What is Resurfacing?
Also known as resurfacing arthroplasty, this procedure is designed to treat painful joints while still protecting healthy cartilage. It is most commonly performed on hips, knees, and shoulders.
Why is it Done?
Resurfacing is an alternative to total joint replacement. It may be useful to you for these reasons:
- You are in pain
- Your pain has continued for more than six months
- You are under age 60
- You have an active lifestyle
- Your bones are healthy
- You are not ready for total joint replacement
Total joint replacement often lasts for just ten years or so. Therefore, if you are young and have a total joint replacement, you may have to have more than one. In this case, resurfacing may be a better option.
How to Prepare
Spend time with your doctor and discuss the options you have. In many cases, resurfacing may work for you. Be sure to ask about any pre-operative instructions or medication restrictions.
What to Expect
Often this procedure can be done in about an hour and on an outpatient basis. Your surgeon will make an incision on the affected joint and remove just the damaged part. Healthy tissue and cartilage will remain. Then your surgeon will replace the damaged part with a metal implant, which has been specially designed for your particular joint.
You will likely go home the same day, and recovery may take approximately two weeks. The metal implants have proven to be safe and strong.