Arthroscopic hip surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that enables orthopaedic surgeons to see a magnified view of your hip joint (femoral head and acetabulum) using a specialised scope, placed through small incisions. The scope the surgeon uses consists of a flexible fibre optic tube with a small camera on the end that transfers images to a monitor for the surgeons to view.
The scope is also used for minor hip surgery procedures where the hip arthroscopy surgeon usually makes one or two additional small incisions in the skin and soft tissues so they can gain access to the hip joint and use the arthroscopic needles, scalpels or other special surgical tools necessary to complete the procedure.
Due to its minimally invasive nature, arthroscopic hip surgery can be used as an alternative to major surgery to solve hip conditions, common injuries and resulting hip pain, including:
- Repair of a labral tear which is the cartilage surrounding the hip socket.
- Resolve femoro-acetabular hip impingement (CAM and PINCER) which limits movement and is a cause of osteoarthritis.
- Removal of painful bone spurs, removal of inflamed or diseased hip joint lining, or following an injury, removal of loose fragments of cartilage in the hip joint.
Less commonly, prior to a complex or revision hip surgery, the surgeon may request a hip arthroscopy to make a more accurate diagnosis and determine the best surgical approach.
Arthroscopic hip surgery is a minimally invasive surgery and is considered by most orthopaedic and hip arthroscopy surgeons as a low-risk surgery. It has some unique surgical risks relating to nerve damage around the groin, hip and thigh areas. While patients often enjoy immediate relief from hip pain after the surgical procedure, total pain relief may not always be achieved and physical therapy is often recommended. Whilst rare, there is also a risk of infection or damage to nerves or blood vessels.
Arthroscopic hip surgery is done at Life Orthopaedic Hospital by our expert orthopaedic specialists (a hip arthroscopy surgeon) and can range from 30 minutes to a few hours. Symptom relief from hip pain is often immediate and patients usually return home the next day. Full recovery may be achieved within a few weeks to a few months depending on the success of the surgical procedure and physical therapy. Read about getting prepared for your surgical procedure.