Hip Resurfacing Surgery
A 78-year-old retired pilot based in the US, Keith Lawler, faced intense pain in his right hip. It prevented him from his indulging in his favorite activities — skiing, tennis, and mountaineering. He was advised surgery, but he hesitated. It was then that he heard about the tennis legend and three-times Grand Slam champion, Andy Murray’s successful comeback to top level ATP circuit after having a hip resurfacing surgery for end-stage arthritis of the hip.
However, medical experts at Keith’s home country refused to perform the procedure due to his advanced age and offered the routine hip replacement instead. He then connected with surgeons overseas, experts in this field, and that’s how he came across Dr C Vijay Bose, Joint Director & Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, SIMS Hospital. Soon, Keith was on his way to Chennai for hip resurfacing surgery, which was successful and today, the aviator is back in the US and looking forward to resuming his active lifestyle complete with skiing and mountaineering.
Back home, Dr Vijay Bose recalls that surgery, and answers a few questions detailing hip resurfacing surgery popularly known as Andy Murray Surgery, ever since the British legend underwent the procedure in March 2019.
So, what is the difference between hip replacement and hip resurfacing surgery?
The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. In a healthy hip, the bones are covered with smooth cartilage to ensure painless movement. As one ages, the cartilage wears away – which is what is corrected with surgery. In a hip-replacement surgery, the damaged joint is replaced with a prosthetic implant. But in hip resurfacing surgery, the ball is smoothened and covered with a metal cap.
So, which surgery is preferable?
Patients who undergo hip resurfacing, function at higher levels when compared to hip replacement patients, as the joint feels more normal and natural. The procedure is ideally suited for younger and more active patients, who are into activities like sports, running and skiing.
When does one need hip resurfacing surgery?
When people feel intense pain while walking, performing day-to-day chores or during vigorous activities,it is understood that the joint is showing signs of wear. In such a situation, hip resurfacing can be considered as against hip replacement, to restore the quality of life.
What is the post-operative period like?
Patients rehabilitate faster after hip resurfacing surgery and do not have any restrictions when it comes to leading an active lifestyle.
Is it a specialised surgery?
Hip resurfacing is a highly specialised surgery, as it is very technical. Currently, only around 15 surgeons across the globe undertake this procedure. The procedure needs to be extremely precise because as people age, bones tend to get weaker.