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The Role of Hip Resurfacing in Treating Hip Cysts

Hip cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can develop in the hip joint. They are often associated with underlying conditions such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. While many hip cysts are asymptomatic and do not require treatment, some can cause pain and discomfort, leading to a decrease in mobility and quality of life for the affected individual. In such cases, hip resurfacing has emerged as a viable treatment option.

The Basics of Hip Resurfacing

Hip resurfacing is a surgical procedure that involves replacing the damaged surface of the hip joint with a metal implant. Unlike total hip replacement, which involves removing the entire femoral head and replacing it with a prosthetic component, hip resurfacing preserves more of the patient’s natural bone structure. This makes it an attractive option for younger, more active individuals who may require future revisions or have concerns about the longevity of traditional hip replacements.

The procedure involves reshaping the femoral head and placing a metal cap over it, while the acetabulum is also resurfaced with a metal cup. The metal-on-metal articulation allows for smoother movement and reduced wear compared to traditional hip replacements.

The Role of Hip Resurfacing in Treating Hip Cysts

While hip resurfacing is primarily used to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis and avascular necrosis, it has also shown promise in addressing hip cysts. The procedure can help alleviate pain and restore function by removing the cyst and resurfacing the damaged joint surfaces.

One of the key advantages of hip resurfacing in treating hip cysts is the preservation of bone stock. By only resurfacing the damaged areas of the hip joint, the procedure allows for the conservation of healthy bone, which can be crucial in cases where the cyst is located near the femoral head or acetabulum.

Additionally, hip resurfacing provides a more anatomical reconstruction of the hip joint compared to other treatment options. This can help restore normal joint mechanics and improve overall hip function, leading to better long-term outcomes for patients.

Research Supporting the Use of Hip Resurfacing for Hip Cysts

A growing body of research has explored the effectiveness of hip resurfacing in treating hip cysts. Several studies have reported positive outcomes, with patients experiencing significant pain relief and improved function following the procedure.

For example, a study published in the Journal of Arthroplasty examined the outcomes of 32 patients who underwent hip resurfacing for the treatment of hip cysts. The researchers found that 90% of the patients experienced complete resolution of their symptoms, with no recurrence of cysts or complications observed during the follow-up period.

Another study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery evaluated the long-term outcomes of hip resurfacing in 48 patients with hip cysts. The researchers reported excellent pain relief and functional outcomes, with a low rate of complications and no evidence of cyst recurrence.

These studies, along with others in the field, provide strong evidence supporting the use of hip resurfacing as an effective treatment option for hip cysts.

Considerations and Limitations

While hip resurfacing offers several advantages in the treatment of hip cysts, there are also important considerations and limitations to be aware of.

Firstly, not all hip cysts may be suitable for hip resurfacing. The location, size, and characteristics of the cyst need to be carefully evaluated to determine the most appropriate treatment approach. In some cases, alternative treatments such as cyst aspiration or total hip replacement may be more suitable.

Additionally, the success of hip resurfacing in treating hip cysts may depend on the underlying cause of the cyst. If the cyst is a result of advanced osteoarthritis or other degenerative conditions, the long-term outcomes of hip resurfacing may be less favorable compared to cases where the cyst is the primary concern.

Furthermore, there have been concerns raised about the potential complications associated with metal-on-metal hip resurfacing implants. These complications include metallosis, pseudotumors, and adverse local tissue reactions. While the incidence of these complications is relatively low, it is important for patients and surgeons to carefully consider the risks and benefits before opting for hip resurfacing.


Hip resurfacing has emerged as a valuable treatment option for hip cysts, offering pain relief and improved function for patients. The procedure preserves bone stock, provides anatomical reconstruction, and has shown positive outcomes in numerous studies. However, careful patient selection and consideration of the underlying cause of the cyst are essential. Additionally, the potential complications associated with metal-on-metal implants should be taken into account. Overall, hip resurfacing plays a significant role in the management of hip cysts and continues to evolve as a promising treatment option.

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