Hip resurfacing is a bone conserving alternative to conventional total hip replacement (THR). Unlike traditional hip replacement, hip resurfacing doesn’t replace the “ball” of the hip with a metal or ceramic ball. Instead, the damaged hip ball is reshaped and capped with a metal prosthesis. The damaged hip socket also is fitted with a metal prosthesis — similar to what is used in a conventional hip replacement.
With newer materials, the artificial joint implants used for total hip replacement are lasting longer and may last for decades, although long-term data aren’t yet available for newer implants. This isn’t an issue for older people who receive a hip replacement late in life. But hip resurfacing might be a better choice for younger people because the procedure leaves more bone intact, which can make it easier to perform a total hip replacement if needed later.