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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is hip resurfacing better than hip surgery?

    Related Topic
    I am a 64 year old male have been very active all my life and still am. I have been advised that I need to undergo hip replacement surgery, however I am wondering if hip resurfacing would be a better option so that I can maintain an active lifestyle which includes tennis, snow skiing, jet and water skiing etc.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 5


    Dr James Rohrsheim

    Orthopaedic Surgeon


    There are probably no benefits for resurfacing over a total hip replacement in your age bracket. Avoiding the risk of metal on metal bearings is a good idea. Usinga  ceramic bearing and a normal total hip through an anterior approach will give you a very good result. I would be happy to provide a second opinion for you.


  • 1


    Dr Chien-Wen Liew

    Orthopaedic Surgeon

    Adelaide Orthopaedic HIP, KNEE and SHOULDER Surgeon specialising in Sports Injury and Joint Replacement. View Profile

    Hip resurfacing has the initial advantage of being quite a stable joint with a relatively large available, safe range of movement. With the recent issues with metal on metal hip resurfacing replacements, their use is reducing, due to the levels of cobalt and chromium in the blood stream. We are not sure if this happens with all hip resurfacing implants or just the defective ones, so their use is dropping. 

    The main limitation to doing all the things you have mentioned is the available range of motion before putting your hip replacement at risk of dislocating. There are many ways to perform hip replacement surgery, and some have benefits. It is important to discuss with your surgeon what approach and implant are the best for you. 

    The other issue is performing impact activities on your replaced hip. A prosthetic hip should not be put through impact activities as they are like any bearing surface and will undergo unnecessary wear, decreasing the life of the implant. Low impact activities are suitable.

    I hope this answers your question. 

  • 2


    Mr Ilan Freedman

    Orthopaedic Surgeon

    Mr Ilan Freedman is a Dual-Fellowship trained Melbourne Orthopaedic Surgeon with specialist experience in Direct Anterior Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement, Bikini Anterior Hip Replacement, Conformis … View Profile

    I generally tell patients now to avoid "hip resurfacing". The implants there are made from metal and the two metal surfaces rubbing together can lead to metal particles being released into the joint, which can be associated with significant problems. You can look up problems related to "metal on metal".

    A minimally invasive anterior hip replacement with ceramic implants will provide equivalent or better stability compared to a resurfacing, while avoiding the issues associated with metal on metal resurfacing implants.

    One day a "ceramic resurfacing" may be available, but this is not available as of June 2016.

    Ilan Freedman - Orthopaedic Surgeon

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