This article is part of the Ultimate Guide to Hip Pain Relief.
A painful hip can be excruciating. It can stop you from doing activities you enjoy. Walking, running, sitting, driving, playing sports, working, and even sleeping can become agonizing. Soon, the hip pain can affect your psyche. You might start declining invitations from friends or family to go places because of the long walk required or lack of places to sit. You might limit playing with your kids because of the pain. You might even stop exercising because of the hip pain.
All of a sudden, you find yourself in a vicious cycle – more stiffness, more pain, more limitations, and even worse…weight gain. You don’t have to live with this. There are options to make the hip pain disappear so that you can regain your activity and your quality of life.
IBJI recently chatted with Dr. Ritesh Shah, board-certified orthopaedic surgeon with fellowship training in joint preservation, resurfacing and reconstruction. Dr. Shah explains the differences between hip resurfacing and hip replacement to reduce your hip pain. His responses—below—have been edited and condensed for space.
Types of Hip Treatment
For hip pain, there are several forms of treatment that can be used to relieve pain. Dr. Shah gives the following examples, “For some patients with a hip labrum tear, a hip arthroscopy with a labrum repair will have them return to their activity. For others, a hip injection under X-ray is enough. For others, a total hip replacement is required. Finally, for those people who are extremely active and wish to return to being extremely active, a hip resurfacing may be an option. If you suffer from hip pain, have advanced osteoarthritis to your hip, are extremely active and wish to return to being extremely active, hip resurfacing may be the surgical option.”
What is a Hip Replacement?
“A total hip replacement is when I remove a femoral head (the ball of the hip joint) and then implant a femoral stem into the thigh with a new smaller ceramic femoral head and implant a metallic shell with a liner into the acetabulum (the socket of the hip joint),” says Dr. Shah.
What is Hip Resurfacing?
“With a hip resurfacing, I do not cut the femoral head off,” explains Dr. Shah, “Instead, I shape the femoral head to make it spherical and pegged. Then instead of a femoral stem in the thigh, I place a metal cap with a short peg on the retained femoral head and implant a metallic shell into the socket. While the socket side of the surgery is not too different, the femur side is drastically different. What this means is that there is less bone loss from the femur and a more anatomic and normally sized femoral head.”
What is the Benefit of Hip Resurfacing vs Hip Replacement?
Dr. Shah says that the main difference between the two is the activity level after surgery. “From an activity standpoint, patients who get a hip resurfacing can safely have a higher level of activity. Most patients that get a hip resurfacing are extremely active including running, high level racquet sports, skiing, martial arts, and may have high demand occupations like firefighters, police officers, and construction.
“Also, hip resurfacing offers a lower chance of dislocation because the femoral cap is larger and more anatomic. Hip resurfacing is a technically demanding surgery with a small margin for error that only a few surgeons in the Chicagoland area perform. For this reason, most surgeons that perform hip resurfacing also perform total hip replacements; however, most surgeons that perform total hip replacements do not perform hip resurfacing. There is additional certification required to be authorized to perform a hip resurfacing. But, not all patients with hip arthritis need or should get a hip resurfacing.”
Why Not Perform Hip Resurfacing on Every Patient?
There are several reasons why you should have one surgery over the other. Every patient is different, meaning what works for one person, may not be right for another.
“You should not have a hip resurfacing if you have a metal allergy or sensitivity, kidney problems, weaker bones, smaller bones, abnormal anatomy, significant leg length difference or are not highly active. In these cases, a total hip replacement may be a better option for you.
“Both hip resurfacing and total hip replacement can be performed safely as an outpatient procedure and have similar recovery times. While there are many types of hip replacement products, the Birmingham hip resurfacing (BHR) is the only product that is approved for use for a hip resurfacing procedure and has a good track record worldwide,” says Dr. Shah.
For more information on these surgeries, please visit www.rapidrecoveryreality.com
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Hip Care and Treatment at IBJI
Whether you are just starting out in your hip care journey or need a second opinion for your hip pain, IBJI’s hip surgeons are here to help provide you with the necessary care for your ailment. Get the relief you are seeking with the help of IBJI.
Check out IBJI’s additional online resources for hip care to learn more about conditions and read patient testimonials.
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