Hip Replacement vs. Hip Resurfacing

Hip resurfacing is a new, innovative procedure that allows the patient to maintain as much of the original bone as possible. The benefits to hip resurfacing versus a total hip replacement include a more natural feeling hip after surgery, as well as greater stability of the joint and decreased rate of dislocation. In some cases, the rate of dislocation is about 10 times lower than with a traditional total hip replacement. Compared to traditional total hip replacement surgery, hip resurfacing requires an experienced and confident surgeon who is adept and trained to perform the more difficult procedure.

Burnsville, Minnesota Hip Surgery Expert

Dr. Robert Hartman is one of Minnesota’s premiere orthopedic surgeons, fellowship-trained and performs some of the most exciting, innovative procedures in the orthopedic world. He and the Robert B. Hartman’s team have been providing world-class care for their patients in Minnesota for 21 years.

Dr. Hartman is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and has performed over 2000 hip replacement procedures and 250 hip resurfacing procedures, making him the top hip replacement surgeon in the Twin Cities area.

Anatomy of the Hip

Total Hip Replacement Surgeon in Burnsville, MinnesotaThe hip joint is a ball and socket joint, made up of two bones: the femur and the pelvis. The head of the femur (thigh bone) fits into the acetabulum of pelvis, the concave opening of the hip joint. Because of the snug fit of the femur head into the acetabulum and the ligament and muscle surrounding the bone joint, the hip joint is very stable. The snug fit of the femur head into the acetabulum, as well as the strong ligament and muscle surrounding the joint, lend themselves to the sturdiness of the hip joint.

Hip Resurfacing & Total Hip Replacement Surgery

Patients often ask, "What is the difference between hip resurfacing and hip replacement?" While the two procedures achieve the same goal – relieving pain and increasing your activity and functioning – they achieve this goal by different means.

"Many of the high-demand components we use are designed for younger, more aggressive patients. Today, we can actually resurface the hip ball and the socket instead of replacing the hip. Resurfacing technology has been used in Europe for years; now it’s available in the United States. It is a solution that works well for younger patients who still want to run and jump and participate in athletics. Our techniques spare bone, minimize trauma to joints and mobilize patients faster. We use muscle-sparing surgical techniques that allow patients to walk on the day of their operation, or start bending their knees on the same day as surgery. These techniques also leave more bone in the event that future surgery is necessary."

— Dr. Hartman on hip resurfacing

”Hip resurfacing doesn’t replace the ball of the hip joint like traditional hip replacement. Instead the diseased femoral head is shaved down and capped with a metal prosthesis, such as the Cormet Head, which is filled with bone cement to secure placement on the femoral head. The infected hip socket is fitted with a metal prosthesis, much like a traditional hip replacement procedure. The difference between the two hip surgery procedures is often likened to the difference between a root canal and a crown.“

With more of the original bone preserved, younger patients who will outlive the life of their prosthesis are in a better position for a hip replacement 20 to 25 years later, when their hip implant solution is fully worn.

Benefits of Hip Resurfacing

Hip resurfacing surgery has its added benefits over traditional hip replacement. These benefits include:

  • Preservation of the original bone
  • More natural feeling joint
  • Enlarged ball makes for a more stable joint (reduced rate of dislocation)

Who is a candidate for hip resurfacing?

Younger patients are typically more suited for partial hip resurfacing. Because hip resurfacing preserves more bone, it allows for more impact activities after the operation. Also, a younger patient may outlive his/her hip replacement implant and require a total hip replacement later on in life. Preserving the original bone makes a total hip replacement solution later in life a more effective solution.