Hip Arthroscopy

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat osteoarthritis, femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) and acetabular labrum tears in the hip joint.

The Arthroscopic Procedure

  • Patient undergoes general (whole body) or local anesthesia (topical)
  • He or she is covered with a sterile drape to prevent exposure to bacteria
  • The skin at the area of operation is disinfected with an anti-bacterial solution
  • In most cases two to three small incisions are made by the hip joint
  • Sterile salt water (saline) is pumped into the joint to expand it; this creates space for the arthroscope and other medical tools to be guided to the problem area
  • The arthroscope, once inserted into the joint, aids the surgeon in his investigation and operation of any trauma, disease or degenerative changes
  • Treatment is carried out through the second or third incision; it often involves the removal of damaged soft tissue or bone
  • The incisions are sutured and a sterile bandage is applied

An Arthroscope is a slender telescope fitted with a lens system and fibreoptic illumination; it projects a magnified image of the inside of a joint onto a television monitor. The surgeon uses the arthroscope to see the structures of the hip during the diagnosing or operating stage.

Hip Arthroscopy, may be recommended when a patient does not respond to non-surgical treatment. An example of this is when a patient has persisting pain that does not improve with physiotherapy, medication or injections.

Patients that are experiencing joint pain or restriction of motion may be candidates for an arthroscopy.

For non-surgical treatment please see Arthroscopy

Hip arthroscopy may treat a series problems affecting the labrum, articular cartilage or other soft tissue surrounding the joint. It is important to treat damages, as they can escalate to more severe conditions.

The damage can result from an injury or other orthopaedic conditions.

Hip Arthroscopy is Used to Treat:

  • Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI); a disorder where there is bone overgrowth around the socket or the femoral head of the hip, which causes damage to the joint
  • Labral tears; when the cartilage structure that surrounds the lip of the hip socket is torn
  • Snapping hip syndrome; when a tendon rubs across the outside of the joint. It may also be identified if your hip frequently snaps or pops. In most cases, it is harmless and no treatment is needed. However, the tendon can be damaged from the repeated rubbing
  • Transient Synovitis of the hip; self-limiting condition that causes inflammation to the inner lining, which surrounds the capsule of the joint
  • Loose bodies: fragments of bone or cartilage that dislodge from the bone and move around within the joint
  • Hip joint infection; a bacterial infection that can potentially lead to a severe form of arthritis

Operation and recovery times are affected by the severity of a patient’s condition and his/her overall health.