An Alternative to Hip Replacement

by Lois K. Solomon ,  Sun Sentinel | 2011-04-06

Do your hips hurt? Boca Raton Regional Hospital is seeking adults with severe hip pain to participate in a U.S. Food and Drug administration study on hip resurfacing, an alternative to hip replacement for some patients.

The FDA wants to know if the surgery is safe and an improvement over hip replacement, a popular procedure that replaces the hip joint, performed almost 200,000 times a year in the United States.

Hip resurfacing reshapes the damaged hip ball and socket and caps them with metal prostheses, instead of replacing the hip with an artificial joint. Resurfacing leaves more of the thigh bone intact, allowing the length of the leg to remain the same after surgery and potentially making future procedures easier.

But it is not for everyone: Patients need to be under 65, not obese and leading an active lifestyle. These requirements are necessary because many will need a traditional hip replacement later in life and the new surgery preserves their bones for future surgeries, said Dr. Jason Weisstein, principal investigator for the Boca Raton study. Weisstein, who has performed 40 hip-resurfacing surgeries, said less than 10 percent of patients he sees are eligible.


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