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Partial Hip Replacement

General Information

A partial hip replacement may also be called resurfacing. This procedure leaves more of your original bone in place than a total hip replacement procedure. This orthopedic surgery procedure repairs or resurfaces a hip joint without replacing the joint. Hip resurfacing involves the head of the femur, or thighbone.

The procedure may also involve resurfacing of the hip socket. A partial hip replacement or resurfacing is commonly recommended for younger and more active patients. Several different approaches are used by orthopedic surgeons today, including an anterior or frontal approach or a posterior or 'behind the hip' approach. Your doctor will decide which is more suitable for your condition and treatment.

Reasons for a Partial Hip Replacement

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Pain
  • Restoration of function and range of motion following an injury
  • Weakened hip joint caused by prior injury or surgery
  • Bone tumors
  • Developmental dysplasia
  • Vascular necrosis
  • Broken hips


  • X-rays of the hip joint, before, during and after the surgery
  • CS scan
  • MRI
  • Joint aspiration to check for any signs of infection
  • Laboratory tests such as blood and urine


  • Several small incision is made along the side of the hip
  • Your doctor will insert a special surgical instrument into the hip socket so he can see inside the hip joint
  • Your surgeon will then reshape or resurface the head of the femur or ball
  • A metal cap is placed over the ball of the femur
  • The hip is realigned into the socket. In some cases, the surgeon may also resurface the hip socket and fit it with a thin metal receptacle
  • The hip ball and socket are realigned
  • The incision is closed with sutures or surgical staples
  • The wound is covered with a sterile dressing

What to Expect

A partial hip replacement surgery may cause a few side effects, which can include bleeding and/or blood clots. You'll be asked to wear compression stockings to help prevent blood clots. Following your partial hip replacement, you'll be encouraged to move your hip as soon as possible following the procedure to help healing and enhance circulation. As soon as you're able, you'll be encouraged to start physical rehabilitation therapy.