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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org

What are the pros and cons of hip resurfacing? Am I eligible?

Q) It was very interesting to read about hip resurfacing in a recent edition of Arthritis Today and to learn that young patients can be given this option instead of a total hip replacement. I'm 28 years old and am hoping to have something done in the near future to give me more mobility so I can do leisure activities that I can't do at present due to the pain I'm experiencing as the result of osteoarthritis. My consultant informed me in 2002 that an arthrodesis (fusion) was probably the most likely option; unfortunately I'm not comfortable with this option. What are the pros and cons of hip resurfacing, and would I be eligible?
Daniel Webster, Inverness (Spring 2005)

A) It's unusual to have osteoarthritis of the hip at 28 years. I would guess that you have a problem with the shape of your hip socket, or you had a hip problem as a child or previously injured your hip. Your eligibility for any surgery will depend on how much pain and activity limitation you have. All these factors will influence the surgeon, as will the surgeon’s skill, training and preference. When you say ‘leisure activities’ I know that most surgeons would already be frowning! They don’t like you putting too much strain on an implanted joint, resurfacing or otherwise. So, my advice is to go back and talk to your doctor, who may recommend that you see a different surgeon. Things have moved on in the last three years.

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