What is arthroscopic hip surgery?

Understanding Arthroscopic Hip SurgeryHip Arthroscopy

In the late 1970's and early 1980's, arthroscopic surgery became popular, especially in the sports world, as fibre-optic technology enabled surgeons to see inside the body using a small telescope, called an "arthroscope", which projects an image to a television screen.

Thanks to ongoing improvements made by technology leaders like Smith & Nephew, the benefits of arthroscopic surgery for knee and shoulder conditions have been experienced by patients all over the world. By adopting techniques and instruments similar to those used in knee and shoulder procedures, arthroscopic hip surgery has become a more widely-used treatment option for those who suffer from hip pain.

Arthroscopic procedures may be used for a variety of hip conditions, primarily the treatment of labral tears, hip impingement, articular cartilage injuries, and the removal of loose bodies in the joint. Other less frequent conditions treated through hip arthroscopy include tendon or ligament injuries, hip instability, and an inflamed or damaged synovium (smooth lining of a joint). Because all of these conditions may eventually lead to hip arthritis, treating them with arthroscopic procedures may be a beneficial option for patients.

Through an incision the width of a 'drinking' straw tip, your surgeon is able to insert an arthroscope, which allows him or her to inspect the joint and locate the source of pain. Your surgeon will then make one or more small incisions to accommodate the instruments used to treat the hip. These instruments can shave, trim, cut, stitch, or smooth the damaged areas.

Arthroscopic hip surgery is usually performed in an outpatient hospital or clinic, which means, generally no overnight hospital stay is required. You report to the hospital or clinic in the morning, undergo the procedure, and - following a recovery period under the care of medical professionals - return home later in the day.

Who is a Candidate for Arthroscopic Hip Surgery?

In the past, patients suffering from hip problems had limited options. In most cases, they had to live with the pain until a total hip replacement was required. With the advent of arthroscopic hip surgery, however, there are now less invasive treatment options available that can provide relief or improvement for a number of conditions.

Most people who suffer pain or experience less mobility due to hip impingement, labral tears, cartilage injuries, loose bodies in the joint, or other conditions may benefit from a minimally invasive surgical procedure. The information on this web site will help you better understand the anatomy and function of the hip and will guide you through the steps of arthroscopic surgery used to treat hip conditions.