Hip Resurfacing or bone conserving procedure replaces the acetabulum (hip socket) and resurfaces the femoral head. This means the femoral head has some or very little bone removed and replaced with the metal component.
The thigh bone, femur, and the pelvis, acetabulum, join to form the hip joint. The hip joint is a “ball and socket” joint. The “ball” is the head of the femur, or thigh bone, and the “socket” is the cup shaped acetabulum.
The joint surface is covered by a smooth articular surface that allows pain free movement in the joint.
The cartilage cushions the joint and allows the bones to move on each other with smooth movements. This cartilage does not show up on X-ray, therefore you can see a “joint space” between the femoral head and acetabular socket.
The pelvis is a large, flattened, irregularly shaped bone, constricted in the center and expanded above and below. It consists of three parts: the ilium, ischium, and pubis.
The socket, acetabulum, is situated on the outer surface of the bone and joins to the head of the femur to form the hip joint.
The femur is the longest bone in the skeleton. It joins to the pelvis, acetabulum, to form the hip joint.
The upper part is composed of the femoral head, femoral neck, and greater and lesser trochanters.
Arthritis is a general term covering numerous conditions where the joint surface (cartilage) wears out. The joint surface is covered by a smooth articular surface that allows pain free movement in the joint. This surface can wear out for a number of reasons; often the definite cause is not known.
When the articular cartilage wears out, the bone ends rub on one another and cause pain.
There are numerous conditions that can cause arthritis and often the exact cause is never known. In general, but not always, it affects people as they get older and is called Osteoarthritis.
Other causes include:
In an arthritic hip:
Hip conditions should be evaluated by an Orthopaedic surgeon for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Your surgeon will perform the following:
Diagnostic Studies may include:
X-rays: a form of electromagnetic radiation that is used to take pictures of bones.
There is no blood test to diagnose osteoarthritis.
The surgery will be performed using general, spinal or epidural anaesthesia. A combination of techniques is often used. The surgeon makes an incision along the affected hip joint, exposing the hip joint.
The femur is separated from the hipbone socket. The socket of the hip joint is exposed. It is reamed to a hemispherical surface and prepared to take the new cup (acetabular component). The new cup is a press-fit; the back of this cup is roughened to allow bone to grow into it. The femur is then exposed and the femoral head is either trimmed or reamed down to an accurate shape to take its new metal component. The metal component is attached to the reshaped femur. This new metal ball will act like the hip joint’s original ball. Then the new ball and the new socket components are joined together to form the new hip joint. The muscles and tendons are then repaired and the skin is closed. Drains are usually inserted to drain excessive blood.
Remember this is an artificial hip and must be treated with care. Avoid the combined movement of bending your hip and turning your foot in. This can cause dislocation. Other precautions to avoid dislocation are:
As with any major surgery, there are potential risks involved. The decision to proceed with the surgery is made because the advantages of surgery outweigh the potential disadvantages. It is important that you are informed of these risks before the surgery takes place.
Complications can be medical (general) or specific to the hip
Medical complications include those of the anesthetic and your general well being. Almost any medical condition can occur so this list is not complete. Complications include
Fractures (break) of the femur (thigh bone) or pelvis (hipbone)
Damage to nerves or blood vessels
Blood clots (Deep Venous Thrombosis)
Leg length inequality
Failure to relieve pain
Unsightly or thickened scar
Pressure or bed sores
Limp due to muscle weakness
Find out more about Hip Resurfacing with the following links.