Alternatives to Total Hip Replacement

Hip resurfacing and hemispherical hip replacement are two alternatives to total hip replacement. Each has its own pros and cons as options go and while either may sound preferable, only your physician can guide you to the best treatment for you.

Hip Resurfacing

Hip resurfacing has become a somewhat popular alternative to hip replacement as it preserves the existing femoral head and acetabular components as much as possible. The bone of the femoral head is reshaped and capped with prosthesis, typically made of metal or ceramic. The acetabulum (socket) is also fitted with prosthesis to reinforce and accommodate the resurfaced femoral head.

Because as much of the bone as possible is preserved, this procedure may be ideal for younger patients that face a possible total replacement later in life. There is evidence to suggest that resurfacing may reduce the risk of dislocation due to the larger than hip ball once the area has been resurfaced compared to some of the other typical hip replacement components used for complete replacente. However, resurfacing tends to require a larger incision and may present a slightly higher risk of procedural complications.

There is also the risk of femoral neck fracturing. This type of fracture is particularly concerning because if not treated properly the blood flow to the femoral head can be disrupted to the point that the body’s natural healing ability is compromised, and may result in the need for a complete hip replacement.

Hemispherical Hip Replacement

Hemispherical hip replacement may be thought of as a partial replacement. In this type of procedure the femoral head or the ball is the only part being replaced, leaving the acetabulum or socket of the hip alone. This procedure is designed to repair a fracture to the affected area that has failed to heal or has a very poor prognosis for doing so.

As with resurfacing, because the ball of the femur is replaced there is a risk of femoral neck fracturing. This type of procedure does not necessarily remove the possibility of a total hip replacement later.

There are no completely risk free options with guaranteed results for every case. It is vital that you speak to your physician about what options can be considered in your case, and which stand the best chance of success. Age, gender, family history, and personal history are all factors your doctor looks at in order to evaluate which treatment options hold the best promise for you.

Randolph Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is located in Asheboro, NC. We employ skilled physicians with the experience and training to address hip pain, provide hip replacement surgery, and develop a comprehensive rehabilitation program for each patient we serve. Call us at 336-626-2688 for more information.