Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive Orthopedic procedure used to treat chronic joint conditions or injuries to the hip. It allows orthopedic surgeons to access the hip joint without making large incisions through the skin and soft tissues. While the minimally invasive laparoscopy uses small incisions to access the inside of the abdomen, a hip arthroscopy is specific to treating issues in the hip joint and related cartilage and soft tissue. A hip arthroscopy is often required to perform hip treatments such as PAO (Periacetabular Osteotomy) procedure.
At La Peer Health Systems, our surgeons are world-renowned experts in arthroscopic procedures. As such, our team formulates specialized treatment plans for each patient, and our surgeons can treat variety of hip injuries arthroscopically. To find out more, or to schedule an appointment, contact our Beverly Hills office today at (855) 360-9119.
How Does Hip Arthroscopy Work?
Arthroscopic surgery allows our orthopedic surgeons to navigate the inside of the hip joint and repair soft tissue with unprecedented precision. Hip arthroscopy utilizes an arthroscope (a high-tech instrument only a few millimeters in diameter). Attached at the end of the arthroscope is a fiber-optic camera that provides a live video feed from inside the joint that is projected onto a monitor inside the operating room. This allows surgeons to view the inside of the joint without opening it up surgically.
During the procedure, the leg must be put into traction. Essentially, the hip has to be pulled away from the socket far enough so that the surgeon can view the entire joint, insert instruments, and perform the necessary treatments. Once traction is applied, two or three small incisions are made into the hip through which the arthroscope and other surgical repair instruments can be inserted.
Each hip arthroscopy is specific to the patient, their hip condition and anatomy, but each hip arthroscopy procedure involves three main components: 1) the treatment of the labrum, 2) shaving of the hip socket bone, and 3) the removal of any inflamed tissue.
The treatment of the labrum involves repairing any labral tears that have occurred due to friction of the femoral head rubbing against the hip socket (acetabulum). Depending on the level of wear and the patient’s age, the torn labrum may be repaired or removed.
When deformities or a misalignment of the femoral head (ball-shaped structure) or the hip socket cause an improper fit of these two bones, surgeons will reshape the bone by cutting it. Special bone-shaving tools are used to remove the excess or misshapen bone to create a better fit of the femoral head into the hip socket.
Inflamed tissue is removed to help relieve pain and prevent further hip joint damage, like arthritis. The labrum is typically what is torn and inflamed, and is removed during a hip arthroscopy.
Once the procedure is completed, the surgeon will insert pins into the re-shaped bone to ensure it stays in place to accommodate the correct fit of the femoral head and the hip socket.
Hip Injuries Treated with Arthroscopy
Hip surgery may relieve painful symptoms of many problems that damage the labrum, articular cartilage, or other soft tissues surrounding the hip joint. Our surgeons have unparalleled experience in minimally invasive hip surgery and routinely use hip arthroscopy to treat the following injuries and chronic conditions:
- Hip Impingement
- Loose bodies
- Hip Arthritis
- Cartilage (Labral) Tears
- Hip joint infection
Hip impingement is a condition that involves abnormal wearing between the femoral head (ball) and the hip socket. Extra bone develops along the socket or on the femoral head, called bone spurs, and damages the soft tissue of the hip. It results in increased friction between these two bones which can cause pain and lead to osteoarthritis.
Dysplasia occurs when the hip socket is abnormally shallow and cannot properly accommodate the femoral head. This causes stress on the labrum, which is the soft tissue lining the hip socket, and makes it more vulnerable to tearing and becoming inflamed. The improper fit of the ball bone into the socket can cause pain, restricted mobility over time, and eventually lead to a total hip replacement. Hip arthroscopy can treat hip dysplasia when it is used in conjunction with a PAO (Periacetabular Osteotomy)procedure.
Loose bodies are fragments of bone or cartilage that become loose and freely mobile inside of the hip joint. They can cause irritation, pain and popping sounds in the hip.
