Hip replacements are more common these days due to the the large number of people who are living longer lives. Hip joints are one of the most frequent body parts that break down over time and need replacement at some point in the later years of someone's life. Hip replacements are a serious and invasive surgery that can pose long-term risks and most often do not allow the patient to return to the same level of activity as when their hip was in its healthiest state. Replacements are often the only option, however, and patients are willing to go through the laborious process in order to gain some level of function. For some of those patients, relief may be in the form of a less invasive procedure that will provide them with even greater benefits. These patients are relatively few, as they must be younger, otherwise healthy, and active such that they don't need a full replacement to improve their hip joints. This procedure is called "hip resurfacing" and consists of re-shaping the existing thighbone rather than removing it and replacing with a synthetic implant. Resurfacing provides less risk and a greater chance of recovering a high level of function without much residual pain. Perhaps more patients will elect to undergo hip resurfacing rather than replacements and alter the field of medicine dealing with elderly patients and joint replacement.
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