Hip Arthroscopy

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that allows orthopedic surgeons to diagnose and treat various conditions affecting the hip joint. This technique involves making small incisions around the hip to insert a tiny camera, known as an arthroscope, and other specialized instruments. The camera projects images onto a monitor, enabling the surgeon to view the hip joint in detail and perform necessary treatments.

Conditions Treated with Hip Arthroscopy

Hip arthroscopy is recommended for patients who have not found relief from non-surgical treatment options such as rest, physical therapy, or anti-inflammatory injections. It can address a range of hip problems, including but not limited to:

  • Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI): This condition involves abnormal contact between the hip bones, which can be reshaped during arthroscopy to alleviate pain.

  • Labral Tears: Injuries to the labrum, the ring of cartilage that surrounds the hip socket, can cause pain and instability in the hip joint. Tears can be repaired or cleaned out during the procedure.

  • Loose Bodies: Cartilage or bone fragments within the joint can be removed to reduce pain and improve joint function.

  • Bone Spurs (Osteophytes): Bony growths that disrupt joint movement can be shaved off during arthroscopy.

  • Synovitis: Inflammation of the joint lining can be treated by removing the inflamed tissue.

  • Tendon Ruptures or Disorders: Tendon issues, including tears and disorders involving the gluteus medius/minimus muscles or hamstring tendons can be addressed.

  • Snapping Hip Syndromes: When symptomatic, these conditions can be treated with arthroscopy.

  • Hip Joint Infections: Arthroscopy can be used to manage infections within the hip joint.

  • Other sources of hip impingement that are not in the actual hip joint (such as subspine impingement, ischiofemoral impingement)

  • Sciatic nerve compression by the piriformis tendon or scar tissue/adhesions can be addressed

Hip Arthroscopy Procedure

The hip arthroscopy procedure typically takes between 60 minutes to 2.5 hours, depending on the complexity of the condition being treated. Patients are given the option of general anesthesia, which puts them to sleep, or regional anesthesia, which numbs the area from the waist down[21][24]. During the procedure, the surgeon makes two to three small incisions to insert the arthroscope and surgical instruments. After examining and treating the hip joint, the incisions are closed with stitches or small bandages.

  • Recovery and Outcomes: Recovery from hip arthroscopy is generally faster than from open hip surgery, with most patients able to return home a few hours after the procedure. Patients may need to use crutches for one to two weeks to avoid putting too much weight on the joint and are advised to follow a prescribed pain management and physical therapy regimen to aid in recovery. The success rate of hip arthroscopy is high, with many patients experiencing significant pain relief and improved joint function.

  • Risks and Complications: While hip arthroscopy is considered safe, it is not without risks. Complications, although rare, can include nerve injury, infection, bleeding into the hip joint, and damage to the cartilage or ligaments in the hip. The overall complication rate is relatively low, with minor complications being more common than major ones.

Hip arthroscopy offers a less invasive option for diagnosing and treating various hip conditions, with a quicker recovery time and lower risk of complications compared to open surgery. It is an effective treatment for patients who have not responded to conservative measures, providing relief from pain and improved hip function.

Are you experiencing persistent hip pain or limited mobility? Hip arthroscopy could be the solution you need.