There are 2 kinds of hip replacement surgery commonly being performed. Hip resurfacing can be done in younger patients with less severe joint problems. Total hip replacement in done in cases where the damage to the joint is more severe.
In hip resurfacing, the top of the femur (or thigh bone) is capped with a metal covering. The inside of the hip socket is also capped with metal. The newly covered femur fits nealtly into the new cup of the hip socket and the head moves smothly over the polished metal surface.
A benefit of hip resurfacing is that it’s bone conserving, meaning that very little of your healthy bone is removed. The damaged area is simply resurfaced. This results in more natural motion and less chance of dislocation than total hip replacement. Also, if in the future you should require a total hip replacement, it will be easier and less traumatic to perform.
Total Hip Replacement
Total hip replacement involves replacing the top portion of the femur (or thigh bone) and the acetabulum (or hip socket). The artificial socket is made either a sturdy plastic or metal backed with a plastic liner. The artificial ball that replaces the femur is made of a strong metal or ceramic. The new artificial joint may be cemented in position or held securely in the bone without cement.