Have now seen several hip surgeons, and some info to share.
Projected useful lifetime for current hip devices is 30 years, so hip resurfacing is the first choice for those under the age of 50 or so, as once the resurfacing devices wear out, total hip replacement will then see the patient thru the rest of their life. So an important key for those younger is to get an early diagnosis for serious hip issues, and not reach the point of athritic degradation that hip resurfacing has been removed as an option. And progress continues to be made on techniques to replace existing hip replacements with new, so having a full hip replacement when younger doesn’t mean out of luck when still alive 30 years later.
For a total hip replacement, the anterior approach is certaily the way to go. A process that has been used in Europe since the 60’s, and becoming the new gold standard here in the US, it not only dramatically reduces recovery time (walking immediately after surgery, sports in two months or so), it equally reduces post-op dislocations, as the major muscles groups have been left intact, firmly holding the implant in place.
As potential dislocaton problems are an obvious serious issue for surfers, both for long term health and immediate survival if dislocaton occurs while out in heavy conditons, the Big Femoral Head device is the go to solution for the more strenous sports athletes such as surfers. Since the BFH devices also are thought to have a higher wear rate, however, it requires the surgeon to balance the device selection between dislocation prevention and minimal wear.
I went through a workup with an orthopedic surgeon in San Francisco I really like, Dr. Nichaolas Mast with the SOAR clinic, who has studied extensivey with some of the best ortho surgeons in the US and Europe, including the highly regarded Dr. Joel Matta in Santa Monica, and several other notables in Europe. He has done hundreds of hip replacements, is fully versed on the latest tecniques for best outcoms, and very importantly to me, he is a dedicated surfer who understands how important is is for a surfer to keep surfing.
On a personal basis, turns out I will need both hips replaced due to the advanced athritis in both. Having been assured this is strictly a pain related decison and waiting will not change the outcome, I’ll just deal with the current come and go discomfort and keep on surfing until my body let’s me know it’s time to get it done…