Hip arthroscopy is a minimally-invasive procedure used to address pathology within the hip joint. The surgery involves usually two to three small "poke-hole" incisions around the hip. An arthroscope (camera) which is a pencil-sized instrument with a lens is introduced to visualize the joint. The arthroscope magnifies and illuminates the structures inside the hip through fiber optic technology. This fiber optic technology is attached to a monitor, thus visualization of the hip joint occurs by watching the monitor. Various instruments are introduced to repair, debride, or reconstruct a torn labrum, repair or debride injured cartilage and soft tissues, remove bone spurs, and remove excess bone to reshape non-spherical femoral head-neck junction (cam) or acetabular over-coverage (pincer). The surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure. Patients go home the same day using crutches and a hip brace to assure proper recovery and protection of the underlying repair.
Hip arthroscopy may be indicated for the following procedures:
Evaluation and diagnosis
Removal of loose bodies
Reshaping of cam and pincer deformity in hip impingement
Debridement or repair of cartilage injuries
Hip capsule plication (tightening)
Labral repair, reconstruction or debridement
Painful internal snapping
Ligamentum teres tears
Removal of bone spurs
Many patients are able to return to activities that they were unable to do for years because of pain and limited range of motion. Patients usually start physicaly therapy immediately after their surgery. The average postoperative course involves 2 week in a hip brace and the use of crutches to protect any underlying repair. A brace may be required for up to 6 weeks and crutches for 8 weeks, if the hip's condition requires a more extensive procedure. Patients can return to work usually within 2-3 days if they do not require significant amounts of walking or standing. Athletes can expect to return to sports between 3-6 months after surgery. High-level athletes participate in an intense physical therapy course after surgery, gradually increasing their workout intensity.
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