Health technology reviews

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Hip resurfacing

Status: Decision completed

View findings and decision

Policy context

The Health Technology Assessment program reviewed Hip Resurfacing in 2009. This topic was selected for re-review based on new evidence from registries of hip resurfacing and hip replacement identified through literature searches. The new evidence could change the previous determination.

Primary criteria ranking

  • Safety = High
  • Efficacy = Medium
  • Cost = Medium

Assessment timeline

  • Draft Key Questions Published: May 23, 2013
  • Public Comment Period: May 23 - June 7, 2013
  • Draft Report Published: August 27, 2013
  • Public Comment Period: August 27 - September 26, 2013
  • Final Report Published: October 1, 2013
  • HTCC Public Meeting: November 15, 2013


Patients with joint pain and dysfunction caused by non-inflammatory arthritis (degenerative joint disease) such as osteoarthritis, traumatic arthritis, avascular necrosis, dysplasia, or inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, may be treated with hip replacement technologies including hip resurfacing (HR). Hip resurfacing is proposed as a bone conserving alternative to the conventional total hip replacement or arthroplasty (THA) after more conservative medical therapy fails.

Unlike THA, HR does not involve the removal of the femoral head and neck or removal of bone from the femur. Rather, the head, neck and femur bone is preserved in an effort to facilitate future surgery should it be necessary, and to enable the patient to take advantage of newer technology or treatments in the future. Hip resurfacing is anatomically and biomechanically more similar to the natural hip joint. FDA approved devices in the USA include metal-on-metal (MoM) bearing surfaces.

Proposed benefits of hip resurfacing include increased stability, flexibility and range of motion. Additionally, younger patients needing full joint replacement that are expected to out-live the full replacement may benefit from symptom relief and more bone preservation to tolerate a subsequent replacement surgery.