Hip resurfacing offers hope for young patients - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Hip resurfacing offers hope for young patients

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By Natalie Sparacio

MARSHFIELD/WESTON-- Hip resurfacing is gaining popularity across the country.

This week's Living Well weighs the pros and cons of the procedure.

Hip resurfacing is considered by many to be the hip surgery of the future.

Geared towards younger patients...it helps preserve enough healthy bone to allow for a future total hip implant.

For arthritis sufferers, surgery is often the final attempt towards living pain free, and now a procedure known as hip resurfacing is offering hope to many patients who deal with the debilitating effects of the disease.

Dr. David Simenstad, an Orthopedic Surgeon at the Marshfield Clinic says, "...I think people should understand that in the United States  this procedure has only been done for about 2 years, but in Europe it's been around for around 10 to 15 years and had good results with both approaches. We don't know how long those results will last beyond the 10-15 years."

As you can see here, with a total hip replacement, the femoral head has been completely removed, the middle of the canal is cleaned out, and a stem is put down it.

A metal ball is then put on the top of the head, and fit into a socket.

On the flip side, Hip resurfacing restores the head of the femur, but the procedure is by no means minor.

This is the actual device used with hip resurfacing...this hollow cap goes right on top of the femur and into this highly polished metal socket.. to reduce friction.

So your bones...are all in tact.

Dr. Mark Earll, an Orthopedic Surgeon at the Marshfield Clinic says, "...for the most part, I think hip resurfacings have the same recovery to the total hip replacement. However, subjectively a lot of patients believe that they can get back to their activities quicker with the hip resurfacing compared to a hip replacement...however that has not been well studied...in randomized clinical trials."

After the surgery, it takes about 6 weeks of rehab for patients to fully recover.

Overall, once you weigh your options...doctors stand by the procedure and believe the benefits outweigh the risks.

Hip resurfacing is best suited for younger patients because bone density needs to be strong.

The surgery is not recommended for people with osteoporosis...because of an increased risk of fracture to the femur.

The cost of a total hip replacement and hip resurfacing are about the same, and the procedure is typically covered by insurance.

Living Well is produced in part and sponsored by Marshfield Clinic.

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