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The hip resurfacing handbook: a practical guide to the use and management of modern hip resurfacings

K. De Smet, P. Campbell, C. Van Der Straeten pp. 576 Woodhead Publishing Ltd 2013 ISBN: 978-1845699482

At 544 pages this is the biggest book on hip resurfacing published to date, it contains a wealth of information, personal experience and interesting clinical vignettes, and should be read by every resurfacing surgeon.

Lead author Koen De Smet is a very experienced resurfacing surgeon and many of the cases are drawn from his personal series of a large number of different designs of implant.

His collaborators are equally experienced: Pat Campbell is a pathologist who runs an implant retrieval programme and who described ‘ALVAL’, and Catherine Van Der Straeten is an academic rheumatologist who has performed many hip resurfacing follow up and ion level studies.

The book attempts to be comprehensive, describing, for example, each in its own short chapter, fifteen modern (some discontinued) resurfacing designs, and covers indications, examination, surgical technique, non-standard anatomy and extended indications, investigation and treatment of the painful or failing resurfacing, revision surgery, rehabilitation, regulatory status, and web resources.

There are some very experienced chapter authors, but the majority of the text is written by Dr De Smet, closely followed by Drs Campbell and Van Der Straeten, and the book thus reflects their views and experience and is light in some areas in which they are not personally experienced, for example the use of hip arthroscopy to assess and treat painful resurfacings.

Most importantly, the book clearly identifies the critical role of acetabular cup positioning in the success or failure of resurfacing, and goes into some detail on the design of implants relevant to this – for example the cut out on the bearing surface of the ASR, reducing its coverage angle and leading to its failure, and the difference in coverage angles between different designs and sizes of implants.

Dr De Smet reports that 80% of his cups placed since 2007 are in the intended position, but, aside from careful surgical technique, does not discuss possible ways of improving the figure, for example intra-operative X-rays or navigation.

The index is not entirely comprehensive, for example there is only a single page reference given for ‘dislocation’ but there is, appropriately, more than one reference to this in the text, though perhaps the issue of dislocation in resurfacing deserves more discussion.

There is little discussion of failure of short external rotator healing causing ‘pseudo-pseudotumour’ – it is assumed that most fluid collections are wear, infection or allergy.

I concur with the authors that a well-performed hip resurfacing is an excellent operation, and I am concerned that much of the recent criticism of the technique is ill-informed. This book attempts to inform, and, while it is not entirely comprehensive, it is the most comprehensive text on this subject so far, it offers helpful guidance to the neophyte and the experienced, and should be read by every resurfacing surgeon.

Jason Brockwell

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