We have undertaken a prospective, randomised study to compare conservation of acetabular bone after total hip replacement and resurfacing arthroplasty of the hip. We randomly assigned 210 hips to one of the two treatment groups. Uncemented, press-fit acetabular components were used for both. No significant difference was found in the mean diameter of acetabular implant inserted in the groups (54.74 mm for total hip replacement and 54.90 mm for resurfacing arthroplasty). In seven resurfacing procedures (6.8%), the surgeon used a larger size of component in order to match the corresponding diameter of the femoral component. With resurfacing arthroplasty, conservation of bone is clearly advantageous on the femoral side. Our study has shown that, with a specific design of acetabular implant and by following a careful surgical technique, removal of bone on the acetabular side is comparable with that of total hip replacement.
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