Resurfacing arthroplasty | Alexandros P. Tzaveas MD, MSc, PhD
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Resurfacing arthroplasty

Resurfacing arthroplasty is a type of hip replacement. By this method we replace only articular surfaces of the acetabulum and the femoral head, in contrast to classical total hip replacement, by which more bone stock is removed from the joint.  Thus, both articular surfaces are replaced by metal prostheses, and a new metal-on-metal articulation is formed.

The resurfacing has two major advantages: it offers a large sized femoral head to the new joint (which is almost equal in size to the original) ensuring greater stability and almost eliminating dislocation, and retains much greater bone stock from the femur, making easier a future reoperation, with great benefit for both the surgeon and the patient.

Resurfacing hip on the right (left as shown) to a young patient with osteoarthritis. The size of the implanted metal head is almost equal to the normal (as compared to the left side). The removal of the thigh bone is minimal.

The resurfacing is an increasingly used technique worldwide, primarily designed for young people who have arthritis of the hip. However, many centers apply the method even in older people, of course, when specific conditions are met (sufficient bone mass in the femoral head and neck, normal head shape, etc). The international literature has shown promising 10-year results from centers with large patient cohorts.