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Hip Resurfacing Recovery & Risks

Last updated on May 4th, 2020 at 04:37 am

Hip Resurfacing

RECOVERY & RISKS

After your operation you will spend time in the recovery room, where you will be closely monitored before being transferred back to your room.  You will have a large amount of local anaesthetic injected at the time of operation around your hip joint, so most patients are very comfortable post operatively.

RECOVERY

You will be able to get up from Day 1 with the use of crutches for balance and start walking on your new hip with the guidance of our physiotherapy team.  Some minor discomfort is to be expected during the first week or two, and this will settle gradually over time.  In most cases by week two patients are comfortable walking unassisted with the use of crutches.  We will review you at two weeks to check your wounds and monitor your rehabilitation.  Dr Slattery recommends crutches until week 4 to assist with your balance and mobility.  Normally by 6 weeks patients are painfree and walking without the use of crutches around the home.  An exercise bike is recommended from 2 weeks post operatively and hydrotherapy from 4 weeks post operatively.  Walking for exercise is encouraged from 8 weeks post operatively.  Patients continue to improve with strength, walking and balance up to 1 year post surgery.

Risks and Complications

Hip resurfacing is a very safe operation, however there are risks associated with any operation.  Dr Slattery routinely uses specialist physicians to thoroughly assess patients medically before their surgery, to ensure that any medical risks are minimized and that they are as fit as possible before their operation.  Possible risks in hip resurfacing surgery include: Bleeding, Infection, blood clots, fractures, dislocation of the prosthesis, leg length inequality, implant loosening, implant wear, and residual pain.

Specific Risks of Hip Resurfacing:

Femoral neck fracture

A small percentage of hip resurfacing patients will eventually break (fracture) the thighbone at the femoral neck. If this occurs, it is usually necessary to convert the hip resurfacing into a traditional hip replacement.  A femoral neck fracture is not possible with a traditional hip replacement because the femoral neck is removed. However, fractures around hip replacement implants can still occur with a traditional hip replacement.

Metal ion risk

In hip resurfacing, a metal ball moves within a metal socket. Over time, this leads to the production of tiny metal particles called ions. Because of this hip resurfacings require long term monitoring.

Longer surgical incision and operation time

Hip resurfacings are more difficult than total hip replacements for surgeons to perform. As such, a larger incision is usually required for a hip resurfacing.

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