"That operation was actually pretty much abandoned in this country because the results were inferior to conventional hip replacement surgery." Doctor Thomas P. Sculco, Surgeon-in-Chief at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, explains the procedure of surface replacement, which was abandoned but now may be making a comeback thanks to new materials.
Dr. Sculco: Another type of hip replacement surgery is so call surface replacement operation. That operation was very popular 30 years ago. A surface replacement,different than a conventional femoral replacement... the socket is the same. But on the femoral side, rather than this part of the normal femur being replaced, preserves that boney neck and the ball is kept onto that boney area. The advantage of that was that one could potentially preserve that little bit of bone. And should you have to go back again, perhaps it could be a less complicated behavior. The problem was, failure occurred. Because the bone onto which the ball cap was placed was often times not of healthy quality and died underneath that cap and the prosthesis would loosen. Or that bone was weakened, and certain instances the bone would fracture through that area. That operation was actually pretty much abandoned in this country because the results were inferior to conventional hip replacement surgery. The over the last five years new materials are being used. Metal on the socket piece and metal on the ball piece, different metal. With the idea that maybe that operation could then survive, changing its technique and the materials.
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