Hip Resurfacing Recovery

Facts About Hip Resurfacing Recovery

            If you are under the age of 55 and suffering from a form of chronic hip pain, you may be a candidate for hip resurfacing.  Recovery time will depend on the individual, but will occupy at least six weeks before the return to normal activities.

            Our bodies are designed to be flexible using jointed limbs.  Hands, elbows, hips, knees and ankles are able to move in a variety of directions by use of a sophisticated ball and socket method.  An amazingly synergistic composition, flexor and extensor muscles connect to bone which fit within sockets, and are protected by cartilage where two bones meet.  Some joints are comparable to the workings of a door hinge, able to move forward and backward.   Other joints, such as the hip, are more complicated.  These allow for movement in all directions, and even rotational movement; a term called “synovial”.  In order to allow this movement without the friction of bone upon bone, joints are lubricated with synovial fluid, enabling the smooth and flawless movement that results in our walking, reaching, kicking, turning and more.  The more movement that a joint is able to provide, then more problems are able to arise within them.  The hip is a particularly mobile joint, and many people suffer from chronic hip pain as result of issues. 

            People often associate chronic hip pain and surgery with the elderly.  This is likely due to the fact that the most common problems that affect the hip joint are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.  Accidents that damage the hip will also create recurring problems.  While hip pain does often occur in people over the age of 40, younger people who actively participate in sports can also experience issues.  In some cases, medications for dealing with the pain are adequate, but in other cases when the pain no longer responds to the pain, surgery may be required.  Most people are familiar with hip replacement surgery, which is performed on many older patients.  It is the younger population that can receive the best benefits from another one of the methods of dealing with chronic pain:  hip surfacing.  Recovery of any hip surgery can be a prolonged event, and with hip replacement, the results may last only about 15 years.  Older, less active patients who have this surgery in their later years will generally find this to be sufficient, but for younger individuals this means that they will need to have another procedure years later. 

            The advantage of the hip resurfacing over hip replacement is that more bone is left intact.  The head of the femur bone is removed in the replacement surgery, something not required in resurfacing techniques.  This makes further surgeries less complicated to perform.  It also is less restrictive in the types of activities that can be performed after surgery; an important feature for active young people.  Once the surgery has been completed, there will be a recuperative period of approximately four to six weeks that follows.  During this time, the body is busy repairing muscle.  Restrictions on the amount of walking and driving able to be done will be imposed to allow this healing process to complete.  Also necessary at this time is rehabilitation.  Physical therapists will work with the patient to help them relearn basic skills, such as climbing stairs, getting in and out of bed as well as vehicles.  Exercises designed to regain mobility will be taught and must be practiced once back at home to help improve range of motion and gain strength.

            Hip resurfacing recovery will be a self disciplined process, using methods and exercises taught by professionals.  Those who are diligent with this rehabilitation will be rewarded by a return to normal daily activities, and a normal life much sooner.