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6 Facts Patients Need To Know About Hip Resurfacing

dr andrew dutton 6 facts patients need to know about hip resurfacing
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The hips bear most of the body’s weight. Several health issues can arise when something is amiss, including pain, inflammation, and reduced mobility.

Hip pain is a debilitating condition which can take a toll on your ability to do daily tasks. Even walking or standing can be aching and uncomfortable. In some cases, the pain and damage to the hips are so extreme that a hip resurfacing or surface replacement is necessary. 

This blog has rounded up essential facts and must-knows about hip resurfacing.

1. Hip resurfacing is an option for arthritis patients

Hip resurfacing is an alternative to total hip replacement (THR) that is recommended if you are in the advanced stages of arthritis and have explored all non-surgical options.

Hip resurfacing started in the 1990s and was a response to the poor performance of traditional hip arthroplasty in young patients. Back in the 1950s through the 1980s, severe hip problems were usually addressed with total hip arthroplasty (THA) as the only option for both young and old patients. However, since younger patients live more active lives, they experienced early failures with THA.

People younger than 55 with hip osteoarthritis may experience challenges with standard hip replacements. This is because they have many years ahead of doing activities that may put stress and pressure on their hips. As a result, they may need to have their hip replacements repaired or redone a few years after the surgery.

Fortunately, updated technology and treatment options are available, including hip resurfacing.

2. Hip resurfacing does not entail removing most hip joint parts

Comparatively, a traditional total hip replacement involves removing the arthritic cartilage, hip socket, and femoral head (head of the thigh bone) and replacing them with artificial ones. In hip resurfacing, the doctor will trim and cap the femoral head with a metal ball that moves in a metal socket instead of being removed.

3. Younger patients are eligible for hip resurfacing

Hip resurfacing is recommended for patients who suffer from severe hip osteoarthritis and other debilitating hip problems whose symptoms did not resolve with conservative treatment options, including physical therapy, medications, and injections.

Furthermore, young patients with large frames and strong bones may be suitable candidates for this procedure. Lastly, doctors do not recommend hip resurfacing to patients with metal hypersensitivity, diabetes, osteoporosis, impaired kidney function, or large areas of dead bone.

4. Hip resurfacing has many advantages over THR

Hip resurfacing provides many advantages over traditional total hip replacements. In a nutshell, the procedure removes less bone than a hip replacement, and patients find the hip to feel more natural after surgery. Hip surgery has undergone enormous developments, and research is underway to make the procedure more effective.

Here are the main advantages of hip resurfacing.

• Easier to revise

Though hip resurfacing and total hip replacement involve artificial components, they must be revised in 10 to 20 years due to wear and tear. However, revision surgery is more straightforward in hip resurfacing since less bone was removed during the initial procedure. Moreover, additional surgery may be recommended if the implant or component fails. In this case, it will be faster and easier to repair after hip resurfacing.

• More normal walking pattern

Some studies have shown that walking patterns appear more natural in patients with hip resurfacing surgery than in total hip replacement.

• Decreased risk of dislocation

In hip resurfacing, the size of the artificial device is similar to the hip joint ball, reducing the risk of dislocation.

• Shorter recovery time

In hip resurfacing, patients may stay in the hospital for one to two days, while they can return to their regular activities in just two to three weeks.

5. Hip resurfacing is easier to perform than THR

Hip resurfacing surgery is usually done under spinal or general anaesthesia. First, the surgeon creates an incision to expose the hip joint. Then, the damaged joint surfaces are removed and cleaned. Next, artificial coverings on the ball and socket of the joint will be fixed on the bone. Finally, the surgeon will close the skin with stitches or staples. A compression dressing will be used to cover the incision.

After the procedure, you’ll be taken to the recovery room and monitored by nurses as you come out of the anaesthesia.

6. Recovery time is shorter compared to THR

Your recovery from the procedure will depend on various factors, including your age, general health status, fitness level, and nature of the procedure. It may take about two to three weeks to return to normal activities.

Initially, you are required to stay in the hospital for two days, which will provide your surgeon time to observe the healing of your hip and how your body responds.

When you arrive home, you can help your body recover faster by continuing the exercises that the physiotherapist prescribed. In addition, it would help if you stayed active by gradually increasing your activity level. Also, you need to get plenty of rest, eat healthy food, and avoid certain activities, such as bending and twisting the hips.

Do you think you need hip resurfacing?

The hips support the body while allowing us to move, walk, run, sit, and stand. Unfortunately, hip osteoarthritis can take a toll on the hip joint, degenerating over time. If you’re experiencing severe pain in the hip area and have not respond to treatments, you might be a good candidate for hip resurfacing.

We hope this blog has shed light on the must-knows when it comes to hip resurfacing. But remember, only with a comprehensive assessment can it be determined if you’re eligible for the procedure. To learn more about your hip ailments and how to manage them, please book a consultation with A/Professor Andrew Dutton by calling us at (+65) 6836 8000.

Dr Andrew Quoc Dutton Orthopaedic & Sports Clinic Insurance


The Dr Andrew Quoc Dutton Orthopaedic & Sports Clinic offers minimally invasive and surgical treatments for sports-related injuries and orthopaedic conditions.

To aid in the expenses that you may incur, we accept a number of corporate and international insurance. If you have any of the insurance plans below, please let us know when you book an appointment with us. If you need further assistance, you may drop us an e-mail at info@eliteortho.com.sg or call us at (+65) 6836 8000.

  • AIA Health Insurance
  • Alliance Healthcare
  • AXA International Exclusive (IE)/ IE Plus
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  • Fullerton Health
  • Great Eastern Life/ Live Great
  • Integrated Health Plans (IHP)
  • MHC Medical Network
  • NTUC Income
  • Parkway Shenton Insurance/ iXchange
  • Raffles Health Insurance

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About Dr Andrew Quoc Dutton

A/Professor Dutton, also known as, has been in clinical practice since 1996 after graduating from Marist College, Canberra and the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. A/Professor Dutton has worked at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, and the St. George Hospital, Sydney, before completing his orthopaedic surgery training in Singapore. He is currently an associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

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