Author Topic: is it ever too late to get a hip resurfacing?  (Read 1917 times)

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is it ever too late to get a hip resurfacing?
« on: May 26, 2008, 01:36:41 AM »
I am sure this question has been asked before but I was having trouble finding the answer. I am a 31 year old ballet dancer. My doctor told me I was a candidate for hip resurfacing, but said it would mean me retiring from my career. so, he said my 2 options were to keep dancing till I can't stand the pain any more or get the surgery. I am leaning towards the first option and go till I can't any more. The question I neglected to ask my doctor is, Can I wear out my hip to the point where I won't be able to get Hip Resurfacing and have to get a total hip replacement? Also would I be able to continue my career after Hip resurfacing? (rehearsing for 8 hours and performing on the hip.) or was the doctor just being cautious?
thank you for your time.


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Re: is it ever too late to get a hip resurfacing?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2008, 02:42:53 AM »
yes, sometimes it is too late to get a resurfacing. if your bone density decreases too much, if you have too many bone cysts, there are several other reasons. pat will tell you to check with surgeons overseas because they are more experienced and may do resurfacings surgeons in the states would not.

but, i have to say that i am surprised your surgeon said this would be the end of your career. one of the best things about resurfacing is being able to return to the things you love, just check out the athletes section. my surgeon has less than 100 resurfs, but he has done a dancer and she is back at it. there is a recovery period where you will not be able to work out as intensely, but i would think you could return.

here is a post pat made on this subject:

if i were you, i would consider some second opinions. of course, this all depends on your quality of life at this point.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2008, 02:47:56 AM by rlm869 »
dr. john evans
3/24/08 rbhr

Pat Walter

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Re: is it ever too late to get a hip resurfacing?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2008, 06:13:14 PM »
Hi DeAnn

Yes you can miss the window of opportunity to have a hip resurfacing.  If you get too many large, deep cysts or your femur bone just becomes too soft, you can't have a hip resurfacing.

The best advice is to get some input from some really experienced surgeons.  They can tell from your x-ray how far your hip has deteriorated.  I will tell you that the really experienced surgeons will never do a hip before they think it should be done.  They don't have to make up cases to make money. They are very, very busy.

You are very young and certainly should consider a hip resurfacing if possible.  I have Willam Starretts video posted here, his is the 4th video  http://www.surfacehippy.info/shvideos/videosathletes.php  He was older and was not able to return to ballet.  He mostly teaches from what I saw in the video.  He worked very hard to get back to being able to dance, but not at the level when he was younger.

Since you are younger, you may be able to return to what you love.  I am sure it will take a lot of work, but many people have return to difficult sports.  You need to use a really, really expreinced surgeon if you expect to return to dancing.

I would suggest several in the US like Dr. Su - 500 resurfacs, Dr. Gross - 1300 resurfs and Dr. Clarke - 550 resurfs.   If it were me and I was really serious about returning to ballet, I would be heading for the reallly expereinced surgeons like Dr. Bose of India - 1100 resurfs, Dr. De SMet of Belgium - 1300 resurfs or McMinn or Treacy - over 4000 resurfs.

I used Dr. De Smet because he does very difficult cases.  Normally, people using the overseas doctors seem to have quicker and easier recoveries than people using the newer doctors in the US.  Just an observaiton from reading hundreds of stories and experiencing resurfacing with 8 others in Belgium 2 years ago.

I would find out where your hips are so you can make a good decision.

You need to ask the doctors every question you have - don't leave anything out.  If you dont like their answers - find surgeons with experience that are willing to work with you.

Keep in touch.

Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet


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Re: is it ever too late to get a hip resurfacing?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2008, 02:49:16 AM »
Thank You! the information that you both gave has been very helpful.


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Re: is it ever too late to get a hip resurfacing?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2008, 08:54:56 PM »
Hi DeAnn,

When I was 73 I had a resurfacing by Dr. De Smet.  As long as your bone quality is good, i.e., no osteoporosis, you will be a good candidate for resurfacing.  Be careful to choose a surgeon who has done
at least 500 procedures, preferably more.  In my opinion, the best surgeons are Drs. McMinn & Treacy in England and Koen de Smet in Belgium.  Dr. Bose in India also has a very good reputation.

Good luck!

Mike Sulman


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