info on new hip resurfacing?

Nurses General Nursing


Any info on the "new" hip resurfacing that is being done? How does post-op care differ from a total joint replacement? Is there less chance of displacement? We just had a guy in for elective bilateral resurfacing because it's supposed to be better...a week later he's back with bilateral displacement.

I don't know much, but it sounds like he could qualify for those new motarized wheelchairs covered by Medicare. (Just seen the commercials). My mom ( a senior citizen) can barely walk (knee out of whack). (Has a handicapped sticker) Does anyone know much about these motarized WC's covered by Medicare? Do they cost $2,000.00 (we pay) and the rest is covered by Medicare?

Sounds good to me. What would be our cost? Does anyone know? Thanks for any info.


I am curious what position your patient was in when he dislocated? The hip is prone to this until between 3 and 6 months post op. I recall one patient who bent over and crawled under the kitchen sink looking for a whisky bottle....yep she dislocated. Another man was climbing a ladder 2 rungs at a time....yep him too.

The type of resurfacing device I am most familiar with is the Birmingham metal cup.


In hip resurfacing you are usually talking about using a metal cup that just covers the area that thefemoral head occupies. The are usually fixed through the trochanter. When hip surgery is done the hip is taken into a "position of disarticulation" that is the position they use to "pop out" the femoral head. That position is what they need to it will surely dislocate. It will depend on whether the surgeon uses an anterior incision (no high chairs, no leaning backward) or a posterior approach (no LOW chairs,toilet seats, no ad-duction of the legs)..I KNOW, I know, but we ortho nurses say it that way- A.D.duction and A.B.duction to make it plain)

After the THA or resurfacing, the hip is then rearticulated. The resurfacing is mainly to preserve the shaft and inside of the femur until absolutely a total hip is needed..that is... one that has a femoral component that is driven into the femoral canal.

Younger people would be the ones for resurfacing and that should provide them with a useable hip for quite awhile but not forever. Unfortunately most THAs have a limited lifespan.

The trouble that a THA revision gets into is removing the prosthesis. Preserving as much bone as possible is hard because of the femoral damage of removal.

Oh and I would treat them JUST like a total.

[ June 10, 2001: Message edited by: P_RN ]

thanks for the info...very helpful!!

I'm 51 and just had a hip resurfacing due to osteoarthritis caused by sport when younger and wanting to stay reasonable mobile with intention to carry on non-impact sports (cycling, swimming, hiking). Both components were uncemented. Can't speak highly enough of my surgeons and hospital. I had an epidural and had no pain during or post op. I had a couple of days post op feeling billious after meals (never actually sick) due to the drip in my arm, but nurses cured that with an injection. As to restrictions, my surgeon takes the approach of treat it careful at the start and it will last longer.

Stayed in for 6 days. Now 3 weeks after am up to 15 minutes walking a day using "light touch", but the leg feels fine. No aches or pains. Felt "clunky" at first due to lack of sinovial lubrication for about a week, but now it's real smooth in moving.

Worse bit was (is!) having to sleep on back. Found by moving between bed half way through night to a recliner, watching TV for an hour or so and then going back to sleep in recliner, I get a reasonable amount of sleep.

Real worse bit is daytime TV, but luckily no in contact with computer!

I also had a collegue trained in hypnotherapy treat me before I went in to hospital with self hypnosis technique for pain relief and healing. I would have been somewhat sceptical before this, but it really was useful and I would recommend it if possible. One session of an hour was sufficient.

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