Hip Resurfacing Surgery & Recovery

Hip resurfacing is an alternative to hip replacement. It is recommended for people younger than age 60 who have healthy bones and are affected by pain caused by joint damage or arthritis in the hip(s) that does not respond to therapy or medication.

Baptist Health is nationally recognized for excellence in hip resurfacing. We offer a full spectrum of orthopedic care and the latest approaches to hip resurfacing. Best of all, you will appreciate convenient appointment times, locations near you and a personalized focus to meet your needs before, during and after your procedure.

What is Hip Resurfacing?

Hip resurfacing is a bone-conserving procedure that is an alternative to total hip replacement surgery for some people. The procedure replaces the hip socket in the same way as in hip replacement surgery; however, very little bone is removed from the thigh bone (femur). The head of the femur is resurfaced and covered with a metal cap to fit smoothly in the new socket.

Implant Components

A total hip replacement means components (or prostheses) are implanted on the thigh bone (femur), and in the hip socket. Because hip resurfacing spares more bone than a total hip replacement, the implant component for the thigh bone is smaller. The head of the femur will be capped with a smooth metal covering. A metal socket is implanted into the hip and a plastic, ceramic or metal spacer is placed between the cap and the socket.

Depending on your implant design and your health, the cap may be cemented into place with a fast-curing medical cement or pressed into place to rely on new bone growth around the implant to stabilize it. The socket is either cemented or screwed into place.

Implant Design

The look and design of your hip implant will be selected based upon your size, weight and activity level. This customization helps assure the most comfort, function and longevity. All components are designed to move smoothly against each other and work together just like a normal, healthy hip joint. 

What Can Hip Resurfacing Accomplish?

Hip resurfacing may be recommended for people under age 60 who have hip pain from injury or arthritis that limits their ability to engage in everyday activities and that has not responded to nonsurgical treatment like medications and therapy. The goal of hip resurfacing is to reduce and eliminate pain and improve range of motion and flexibility while sparing as much of the femur bone as possible. Goals include:

  • Relieve hip pain
  • Improve the function of the hip joint
  • Allow for comfortable and safe activities like walking, standing, climbing stairs and running
  • Enhance range of motion
  • Shorten recovery time when compared to a total hip replacement

What Can I Expect During the Procedure?

Once you are admitted for hip resurfacing, a member of the anesthesia team will meet with you to explain the type of anesthesia that will be used to make you comfortable during the procedure. The surgery will take one to two hours.

During the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision over the hip. Any damaged bone or cartilage in the hip socket will be removed and an artificial cup and liner will be fitted into place. The top of the femur, which looks like a ball, will be smoothed and a metal cap fitted over it. This allows the ball to fit easily within the cup. Muscles and soft tissue around the hip will be repaired and the incisions will be stitched, stapled or closed with surgical adhesive.


You should be discharge home the day of surgery. To protect against blood clots, you will be given blood-thinning medication. Physical therapy will begin the day of surgery to help you walk with a walker or crutches.

Estimated Recovery Timeline

Once home, it is important to follow all instructions about exercise, physical activity and incision care in order to successfully recover. Recovery will depend upon your age, health and physical condition before surgery. While most people resume normal activities in six weeks, your doctor will explain when you can resume activities like climbing stairs, driving and going back to work. In general, people recover to their fullest potential by three months after surgery.

Hip Resurfacing Possible Risks

Any surgery carries risk, but hip resurfacing is typically a safe and effective procedure to treat hip pain that comes from injury, disease or wear. You will be given instructions about how to avoid these specific risks after your hip resurfacing procedure:

  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Dislocation

You may need revision surgery 10 to 20 years after hip resurfacing. Take good care of your new hip, avoid high-impact activities and weight gain. Avoid tobacco use at least 4 weeks prior to surgery and after surgery as it delays bone and skin healing.

Next Steps with MyChart

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