During the last 17 years performing hip surface replacement, we have developed a comprehensive program to minimize complications and allow rapid recovery after this surgery. This has allowed us to treat many patients from all around the country with only a brief stay in the Columbia area for their surgery. Statements I make are based on information from my patient database with a 92% rate of follow-up. Articles that I published in peer-reviewed journals back-up many of the claims made in this discussion.
In most cases of severe hip arthritis, loss of the cartilage surface of both sides of the joint is the problem we are addressing. It is not yet possible to regenerate the cartilage surface. Every artificial joint is a compromise. But an artificial joint feels much better than a severely arthritic joint. Resurfacing the hip with thin metal bearings to replace the lost cartilage creates an artificial joint that functions more like a normal hip joint than a standard stemmed hip replacement does.
Implanting hip resurfacing devices is different and much more complicated than implanting total hip devices. Some principles of hip replacement also apply to hip resurfacing. I have spent over 17 years perfecting the techniques that make hip resurfacing successful.
For patients who are over 65 and not athletic a stemmed total hip replacement may sometimes be a better option. For patients with extreme deformities hip resurfacing is sometimes not possible and stemmed total hip replacement is required. Several different types of hip replacement implants are available. But all the protocols below still apply.
A related field of study is perfecting the surgical techniques to decrease the general risks of complications and speed the recovery course of all artificial joint replacement surgery. These are discussed in detail in the sections provided here.