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Innovative Hip Resurfacing


Hip resurfacing is similar to hip replacement, but doesn’t remove the ball (or head) of the thigh bone. Instead, a surgeon reshapes and caps the ball with artificial materials. Reshaping allows the hip joint to move easier.

Dignity Health can help you get back to a full and healthy lifestyle through a range of orthopedic services, including hip resurfacing in the Bay Area. Find a Doctor with our online tool or call 888.533.8760 to request a referral.

When Do Doctors Recommend Hip Resurfacing?

Hip resurfacing is often the preferred alternative to hip replacement for young, active patients with a relatively large frame and strong bones. Because it preserves more bone at the ball of the thigh bone, it reduces the risk of dislocation and improves joint stability. 

Dignity Health doctors use hip resurfacing to treat chronic hip pain due to:

  • Bone death (osteonecrosis), a rare condition
  • Dysplasia, when the hip joint doesn’t develop normally and wears out
  • Inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis, breakdown of cartilage and bone
  • Traumatic arthritis

What to Expect: Hip Resurfacing Surgery 

Hip resurfacing takes place in a Dignity Health hospital or surgery center in the Bay Area under general anesthesia. It is a more difficult surgery than hip replacement and requires a larger incision in the thigh and hip.

Possible complications of hip resurfacing include:

  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Blood vessel or nerve damage
  • Dislocation of the hip
  • Formation of new bone along the hip joint causing stiffness and pain
  • Infections
  • Reactions to anesthesia
  • Wear and tear of the joint, which requires a hip replacement
  • Thigh bone fracture

Hip Resurfacing Recovery Time

After hip resurfacing surgery, you may spend one to four days in a Dignity Health hospital. Some people also need to stay in a rehabilitation center before they can safely go home. You will need to use crutches for several weeks after surgery. Full recovery can take up to 12 weeks. Physical therapy will help you recover and regain hip movement and strength. Your doctor will tell you when it is safe to return to your normal activities.

Dignity Health's Bay Area hospitals are here for guidance and support in your journey towards optimal health. Meet with an expert to learn more.

Dignity Health offers alternatives to hip replacement, such as hip resurfacing, in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.