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What Is Hip Reconstruction?

Developmental conditions, complex injuries, or fractures can cause damage to the bones, ligaments, and tissues in your hip joint, often making normal movement in your day-to-day activities painful or difficult.

If you have damage that cannot be repaired in one or more of the components your hip joint, your doctor can use several procedures to reconstruct the original anatomy of the joint and restore proper alignment and function of your hip. This is called a hip reconstruction.

Hip Reconstruction vs. Replacement

Hip reconstruction can be a preferable option for younger patients who might not be good candidates for a total hip replacement. Many of the hip reconstruction procedures allow doctors to rebuild damaged joints while still preserving much of the patient’s natural bone and tissue.

This differs from a total hip replacement, in which the entire joint is removed and replaced with a metal hip prosthesis.

Hip Reconstruction Procedures

The treatment your doctor recommends will vary based on the type and severity of damage in your joint. Depending on your specific condition or injury, your doctor may need to use one or more of the following procedures to reconstruct your joint.

Labral Reconstruction

The labrum is a soft tissue ring that helps support the hip joint. The labrum can be damaged to a point where it cannot be repaired. In these situations, the labrum can be rebuilt to help restore the function of the labrum.

Capsular Reconstruction

Occasionally, the hip joint may continue to have pain after a previous hip surgery. One cause of continued pain is hip instability caused by the hip capsular tissue not healing appropriately. In these cases, the capsule can either be repaired or reconstructed (rebuilt) to regain the stability.

Open/Closed Reduction

These surgeries can treat hip fractures by using pins or screws to hold the bones of your joint together as they heal. In an open reduction, your doctor will make an incision over your hip and insert the pins, screws or other hardware into the bone. A closed reduction does not require an incision.

Bone Grafting

If you have a complex fracture that is difficult or impossible to repair with an open or closed reduction, your doctor may recommend a bone graft. Healthy bone can be removed from other parts of your body (or from a donor) to replace the damaged bone in your hip joint.


In this procedure, your doctor cuts and repositions the bone in your hip to restore more normal alignment and improve your gait, as well as reduce pain. This is often used to treat developmental conditions such as hip dysplasia.

Ilizarov Method

This treatment method uses a circular apparatus and thin wires attached around your leg to correct deformities in the bone by lengthening or reshaping it. This process can take several months to complete.

Hip Reconstruction Recovery

Recovery from hip reconstruction surgery will be different for each person and will depend on what type of procedure you have. Most surgeries will require you to use crutches for a few weeks to months after your procedure and perform physical therapy exercises to regain strength and range of motion in your joint.

Most patients are able to return to their normal activities within six months, but you should continue to follow up with your doctor to make sure your hip continues to heal properly and symptoms do not return.

See Our Providers for Hip Pain

You do not need a referral to see one of our specialists for hip pain.* Before you come to see us, please follow these steps:

  • Get an X-ray at your local health center.
  • Send us your X-ray.
  • Make an appointment with our hip pain specialists by calling 801-587-7109.*

Based on your X-ray, we'll make every attempt to get you in with the right provider for the most appropriate evaluation and individualized treatment of your hip pain.

*Be sure to check with your insurance beforehand to see if they require you to have a referral to see one of our hip pain specialists.

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Meet Our Patients

Former University of Utah Basketball Star Dominates Final Year of Collegiate Career After Hip Preservation Surgery

University of Utah Women’s Basketball player, Dru Gylten, felt a pinching sensation in her hip and groin area. Thinking it was normal muscle soreness, she hoped the issue would resolve itself. Unfortunately, things only got worse.

Read Dru's Story

National Speed Skater Gets Back On the Ice After Hip Arthroscopy

Competitive speed skater, Blair Cruikshank, was experiencing persistent, worsening hip pain that interfered with her training. The Hip Preservation Program at University of Utah Health found an effective treatment for her hip pain to get her back on the ice at full speed.

Read Blair's Story

The Dancer Who Had Hip Dysplasia

As a dancer, Tylar always got regular X-rays, but her scans showed no abnormalities. Since she had a condition called adult hip dysplasia, the symptoms only began to show later in life. Eventually the pain in her hip and knees grew more and more intense, and physical therapy was no longer helping.

Read Tylar's Story

Back On the Podium After Hip Replacement

Paul LaStayo, PhD, PT, CHT, is a competitive cyclist, but when his chronic hip pain got so bad, he could no longer compete. That’s when he turned to the University Orthopaedic Center for a total hip replacement surgery. And now, with his pain completely gone, Paul isn’t just back to racing. He’s back on the podium to winning.

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