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Hip Arthroscopy

What is Arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that provides physicians with a clear view inside of a joint using a small camera and instruments. This helps them diagnose and treat joint problems. During hip arthroscopy, a surgeon inserts an arthroscope which is a small camera into the hip. The camera displays images on a television screen to see the inside structures of the hip in great detail.  These images can be used by the surgeon to guide miniature surgical instruments to repair a tear or perform another treatment.

Do I need Hip Arthroscopy?

Your doctor may recommend hip arthroscopy if you have a painful condition that does not respond to non-surgical treatments, such as physical therapy, rest, medication or injections.

Hip arthroscopy may relieve painful symptoms of many problems that damage the labrum, articular cartilage or other soft tissues surrounding the joint.  Damage can occur from an injury or from other orthopedic conditions including:

  • Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) – bone spurs have developed around the socket or the femoral head
  • Dysplasia – the socket is abnormally shallow and makes the labrum more at risk for tearing
  • Snapping hip syndrome – damage caused by a tendon rubbing across the outside of the joint
  • Synovitis – tissues that surround the joint become inflamed
  • Loose bodies – fragments of bone or cartilage that becomes loose and moves within the joint
  • Hip joint infection

Many people return to full, unrestricted activities after arthroscopy.  Your recovery is dependent on the type of damage that was present in your hip.

For some people, lifestyle changes are needed after surgery to protect the joint.  Ask your doctor if hip arthroscopy is right for you.