Persistent hip and groin pain, especially pain associated with a catching sensation, can indicate a tear in the labral “gasket” or loose bodies within the joint. These are some of the common indications that hip arthroscopy may be necessary.
Another condition commonly treated with hip arthroscopy is femoral acetabular impingement. In this condition, bone spurs result in abnormal contact between the femur bone and the edge of the hip socket, or acetabulum. This typically causes pain with activities requiring flexion and internal rotation positioning of the hip and can lead to tears of the labrum. Left untreated, it can lead to progressive arthritis.
While you are under anesthesia, your orthopaedic surgeon will make small incisions around your hip while you are placed into traction. The incisions are about the size of a drinking straw. This allows passage for surgical instruments, and a small camera to guide your surgeon, to be inserted in your hip. The areas of damage are identified, and using specialized instruments, your surgeon can either remove torn pieces of cartilage, smooth frayed areas of cartilage, or repair labral gasket tears. In addition, bone spurs and loose bodies can be removed, and the labrum can be surgically repaired if adequate tissue and vascularity is present. Microfracture of cartilage defects can also be helpful in some cases.
The small instruments used in hip arthroscopy are designed to minimize tissue damage and discomfort from surgery. If no bone is removed and the labrum does not require repair, you may be able to walk almost immediately after surgery. If significant bone work or labral repair is required, you may require crutches for up to two months. After surgery, you will be instructed in some immediate range of motion exercises, and at your first postoperative visit, you will be referred to physical therapy, which will aim at returning your range of motion, strength, and flexibility. Once you have fully recovered, it is important that you routinely follow a hip and core exercise program to maintain the health of your surgically repaired joint.
To find out if hip arthroscopy is right for you, schedule an appointment with one of our joint preservation surgeons by calling 888-660-2663 or complete the appointment request box.