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Hip replacement and resurfacing equally effective at improving joint function | Arthritis Research UK.

Published on 08 May 2012
Source: Adfero

Patients who undergo total hip replacement or resurfacing appear to have similar outcomes at one year after surgery, according to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal.

Researchers at the University of Warwick, led by professor of trauma and orthopaedic surgery Matthew Costa, set out to compare the clinical and cost-effectiveness of hip replacement with resurfacing in patients with severe arthritis.

Hip replacement surgery replaces the entire damaged joint with an artificial one, whereas resurfacing only removes the damaged surfaces of the bones inside the joint, after which they are replaced with a metal surface.

The latest study involved 126 patients in the UK, all of whom were over 18 years of age and had severe arthritis of the hip joint.

Of these, 60 underwent hip resurfacing while the remaining 66 had a total hip replacement.

Publishing their findings in the British Medical Journal, the study authors revealed there was no difference in hip function between the two treatment groups after one year had passed.

There was also no overall difference in complication rates between those who had a hip replacement and those who underwent resurfacing.

However, those who received a prosthetic joint were more likely to experience wound complications, while those who underwent resurfacing had an elevated risk of blood clots.

The study authors concluded: “No evidence of a difference in hip function was seen in patients with severe arthritis of the hip, one year after receiving a total hip arthroplasty versus resurfacing arthroplasty.

“The long-term effects of these interventions remain uncertain.”

Arthritis Research UK has convened a task force to look at the long-term complications of metal-on-metal hip replacements in response to public health concerns regarding the implants, specifically the risk of metal ions seeping into the body, and the high failure rate of certain types of prosthesis.

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