Hip arthroscopy is a surgical procedure performed through very small incisions to diagnose and treat various hip conditions including: removal of torn cartilage or bone chips that cause hip pain and immobility, repair a torn labrum (fibrous cartilage ring which lines the acetabular socket), removal of bone spurs or extra bone growths caused by arthritis or an injury, removal of part of the inflamed synovium (lining of the joint), repair of fractures or torn ligaments caused by trauma, evaluation and diagnosis of conditions with unexplained pain, swelling, or stiffness in the hip that does not respond to conservative treatment.
Hip arthroscopy is performed under regional or general anesthesia depending on your surgeon's preference. Once taken to the operating room, anesthetized, and properly positioned; our surgeon will make 2 or 3 small incisions about 1/4 inch in length around the hip joint. Through one of the incisions an arthroscope is inserted. An arthroscope is a small, fiber-optic instrument consisting of a lens, light source, and video camera. The camera projects an image of the inside of the joint onto a large screen monitor allowing the surgeon to look for any damage, assess the type of injury, and repair the problem. Along with it, a sterile solution is pumped into the joint to expand the joint area and create room for the surgeon to work. The larger image on the monitor allows the surgeon to visualize the joint directly to determine the extent of damage so that it can be surgically treated. Surgical instruments will be inserted through other tiny incisions to treat the problem areas. After the surgery, the incisions are closed and covered with a bandage.
Arthroscopic hip procedures can take as little as 1 hour to over 3 hours dependent upon the extent and complexity of the injury. Most patients are discharged the same day after arthroscopy. Recovery after the surgery depends on the type of repair procedure performed. The advantages of hip arthroscopy over the traditional open hip surgery include: smaller incisions, minimal trauma to surrounding ligaments, muscles, and tissues, less pain, faster recovery, lower infection rate, less scarring, and earlier mobilization. Pain medicines are prescribed to manage pain. Crutches are recommended for several weeks. Following the surgery, rehabilitation begins immediately.