Author Topic: Resurf or THR?  (Read 1986 times)

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Resurf or THR?
« on: August 19, 2008, 07:56:06 PM »
Hi everyone,

I am very confused. I have had pain in my thigh, groin and small of my back for 7 months now. I have to wear sneakers to work, take pain pills and use a cane just to walk into my building to get to my desk. The orthopedic surgeon said I am bone on bone in my left hip and I am wonderig why everyone chose hip resurfacing rather than toal hip replacment. I understand from what the doctor said that at my age of 50, the resurfacing would retain my bone. I am facing at least 2 surgeries if I live past 70 and am wondering if the recovery and known sucess rate of total hip replacement would be easier to do. I have 2 children and have to work at a desk job for at least 6 more years so I'm in a dilemna on which type of surgery will be an easier recovery and have the longest lasting success. What made you all decide on resurfacing rather than total hip replacment?

Pat Walter

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Re: Resurf or THR?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2008, 10:52:39 PM »
Hi Confused

I gave you your own topic so more people could see it.

All of us choose hip resurfacing because we wanted to save our femur bones and be able to do anything we wanted after we recovered.  Most of us recover much more quickly from a hip resurfacing than people do from a THR.

I was on one crutch at 4 days and none at 4 weeks. When I returned from Belgium 10 days post op, I thought I would try a little PT here in the US. They only kept me 2 sessions because I was so far ahead of normal THR patients.  They did not know what to do with me.

I was luck and had a very quick and easy recovery and was 61 years old.  Even at 61 I feel young and wanted to be able to do anything I choose to without restrictions or possiblity of dislocations.

I have a number of articles which explain why resurfacing is better and why I choose a hip resurfacing.


Basic articles to learn about hip resurfacing and why it is a better choice for many people than a THR


Here are some excellent videos explaining the difference 

The next best way of learning about hip resurfacing and why it is prefered is to listen to the doctors videos


I think after an investment of a couple hours reviewing the above material - you will understand why we have all choosen hip resurfacing.

If you want to read a lot of personl stories - this is the place

There is no guarantee that you will need 2 more surgeries after you have your hip resurfacing.  Some people have had their BHRs over 16 years now.  If you have good bone stock the hip resurfacing should last a long time.  THRs don't come with a lifetime guarantee either.  Many people end up with revisions too.  At least with a hip resurfacing you have a complete femur bone if you need a revision. YOu might even be able to keep your acetabular cup and that makes a revision even easier.  Most of the doctors can't guarantee your resurfacing will last a lifetime, but many suggest that they feel they can last as long as a THR.

There are also a lot of nice people here that will answer questions for you.


« Last Edit: August 19, 2008, 10:56:12 PM by Pat Walter »
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3/15/06 LBHR De Smet


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Re: Resurf or THR?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2008, 09:38:03 AM »
Hi Confused - I hope that isn't your real name  ;) -
I can only speak for myself, but I chose resurfacing because it will allow me to be much more active than the total hip. I'm 52 and I intend to row, bike, hike and do other active things. If necessary, I can have a total hip replacement later on in life, and it will be an easier procedure than replacing an existing total hip (that's called a revision).
I have been told that the hip resurfacing will give you a more normal range of motion and feeling than the total hip, but obviously I can't compare the two.
Good luck. I'm sure you'll get lots of helpful advice here on Surface Hippy.
- Tom


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Re: Resurf or THR?
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2008, 11:09:27 AM »
Hi there,
I chose resurfacing partly because I'm 46 and didn't want all the restrictions - I have always been active (a runner for 20+ years), biker and skier.  But the pain just had me completely sidelined and practically unable to even walk. After learning more about resurfacing, much of it on this site, I knew it was what I wanted and began to explore my options.  My local ortho surgeon had only done 4 resurfacings so I wanted someone with lots of experience since I'd let it go long enough to start developing bone cysts.  I ended up traveling out of state and I'm glad I did.

