What is Hip Arthroscopy?
Hip arthroscopy, sometimes called a “hip scope,” is a minimally invasive hip surgery in which an orthopedic surgeon uses an arthroscope to examine or treat the inside of the hip joint. The procedure is performed through small incisions using a camera to visualize the inside of a joint. Through these incisions, the surgeon will insert a camera into one incision, and small instruments through the other incisions.
Conditions Treated With Hip Arthroscopy
Not every condition that causes hip pain is treated effectively with an arthroscopic hip surgery, but many can be. These are some of the conditions commonly treated with arthroscopic hip surgery:
- Removal of torn cartilage or bone chips that cause hip pain and immobility.
- Repair a torn labrum: The labrum is a 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) in patients with inflammatory arthritis. This procedure is called a partial synovectomy.
- 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.
Advantages of Hip Arthroscopy
A hip scope has several advantages over traditional open hip surgery, including:
- Minimizing hip pain and scarring
- Decreasing recovery time
- Postponing hip arthritis by treating its cause in the early stages
- Delaying or eliminating the need for a hip replacement by preemptively treating of conditions that cause osteoarthritis of the hip
Post-Op and Recovery
Prior to discharge you will be given a written instruction sheet, pictures of your surgery, a prescription for therapy, and a copy of physical therapy (PT) guidelines. Most patients should be able to walk with crutches immediately after surgery with partial weight bearing (foot flat on the ground as you walk). Physical therapy is necessary to achieve the best recovery and, in some cases, can begin the day after surgery. Specific exercises to restore your strength and mobility are important.