Dr. mark shekhman
Mark Shekhman, MD

Active adults with severe arthritis now have an alternative to traditional hip replacement therapy -- and Hartford Hospital is one of the few hospitals in the region offering it. It's call hip resurfacing, and it's a procedure that preserves more of the patient's own bone and creates an implant capable of supporting strenuous physical activity and may be longer-lasting than traditional implants.

"We are careful to selectively perform hip resurfacing on patients for whom the procedure is safe and will result in the best outcomes," says Mark Shekhman, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at The Joint Center at Harford Hospital. "Healthy people with active lifestyles and strong bone quality are the ideal candidates.”

Shekhman and fellow orthopedic surgeon Durgesh G. Nagarkatti, MD, are among only a handful of physicians in the Northeast who are expert at this procedure. "It is a complex procedure that should only be performed by surgeons well trained and experienced in it," adds Shekhman.

Durgesh g. nagarkatti, md
Durgesh G. Nagarkatti, MD
Total hip replacement involves the removal of the entire head or top of the femur -- the upper leg bone that connects to the hip. In addition, a shaft is drilled down into the femur and a new femoral head is implanted into the bone. But in hip resurfacing, the head of the femur is reduced only slightly and then covered with a spherical metal jacket -- not unlike a cap on a tooth. The socket in the hip bone is lined with a thin, smooth metal surface into which the resurfaced bone fits. The resulting implant closely resembles the original anatomy and is both tight and mobile.

"It conserves bone and it reduces the post-operative risk of dislocation and inaccurate leg lengths," says Nagarkatti, who notes that those who opt for resurfacing still have the option of total hip replacement later in life, if necessary.  "The idea is that it would make total hip replacement -- at a later date -- a simpler procedure," he says.

“Patients have been getting back to their daily lives and participating in more demanding activities after resurfacing," observes Shekhman.

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