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What Should I Expect from Hip Resurfacing Surgery?

Article Details
  • Written By: Harriette Halepis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 December 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Hip resurfacing surgery is a popular alternative to regular hip replacement surgery. All people who undergo hip resurfacing surgery should expect to avoid any strenuous exercise or heavy lifting for up to one year following surgery. In addition, a few side effects of resurfacing surgery are possible.

Major side effects connected to hip resurfacing surgery include fractures, implant loosening, and possible loose metal ions. A fracture occurs for a couple of reasons that vary from person to person. People who are overweight or people who have poor bone density may experience a hip fracture. Also, an inexperienced surgeon may conduct hip resurfacing surgery incorrectly, which could lead to a fracture.

Loosening of a hip resurfacing implant is also quite common. Over time, an implant may simply wear down, which will cause the implant to loosen. This condition is unavoidable in most cases, though the situation is usually rectified by undergoing regular hip replacement surgery following the loosening of the original implant.

Even though the metal that hip resurfacing implants are made from is a better alternative to plastic, these implants wear out as time progresses. When wear and tear occurs, small metal particles called "metal ions" are allowed to enter a patient's body. While scientists are unsure or how, or if, metal ions will impact a person's health, these ions are something to be aware of.

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Almost all hip resurfacing surgery patients will have to undergo a second operation once the initial implant begins to erode. The amount of time that an implant will last changes from patient to patient. Certain factors such as level of activity, weight, and age all impact the life of a metal implant. While the cause is not known, implants placed inside of female patients do not seem to last as long as implants placed inside of male patients.

There are many advantages to opting for hip resurfacing surgery over traditional hip surgery. Amongst these advantages, the fact that surgeons do not have to remove large chunks of bone in order to conduct this procedure is one of the biggest. Also, hip resurfacing surgeries are easy to correct, and this type of surgery reduces the possibility of a hip dislocation.

While resurfacing surgery may seem like a recent idea, this type of procedure has actually been around since the early 1970s. Recently, hip resurfacing surgery has become popular once again. Those people who are facing hip surgery of any kind should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of traditional hip surgery in comparison to resurfacing surgery.

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