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Palo Alto Center
795 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Hip resurfacing is an alternative to a total hip replacement intended for younger, active adults, or for people over 60 who are very active.
In hip resurfacing, the head of your thighbone (femur) and the socket are trimmed and capped with cobalt chrome.
Hip resurfacing preserves more of a person’s natural bone than a traditional hip replacement. As you may know, in a total hip replacement the surgeon removes the entire femoral head and secures the artificial head onto a metal shaft placed down into the femur bone.
Because hip resurfacing cuts away less bone, patients are less likely to have different leg lengths after surgery. Also, if a second hip surgery is needed in the future, it’s an easier procedure. You can always have a total hip replacement after hip resurfacing, but you can never have hip resurfacing after a total hip replacement.
Hip resurfacing offers a few other key benefits:
Large Head and Cup: Greater Range of Motion
The hip resurfacing implant has a larger head and cup than most traditional hip replacement implants. This allows for an increased range of motion and a decreased risk of hip dislocation.
Less Thigh Pain and Quicker Recovery
The stem on a traditional hip replacement goes down the femur, whereas the hip resurfacing has a much shorter stem down the femoral neck. This decreases thigh pain felt after a total hip replacement, leading to quicker recovery.
Advanced Implant Materials
The implant head and the cup are both made of cobalt chrome. This metal on metal component decreases wear on the implanted joint and reduces particulate debris.
Hip resurfacing is intended for young, active adults who are under 60 and have good bone density. Active adults over 60 may also be considered if their bones are sufficiently dense. Not everyone is a good candidate for hip resurfacing. In some people, hip arthritis results in deformity of the hip socket or the head of the femur. Hip resurfacing is not advised in these cases.
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation offers a complete Hip Resurfacing Program, led by skilled surgeons who have extensive experience in this alternative to hip replacements. They are happy to consult with you if you’d like to explore this option.
Find out how to become part of the Hip Resurfacing Program.
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