I never heard information that I would have to have multiple surgeries because I chose resurfacing and Pat provided you with links on that.  Definitely check it out.  I do know that since resurfacing preserves bone so you can actually have a revision of the resurfacing should conditions warrant that.  Worse case, THR would always be a back up option.

You are wise to get all the information you can before you make your decision.  There are lots of wonderful doctors out there with vast knowledge and experience.  Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions, the good ones will take the time and answer everything for you.  You are also wise to get on this site.  We've been where you are right now and everyone here is happy to help!

Good luck to you!
RBHR 2/14/08 Dr. Rogerson


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Re: Resurf or THR?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2008, 03:42:09 PM »
Thank you to all that have tried to help me with my confusion about THR or Resurfacing. I am not a marathon runner but I do want to be able to briskly walk and help carry things while walking fast especially when my first needs help bringing things to college nex year! I was ondering if the THR would enable me to do normal daily activities of a young acting 50 year old who is not especially athletic. I just want to be able to enjoy the regular activities of a mother of 2 without having to think how to land with each step to prevent pain. I am bone on bone in one part of my hip but there is some cartilage in some of it. I was wondering if the THR would have a better ecovery and last longer for someone who doesn't run marathons. I also don't do wel with crutches and it seems like the Resurfacing wants you to stay off of the leg while the THR wants you to immediately put weight on it. My brother just had a THR using ceramic at age 53  last year because it is supposed to last a vey long time - any additional thoughts for me? My name is not really confused - it's Gail - I am just extremely unsure what to do when I have to sit at a desk job at the end of a large building after surgery. I also want to ensure that when I do have to take time off for surgery, I only have to do this once before I retire in 6 years since I will not have enough sick leave to cover 2 surgeries. I really appreciate this website and everyone's support!  Thanks

Pat Walter

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Re: Resurf or THR?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2008, 05:25:38 PM »
Hi Gail

Many people with hip resurfacing do not have slow recoveries.  I was able to be 100% weight bearing right after surgery.  On one crutch at 4 days and none at 4 weeks.  There are very few THR patients that do that.  They would not even keep me in PT when I got home since they did not know what to do with me since I was so far ahead of the normal THR patients.

I was 61 when I had my resurfacing and still felt I was way to young to have a THR.  I need to be able to get on the floor with my 16 dogs to care for them and did not want any problems of dislocations, etc.

You need to ask your surgeon - whether it be a THR or resurfacing what their post op recovery protocol is.  YOu might be very surprised what some of the THR doctors tell  you.  You will also have different recovery protocols from the resurfacing doctors. Often, the less experienced one are much more conservative than the more experienced ones.

On the whole, I have never heard of resurfacing patients recoverying more slowly that THR patients. Of course with either - there can be exceptions.

You are very young in your 50's and even if you don't run marathons, you don't want any problems from a hip replacement.  If you are considering a THR - make sure you are talking about MOM, metal on metal, large ball THR.  If you let them give you a small ball/plastic THR you definitely can run into many, many problems.  We have heard of many cases of dislocations from the old fashioned THRs.  One lady was just bending down to take cookies out of her oven and another bent forward in a chair to pet a dog- both dislocated their old fashioned THRs.  One person said her Mother has had 6 dislocations.  Dislocations are very painful.

I would take time since this is a very serious decision on your part. You are young and the bone conserving resurfacing is usually prefered.


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3/15/06 LBHR De Smet


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Re: Resurf or THR?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2008, 05:38:15 PM »
I am 46 and had my first bhr 2 and a half weeks ago in the Kansas City area.  I will have the other one in December. 

I chose resurfacing because the result I am looking for (like everyone) is to be able to be pain free daily even if all I do is clean my house although fitness has always been important me and I will continue to stay physically active.

I know that if I wasn't a resurfacing candidate I could be pain free with thrs but why not start with the conservative approach since I can.  I know that I may face a thr one day but for now and hopefully for a good 20 years I won't feel the effects of the arthritis.

Good luck with whatever your decide.



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