The Bristol Knee Clinic
David Johnson in theatre and with a patient

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The Bristol Knee Clinic

The Bristol Orthopaedic Clinic

• The Glen Spire Hospital, Bristol
• St Mary's Hospital, Bristol
• St Joseph's Hospital, Newport
• The Lister Hospital, London

Appointment Bookings:

• Tel: 0117 970 6655


The "Glen" Spire Hospital
Redland Hill
Bristol BS6 6UT

Tel: 0117 980 4080

Bristol Nuffield Hospital at St Mary's
Upper Byron Place
Bristol BS8 1JU

Tel: 0117 970 6655

St Joseph's Hospital
Harding Avenue
Newport NP20 6ZE

Tel: 01633 820300

The Lister Hospital
The Lister Hospital
Chelsea Bridge Rd.

Tel: 01179 706655

Hip Resurfacing - Introduction

The Hip Joint

The hip joint comprises of the head of the femur, shaped like a ball, and part of the pelvis, called the acetabulum. The acetabulum is a "socket" joint with the ball of the femur sitting in it. This enables a wide range of leg movements. Articular cartilage, which is very slippery and resistant to wear and compression, covers the surface of the acetabulum and head of the femur. As these two surfaces are very smooth they slide easily during movement. The joint is stabilised by ligaments connecting the femur and pelvis and thick muscles of the thigh and buttock control hip movements. In a healthy hip joint movement can be achieved freely, supporting the body and transmitting the propulsion forces during motion.

The articular cartilage of the hip joint can become worn and degenerative for many different reasons. This results in pain, stiffness, a limp and possibly shortening of the leg. Articular surface replacement restores the smooth surfaces of the hip joint enabling the hip joint to function correctly again.


Will I need surgery?

Pain in the hip may not require surgery. It is advisable to consult your orthopaedic surgeon initially as other treatment options may be suitable.

The main reason patients undergo hip resurfacing is due to wear and tear of the hip joint, known as "osteoarthritis". This occurs by the hip wearing out due to overuse, an anatomical abnormality, previous fracture or trauma or due to a premature failure of the articular surface, some people are more prone to this type of wear and tear compared to others.


Hip Disorders

Avascular Necrosis is where the head of the femur loses some of its blood supply and dies. Patients with this condition may be treated by articular surface replacement surgery.

Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH) - This congenital condition of the hip joint occurs once in every 1,000 births. The hip joint is shallow not enabling the ball to sit in the socket correctly causing it to move more easily and dislocate.

Osteoarthritis is degeneration of articular cartilage and hypertrophy of bone, evident by pain on activity, subsiding with rest.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is joint pain, swelling and stiffness, and is a chronic inflammatory disease. It can lead to loss of function, severe pain and decline in the joints.

Slipped Upper Femoral Epiphysis is where the head of the femur slips downwards and backwards. This is caused when the epiphyseal plate (growth plate) is weakened.


< BACK to Hip Resurfacing Index | NEXT: The resurfacing procedure >


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