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Hip Resurfacing and Physical Therapy Rehabilitation


Total hip replacement is one of the most common joint replacements surgeries performed. Due to society aging and the fact that many older adults are more active, hip osteoarthritis has become more prevalent. For more active individuals there is a type of procedure that is known as hip resurfacing that may be more appropriate.

In years past patients no matter what their age were given the only option of a total hip replacement. With a total hip replacement, your ability to participate in strenuous activities was taken away due to the high incidence of hip replacement failure. With a procedure known as hip resurfacing, you are able to get back to most of your prior activities without the fear of causing unnecessary prosthetic failure.

The advantages of a hip resurfacing procedure is the fact that there is less femoral bone removal. With less bone removal, the chances of dislocation are greatly reduced and, the ability of the orthopedic surgeon to go back in if needed to complete a total hip replacement at a later date is improved.

The majority of hip resurfacing procedures are done using a posterior approach much like a total hip replacement therefore, physical therapists will find similar post operative procedures and precautions to initially follow regarding rehabilitation.

There have not been an established therapeutic protocol to follow after surgery however many orthopedic surgeons may have designed one themselves for the rehabilitation staff to follow. For the most part once you begin receiving physical therapy you will be followed the same as if you had received a full hip replacement.

With this procedure being so new, most patients regarding physical therapy are followed on a case by case basis however.

Though with resurfacing the recovery may be a little faster, it is for the most part followed closely in initial recovery time like a total hip replacement.

Hip resurfacing patients may also experience slightly more pain after the procedure. The reason being that most patients that qualify for hip resurfacing are very active and, need continued education on not stressing the new implant too quickly after surgery which could affect the overall healing process.

Hip resurfacing seems to be a procedure that will only expand further due to the fact that younger more active adults are opting for the procedure that will not only allow them to resolve their hip pain but, also gives them back their freedom in regards to continued exercise and maintaining a high level of activity.

If you are interested into looking further into hip resurfacing, understand that the resurfacing success is closely related to the physicians experience with this procedure. Take the time to research the orthopedic surgeon and find out how proficient they are in this type of surgery.

No doubt more research will be needed in the areas of physical rehabilitation and what the long term affects of high physical participation is on hip resurfacing prosthetic components.