Hip Preservation and Reconstruction vs Hip Replacement

By Tristyn Kinser, MS, ATC, LAT

Hip Preservation and Reconstruction vs Hip Replacement

Hip Preservation and Reconstruction vs Hip Replacement

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Hip Pain

The hip joint is made up of two bones; the femur and the pelvis. The head of the femur is ball-shaped and fits into the pelvis, creating the ball-and-socket hip joint. This unique structure allows for a large range motion allowing for many activities such as running, squatting, and playing sports.  Due to this large range of motion, and varying shapes of the bones in individuals, there are many injuries at the joint.

The most common injury at the hip joint is femoral acetabular impingement (FAI) which is caused by the head and neck of the femur being miss-shaped. The deformity causes the hip to not move smoothly in the socket which creates damage to the cartilage and labrum, and leaves patients in severe pain.

Over time, this injury can lead to osteoarthrosis which leads to hip replacement. Luckily, there is a procedure that repairs this damage and prevents the need for future joint replacements. JOI’s own, Dr. Freeman is one of few Hip Preservation Surgeons in the United States.

What is Hip Preservation and Reconstruction?

Hip preservation can be defined as a surgery that focuses on the prevention of the onset of arthritis thus eliminating the need for a future hip replacement. There are multiple techniques involved in hip preservation and reconstruction.

Some surgical techniques include; cartilage reconstruction surgery (bone and tissue grafts), bone spur removal (removing protrusions from the bone), debridement (removal of loose bodies or cartilage), hip labral repair (repairing tears in cartilage lining of hip socket) and pelvic osteotomy (removing bone to allow for better position of the femur and pelvis).

What Are Your Options?

If you suffer from chronic pain in your hip, you may think your only option for relief is a total hip replacement. However, there may be another option. Joint preservation is a great way to prevent injury, preserve cartilage, and decrease inflammation. When deciding which procedure may be right for you, there are a few considerations to take.

First, age is important to successful preservation surgeries and research has found patients less than 50 years of age have better outcomes. Secondly, weight can factor into how much demand is put on the joint, causing damage to it. Did you know that for every 1 pound of weight lost, 3-5 pounds of pressure is taken off of the hip, knee and ankle?

Next, strength and flexibility can reduce joint stress on the hip. Lastly, the severity of your hip joint damage can affect which type of procedure you may qualify for. Some patients with severe cartilage damage may not be eligible for hip preservation surgery.


If you have a history of hip dysplasia, impingement, avascular necrosis, or hip pain due to athletics, you may be a candidate for this procedure. For individuals between 20-50 years old, hip preservation surgery can help to prevent the need for a hip replacement in the future. If you have hip pain come to JOI and see Dr. Freeman for an evaluation to determine what options (Hip Preservation and Reconstruction vs Hip Replacement) may be best for you!

JOI Fracture and Injury Care

JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP fracture and injury care. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room. To learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000.

Please do not hesitate to call JOI for your medical needs. We have surgeons that can help diagnosis your tear and therapy staff waiting to help rehab you back to full health! Please call JOI-2000 or click the banner below to schedule with one of our specialists.

Dr. Freeman

Dr. Carl Freeman

By: Carl Freeman, MD

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