Hip arthroscopy surgery is a less invasive, more commonly used medical procedure used for treatment of hip injuries. It involves uses a small camera (about the size of a pencil) to examine the joints of the hip, diagnose the issue, and then remove or repair the damaged tissues as needed.
Unlike a full open-incision joint operation, hip arthroscopy is performed through a small incision into the joint. During this procedure, the orthopedic surgeon can fix several wrist joint-related problems, such as torn tissue or ligaments, and bone wear. Anesthesia used can either be regional (an epidural that numbs from the waist down) or general, depending on the exact procedure being performed.
Who is a candidate?
Reasons for hip arthroscopy include:
- Removal of small pieces of loose bone or cartilage
- Repair of a torn labrum (the cartilage attached to the rim of the hip socket bone)
- Femoroacetabular impingement
- Some kinds of hip pain
Who is not a candidate?
Candidates who have hip arthritis may not necessarily benefit from hip arthroscopy, depending on their exact individual case.
Like other surgeries, hip arthroscopy requires a complete physical examination with your primary care provider before surgery. You should inform your orthopedic surgeon of any medications or supplements you take, and comply with certain general surgery procedures such as preoperative blood testing and possible cessation of smoking or use of pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs one week prior. You will likely be asked to stop eating or drinking the night before the surgery.
You will be able to recover from hip arthroscopy faster than you would for traditional open-incision joint surgery. Immediately after your procedure, your doctor will prescribe pain relief medication and possibly, a blood thinner (to lessen the risk of blood clots). You will likely be on crutches for 2-6 weeks. Ensure your incisions are kept clean and dry, and follow your surgeon’s instructions in regards to bathing, changing the dressing, and follow-up visits. Most people are able to return to work after 1-2 weeks if their job involves light desk work.
An extended physical therapy regimen will likely be necessary to restore movement and strengthen your shoulder, which may require a physical therapist or at-home exercises recommended by your surgeon.
As with any surgery, there are risks of complications related to bleeding, infection or adverse reactions to anesthesia. Other known complications specific to hip arthroscopy include cartilage or ligament damage, blood clotting in the leg, blood vessel or nerve injury, and hip stiffness.
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