Hip replacements are common procedures, and their popularity is
expected to increase as baby boomers age. Some younger patients
opt for hip resurfacing, but there's one serious problem that hip
resurfacing patients have that hip replacement patients don't.
Sometimes the femoral neck of the resurfaced hip breaks, and a
second operation — a hip replacement — is needed. Several reports
have put the incidence of femoral neck fracture at between 1% and
2%. Some data suggest that the fractures are more likely to
happen in women than in men, perhaps because of low bone density.
Some surgeons say, therefore, the ideal hip resurfacing patient
is not only young and thin, but also male. Poor surgical
technique (hip resurfacing is a technically demanding operation
to perform) and the shape and angle of the femoral neck have been
blamed for the fractures. So while it's helpful to be familiar
with the options, the skill and experience of the surgeon is
often going to be more important than the type of
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