Hip arthroscopy is a minimally-invasive procedure that uses only small incisions to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the joint.
Previously, surgery for joint repair typically meant a long, painful recovery and large incision. Thanks to the smaller incision and less disruptive tools of an arthroscopy, patients can expect:
- Less pain and scarring
- Fewer complications and less risk of infection
- Shorter recovery time
- An outpatient procedure, typically
- Return to normal activity within three to six months
What to Expect
After anesthesia, your leg is placed in traction, and your hip is pulled away from the socket just enough for your surgeons to insert the instruments. Two to five small incisions are made around the joint so the arthroscopy camera and other instruments can be inserted. The scope has a system of lenses, a small video camera and a light for viewing. The camera is connected to a video screen that allows the surgeon to see the hip joint through a very small incision. An x-ray machine is used to help guide the tools into the joint, while fluid is used to allow for better viewing in the space.
Your surgeon will assess your hip joint to identify the issue and the best way to repair it.
Common non-arthritic conditions treated using hip arthroscopy include:
- Treatment of femoroacetabular impingement
- Labral repairs
- Labral reconstruction
- Tendon tears
- Cartilage defects
- Ligamentum teres reconstruction
- Loose body removal
After surgery, most patients are discharged within one to two hours and sent home. Rest, keeping the joint elevated and applying ice are important to help relieve pain and swelling. The use of crutches or physical therapy are typically required after the surgery.
The majority of patients can begin low-intensity exercise within a few weeks though three months is expected for full recovery (potentially longer before performing high-intensity activities).