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  Hip resurfacing

Hip resurfacing is a newer operation. It relines rather than replaces the joint. It is suitable for young, active patients who wish to return to activities such as competitive sport and manual work.

The operation was developed in England approximately 15 years ago by an orthopaedic surgeon called Derek McMinn. The procedure is also known as the McMinn, the Birmingham hip, hip relining, as well as hip resurfacing. Mr Middleton was trained in performing the procedure by Mr McMinn himself in Birmingham ten years ago.

The difference between hip replacement and hip resurfacing is that in hip replacement the normal hip is cut out and replaced and in resurfacing the joint is just relined. This means instead of cutting the head and neck off and making a cavity down the femur in which to insert the hip replacement the surface of the hip is removed. Mr Middleton uses special instruments to remove a few millimetres of the worn articulating surface of the socket and of the head of the femur and replaces these with a metal lining. The advantages are that the patient retains their own living hip just with the surface being replaced therefore conserves the bone, particularly on the femur such that if a hip replacement is required in the future there is good quality bone. The resurfacing head is normally the same size as the original hip and therefore the range of movement and stability should be better. It is very rare for these hips to dislocate or come out of joint despite patients getting back to competitive sport such as squash, tennis, skiing, judo and heavy manual work. The bearing surface or articulating surface is metal on metal which is a very hard bearing surface and wears at a very low rate and therefore potentially could last many decades as long as the bone remains healthy.

The hospital stay and rehabilitation is similar to that for hip replacement and often the recovery is a bit quicker.

© Rob Middleton
The Harbour Hospital
St Marys Road, Poole, Dorset, BH15 2BH

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