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Health Information Discover Rush Spring 2009

Hip Procedure Not for Everyone

Hip resurfacing is often seen as a state-of-the-art alternative to total hip replacement. It’s generally recommended for younger, more active patients because of concern that the traditional artificial hip might wear out during their lifetime and require a second replacement — a far more complicated surgery.

But new data from a study led by Craig Della Valle, MD, a joint reconstruction specialist at Rush University Medical Center, suggest a patient’s age and gender may be crucial to the operation’s success. Researchers found that the majority of serious postoperative complications occurred in women of all ages and men older than 55. The most serious risk: fractures of the femoral neck, the area of bone just beneath the head of the femur — a problem not seen with conventional hip replacements.

“Patients may be eager to take advantage of technological innovations, and hip resurfacing has certain advantages over total hip replacement,” says Della Valle. “It preserves more bone and enables patients to return to high-impact sports, for example. But these findings suggest that we need to be cautious. Patients should discuss all of the treatment options with their surgeon to determine what’s best for them.”

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Discover Rush Spring 2009
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