5 Frequently Asked Questions About Hip Arthroscopy

Jul 31, 2020 | Articles

The human body is an amazing piece of work. The staggering amount of intricate mechanisms and functions that exist to enable us to function the way we do is simply astounding. In addition, we have a great ability to heal and repair when injuries inevitably happen. This healing power is, however, limited, which is why we’ve developed amazing medical procedures to help the body along the road to recovery. Hip arthroscopy is one of these advanced procedures that has revolutionised hip treatments.

Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about hip arthroscopy to help you understand it better.

Q: What is hip arthroscopy?

A: This is a surgical procedure that is used for both diagnostic, as well as treatment purposes for conditions or injuries affecting the hips. By making only a small incision, surgeons can insert a fibre-optic tube with a tiny camera to view the interior of the joint on a monitor. This device can also contain several minute surgical instruments with which to perform procedures internally without the need for opening up the entire joint.

Q: Which conditions or injuries is this procedure used for?

A: Hip arthroscopy surgery is used to treat a number of conditions, including:

  • Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) – this could include the smoothing and the reshaping of the head of the femur and/or the hip socket to accommodate a better fit and restore rotation through its full range of motion.
  • Reattaching, repairing, and stabilising a torn labrum
  • Trimming and stabilising ligamentum teres tears
  • Bone cysts
  • Cartilage damage – including the removal of loose pieces of cartilage
  • Treating of inflammatory conditions, including iliopsoas tendinitis, trochanteric bursitis, and adhesive capsulitis
  • Synovial disease
  • Joint sepsis
  • Osteonecrosis

Q: How does it differ from hip arthroplasty?

A: Arthroplasty refers to the replacement of the entire joint, while arthroscopy refers to a much less invasive procedure that treats less severe conditions that do not require an entire joint replacement. Unlike arthroplasty, the latter procedure is not open surgery and thus requires only a small incision, which means recovery is quicker as it does not cut through entire muscles and ligaments, and with less risk of infection afterwards.

Q: How long is the recovery process?

A: Recovery time differs from person to person and is affected by factors such as the health of the person receiving the treatment and the severity of the condition being treated. Recovery is, however, much faster than in the case of open surgery, due to less damage to the muscles and ligaments. Symptom relief is often immediate, while full recovery can take anything from a few weeks to a few months.

Q: Are there risks involved?

A: Generally, hip arthroscopy is considered a low-risk surgery. As with most types of surgery, there is a small risk of nerve damage, damage to blood vessels, bleeding, infection, fluid build-up in the body, and the formation of blood clots.

For more information on hip arthroscopy, talk to the medical professionals at Pretoria Hip, Knee & Shoulder Surgeons.