November 2011

Bone data support return to play six months after hip resurfacing

In the moment: Sports medicine

Patients experience significant increases in femoral neck bone density six months after undergoing hip resurfacing, which suggests it is safe for them to return to high-impact sports at that time, according to research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Investigators used dual energy x-ray absorptiometry to analyze femoral neck bone density in 52 patients who had undergone surface replacement arthroplasty (SRA, or hip resurfacing) and 32 who had undergone total hip arthroplasty (THA).

Bone density in three femoral neck zones was significantly higher in the SRA patients than the THA patients at six months and at one year. In addition, bone density on the tension side of the femoral neck significantly increased between six weeks and six months and remained stable at one year.

The findings, e-published on October 18 by Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, suggest that SRA does not result in the stress shielding associated with other implants and that SRA patients may return to high-impact sports at six months without risk of fracture.

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