Hip arthritis is an inflammatory condition in which friction of the hip bones, caused by dysplasia or worn cartilage, can cause inflammation and pain. When left untreated, it will worsen overtime and can lead to severe osteoarthritis, which typically requires total hip replacement.
Cartilage (Labral) Tears
Labral tears occur when the special cartilage lining the hip socket, called the labrum, becomes torn. This can happen when there is hip dysplasia or arthritis in the hip.
Hip joint infection
A hip joint infection can happen when bacterial joint inflammation causes a serious and painful infection in a joint. When bacteria get in the hip joint it can cause rapid cartilage deterioration and bone damage. It can lead to pain, swelling, redness, and loss of movement.
What Hip Conditions Cannot Be Treated with Hip Arthroscopy?
Only small areas of cartilage damage can be treated with hip arthroscopy, but osteoarthritis cannot be fixed with hip arthroscopy, and hip replacement surgery or resurfacing will most likely be necessary.
Hip stiffness from arthrofibrosis, injury or trauma that causes excessive scar tissue, is another condition that cannot be fixed with hip arthroscopy. Manipulation of the hip tissue or surgical removal or dissolving of the scar tissue under anesthesia will be necessary if initial physical therapy and medication don’t resolve the pain and inflammation.
Hip dysplasia cannot be treated with hip arthroscopy alone, which hasn’t been found to correct the misshapen hip bones and damaged labral tears on its own. Hip arthroscopy can be combined with Periacetabular Osteotomy to treat dysplasia.
Recovery and Rehabilitation
Recovery from arthroscopic hip surgery depends on the type of procedure, severity of the hip condition or injury, and general health of the patient. At La Peer Health Systems, our orthopedic surgeons are expertly trained in advanced hip arthroscopy. This translates to smaller incisions, minimal damage to surrounding tissue, less pain after surgery, and faster recovery.
On average, patients are usually discharged from the recovery room within one to two hours. Patients could require the aid of crutches for a period of up to two months following surgery. We typically recommend physical therapy after hip arthroscopy to help restore mobility and strength to the hip and to improve long-term success of the surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What types of procedures do the orthopedic surgeons perform at La Peer?
A: Our surgeons specialize in a variety of hip procedures. For more detailed information, check out our brand new Hip Surgery Center of Excellence website that is dedicated entirely to hip surgery.
Q: Will I need a physical examination before having arthroscopic hip surgery?
A: Yes, you will need a physical examination to assess your health and determine if there are any problems that may interfere with surgery. Your surgeon will also want to know if you are currently taking any medications, which you could be required to stop taking prior to surgery.
Q: Are there any complications from this type of hip surgery?
A: Though uncommon, complications from hip arthroscopy surgery may include injury to nerves or vessels, infection, and blood clots. Leg traction may also stretch some nerves and cause numbness, but this is usually only a temporary condition.
Q: What kinds of rehabilitation exercises might I have to do after hip arthroscopy?
A: It will depend on the type of surgery you had. Common rehabilitation exercises include gentle progressive resistive exercises, increased range of motion exercises, gentle joint distraction techniques, and balance work.
Q: What are the long-term outcomes?
A: Though recovery is dependent upon the type and extent of damage in the hip, many people return to full and unrestricted activity. Physical rehabilitation can significantly improve the long-term strength and mobility of the hip following arthroscopic surgery.
Contact an Orthopedic Surgeon in Beverly Hills
La Peer Health Systems in Beverly Hills boast some of the country’s finest orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine doctors utilizing the latest and most effective procedures when performing hip arthroscopy. To schedule a consultation with one of our talented arthroscopic hip surgeons in Beverly Hills, call (855) 360-9119 today.
If you are interested in learning more about hip arthroscopy offered at La Peer Health Systems, please visit HipSurgeryMD, which is our site dedicate completely to hip surgery.
Next, read about Knee Arthroscopy.