses will monitor the patient closely in the recovery room while the patient recovers from the anesthesia.


In most cases, the patient is discharged from the hospital after 1 to 4 days of surgery. Depending on the preferences of the doctor and the strength of the bone the weight on the leg could be put immediately after the surgery. Strength restoring and range of motion could be maintained with the exercises suggested by the physical therapist. Regular activities could be resumed after 6 weeks of surgery. A walker or cane might be required for the first few weeks to walk.