Hip Arthroscopy (Hip Scope)
This outpatient procedure is an examination of the inside of the hip joint. The surgeon uses miniature instruments and a small camera (called an arthroscope) to see inside the joint. Arthroscopy can be used to diagnose and treat problems of the hip joint.
What You Need to Know About Hip Arthroscopy
What is Arthroscopic Hip Surgery?
Arthroscopy — sometimes called a "hip scope" — is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to investigate painful issues with the hip joint and its related structures.
During hip arthroscopy, a surgeon uses a camera to examine and diagnose a damaged hip. When used in conjunction with specialized surgical tools, a hip arthroscopy is usually part of a larger treatment.
Why is a Hip Arthroscopy Performed?
Your hip is prone to many types of injury. Most issues with the hip appear with pain in the hip or groin, limping, lack of flexibility, compromised motion range, or feeling stiffness in the bone.
Some conditions, like labral tears, are the result of tearing in the ring of cartilage that surrounds the hip socket's rim. These types of injuries are due to trauma, overuse, or other reasons. Hip arthroscopy treats the condition by trimming and repairing damaged tissue. Arthroscopes can even be used to place tissue graft.
When the hip socket becomes dislocated due to structural issues, conditions like hip dysplasia can arise. By using an arthroscope, your physician can help decrease stress from abnormal joint wear. While arthroscopy can't make the joint more accommodating, it can help create more thorough joint motion. Depending on the extent of your condition, you may need more proactive reconstructive surgery to address this condition.
And other conditions, like femoroacetabular impingement, occur when bone spurs cause friction between the bone and the hip socket. This condition can also affect the cartilage and lead to labral tears. For these types of conditions, hip arthroscopy allows the surgeon to trim excess bone and alleviate pain.
Also, while hip arthroscopy can't eliminate degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis, it can help reduce the risk of developing it.
How to Prepare for a Hip Arthroscopy Procedure
After a physician has recommended you for arthroscopy, you will need to make arrangements for a post-surgery caregiver. This person will help you at home and handle your recovery. Be prepared to use crutches and invest in sleeping boots, leg lifters, elevated toilet seats, and other associated equipment.
Make sure you tell your physician about any prescriptions or daily medications you are taking. Telling your physician about your medicines will help them create your pre-surgery plan. Be mindful of any blood thinners as these can create negative effects during your surgery.
Hip arthroscopy is typically part of a larger procedure. Expect for your mobility to be compromised after your surgery. Purchase slippers and loose-fitting pants to provide a comfortable healing process.
What Happens During Arthroscopic Hip Surgery?
Minimally invasive surgery options have changed how surgeons treat conditions. While previous years involved large incisions and longer healing times, minimally invasive surgery uses small incisions to address concerns.
Every procedure is different. However, if your physician is using hip arthroscopy. Typically, your procedure will follow this workflow:
You are anesthetized into a temporary and painless narcosis.
Your physician makes an incision about the size of a buttonhole in your skin.
An arthroscope is inserted into this small puncture. Your physician will use this to view the affected hip areas.
Before beginning your procedure, the surgeon will evaluate your joint.
Once they have identified your condition, they will insert small instruments through new incisions. These instruments can smooth out cartilage, clip bone spurs, or remove damaged tissue.
Finally the tools are removed and the incisions are closed.
Are There Risks Associated with Arthroscopic Hip Surgery?
No matter what type of procedure, there is always a potential for risk. Some common complication includes:
Injury to the joint or surrounding nerves and blood vessels of the groin, hip, and thigh
Temporary or permanent thigh numbness
Risks of infection and deep vein thrombosis
Results that do not alleviate the issue
That said, complications from hip arthroscopy are uncommon. Your physician will be able to provide a more detailed account of risks associated with your condition.
Post Arthroscopic Hip Surgery and Recovery
After your surgery, you will regain consciousness in our recovery room. Many hip arthroscopies are outpatient surgeries, but some people may need a brief overnight hospital stay. Once you have left the facility, you will need someone to help you with household tasks. Expect to need to use crutches for at least four weeks following your surgery.
You will need physical therapy to improve your recovery. In addition to a healthy physical therapy regimen, your doctor may prescribe medication to help you deal with the pain. Be careful with these medications as they are habit-forming.
As you recover, plan follow-up appointments. These appointments help your physician gauge the strength of your recovery and recommend effective options. With proper supervision and disciplined physical therapy, you can expect to be back to your regular routine within 12 weeks.
Discover how a hip arthroscopy can help you address a variety of issues. Schedule your appointment at one of our 24 Metro Atlanta Area locations today.