Introduction: Metal-on-metal hip resurfacing arthroplasty (HRA) is currently recommended for younger, active patients with high expectations but information about outcomes is limited. Reports concentrate on wear, fracture rates and radiographic appearance, rather than function. Studies that report function do not describe rehabilitation protocols. This data is important to discussions about likely outcomes and restrictions prior to consent and to fully evaluate HRA.

Methods: Consecutive Conserve HRA operations were reviewed 1 year post-surgery. Function was assessed using 3 validated questionnaires; the OHS (Oxford Hip Score), HOOS (Hip Disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score) and UCLA Activity Scale. Complications, pain, ROM, muscle strength, single leg stand, walking and stair climbing ability were recorded.

Results: 125 HRA were reviewed (68 right, 57 left hips) in 120 patients (71 male, 49 female) of mean age 56 years. 86.7% recorded no complications, but 20% had pain at 3 months. The median OHS was 15, median UCLA 7 (active) and mean HOOS 82.78%. Operated hip flexors, extensors and abductors were weaker (p=0.000) and hip flexion ROM a mean 94.46 ± 12.71 (55–120) degrees. For 25% walking was limited, 7.6% needed a stick and 10% a stair rail. The OHS correlated with HOOS pain subscale (r=0.812, p=0.000), flexion ROM (r=0.426, p=0.000), hip extensor (r=0.359, p=0.000) and abductor (r=0.424, p=0.000) strength. Pain at 3 months correlated with the HOOS pain subscale (p=0.000, r= 0.503).

Discussion: Although outcomes were generally good with few complications, high levels of function and activity 25% had poor outcomes; with pain, restricted hip flexion, decreased strength, limited walking and functional problems, particularly putting on socks. Pain present at 3 months was associated with pain and worse function at 1 year. It is postulated this sub-optimal recovery may be related to current rehabilitation protocols adopted from THA and not tailored to HRA.


  • Correspondence should be addressed to Mr John Hodgkinson, BHS, c/o BOA, The Royal College of Surgeons, 35–43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE.