Hip Resurfacing Summary

The hip resurfacing procedure is done to preserve bone and restore function to a damaged hip. It is considered a viable alternative to hip replacement surgery for many people. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia or spinal block.

This procedure is generally intended for active people who are under the age of 60. Individuals over the age of 60 may be considered if they have adequate bone volume. Certain disorders of the femur or hip socket may disqualify a person as a candidate regardless of their age.

The following may exclude you as a candidate for hip resurfacing:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Impaired function of the kidneys
  • Metal hypersensitivities or allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Significant areas of dead bone otherwise known as avascular necrosis

Length of the procedure: 1 to 3 hours

Hospital Stay: When seeking a hip resurfacing procedure through medical tourism the typical hospital stay ranges from 5 to 10 days.

Recovery before traveling home: 10 days

Procedure Details

The hip resurfacing procedure begins with the administration of general anesthesia or spinal block. The area is prepped with a liquid antiseptic. Then, an incision is made on the patient’s hip and thigh.

During the procedure the surgeon will remove the surfaces that are worn from the hip socket and thigh bone. These surfaces will be covered with metal. The surgeon will finish the procedure by closing the wound with stitches or staples.

After the Procedure

During recovery the patient will have a special pillow placed between their legs to prevent dislocation. They will also wear medical compression stockings to prevent blood clots. To facilitate recovery the patient will need to participate in some physical therapy both during and after their hospital stay.

Physical begins with the following:

  • Learning to move up and down in bed properly
  • Learning to go from lying down to sitting and vice versa
  • Learning to stand from a seated position standing and vice versa
You will also be given certain exercise to do that will help strengthen the muscles in your lower body. Many doctors recommend that you continue professional physical therapy after you have returned home. You will also require the use of a cane or walker for about six weeks.

Certain activities should be limited for the first six months after a hip resurfacing procedure including:

  • Heavy lifting
  • Running
  • Jogging
  • Jumping
  • No driving for about five weeks


After recovering from hip resurfacing most patients’ range of motion is restored to almost normal. The recovery period for this procedure is roughly six months because this is how long it takes for the bone to seal to the implant. After this time most patients return to normal daily activities with little to no discomfort.

Risks and Complications

As with any surgical procedure there are risk and complications associated with hip resurfacing. The following are the most common risks associated with this procedure:

  • Infection
  • Blood clot
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Fracture of the femoral neck
  • Device failure
  • Device loosening
  • Dislocation
  • Reaction to Anesthesia
  • Excess bone formation
  • Nerve injury
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased mobility

Any concerns you have regarding these risks before and after your hip resurfacing procedure should be discussed with your surgeon.

Contact your physician if:
  • Your incision or the area around your incision becomes red
  • You develop swelling of the incision
  • You develop incision tenderness
  • The incision smells
  • Your pain increases
  • Tylenol or ibuprofen does not reduce your fever
  • Pain in your calf and leg develops that is unrelated to your incision
  • Tenderness or redness of your calf begins
  • Your thigh, calf, ankle, or foot begin to swell
  • Shortness of breath occurs
  • Chest pain develops, especially with breathing