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.
Benefits of Arthroscopic Hip Surgery
The benefits associated with arthroscopic hip surgery include:
- Small Incisions: Hip arthroscopy generally requires two to three small incisions.
- Fast Recovery: The recovery period associated with hip arthroscopy often is shorter than the recovery time associated with other treatments.
- Less Pain: Hip arthroscopy may be performed under general anesthesia to limit pain.
- Short Hospital Stay: Hip arthroscopy patients may be eligible to return home one day after surgery.
- Less Pain Medicine Required: Soreness or pain is common after a hip arthroscopy treatment, but these problems typically disappear quickly and require patients to take little to no pain medicines.
- Minimal Soft Tissue Damage: Hip arthroscopy is minimally invasive, and the procedure is designed to help keep soft tissue intact.
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.
What Are the Goals of Pre- and Post-Surgery Hip Rehabilitation?
The goals of before and after hip arthroscopy surgery include:
- Teaching patients about all aspects of surgery
- Muscle retraining and rebalancing that targets the quadratus femoris, ab-abductor and other muscles in the hip area
- Improved muscle control and active range of motion
- Posture, balance and gait retraining
A doctor will help a patient develop a treatment plan prior to hip arthroscopy surgery. This plan includes personalized pre- and post-surgery goals, as well as the steps a patient will need to take to achieve these goals.
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.
Q: How long before I can walk after a hip arthroscopy?
A patient should expect to walk on crutches for about one to two weeks after hip arthroscopy surgery. Also, he or she may require roughly six weeks of physical therapy to ensure proper healing.
Usually, it takes about three to six months before a patient can walk or perform other physical activities without pain. A doctor will teach a patient about the recovery process and offer recommendations to help this individual streamline his or her post-surgery recovery.
Q: What can I expect for pain post-surgery?
Hip pain is common in the months after hip arthroscopy, and it may take up to six months before a patient can perform everyday activities following surgery without experiencing any pain. Fortunately, a doctor will develop a personalized treatment plan for a hip arthroscopy patient. This plan is designed to help a patient alleviate hip pain and expedite the healing and recovery process.
Q: How long does it take to recover from hip surgery?
The recovery period following hip arthroscopy varies depending on the patient, his or her physical condition and other factors. It typically requires about six months for a hip arthroscopy patient to make a full recovery. A patient should stick to a doctor’s recommendations and treatment program, however, to avoid complications during the recovery period. Otherwise, these complications could prolong the treatment recovery period.
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.
Other Articles Related to Hip Arthroscopy
Does your hip pain make it difficult or near impossible to perform your everyday activities? Are you kept up at night by your hip pain? Have your arthritis medications stopped working for your hip pain? If you answered affirmatively to any of these questions, you may be a candidate for hip surgery, specifically total hip replacement or at least hip arthroscopy. Hip surgery has undergone a renaissance and there are minimally invasive techniques that do not require large incisions through the skin and soft tissues. Arthroscopic hip surgery can be used to diagnose as well as treat a multitude of hip problems, including arthritis, infections, cartilage tears, and loose bodies.
Do you have an active lifestyle and are slowed by your hip pain? If so, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive hip surgery. Many individuals with active lifestyles are put off by the prospect of hip surgery, because they feel the surgery and long recovery are more problematic than their original problem. There are minimally invasive hip surgery techniques, such as hip arthroscopy and minimally invasive hip replacement, that do not require huge incisions into the skin and soft tissue. In other words, arthroscopic hip surgery translates into speedy recovery times, which gets you back to golfing, hiking, running, biking, yoga, and all other aspects of an active, healthy lifestyle.
Are you looking for relief from your hip pain? Hip surgery may be in your future, as it can offer relief for a multitude of hip problems, including impingement, arthritis, infections, cartilage tears, loose bodies, dislocation, fracture, and bursitis. Hip surgery is not what it used to be—large incisions, long scars, and prolonged recovery times are a thing of the past. With recent advances in hip surgery, there is the availability of minimally invasive techniques that obviate the need for extremely long cuts into the skin and soft tissues. Hip arthroscopy and minimally invasive hip replacement are examples of these techniques. In addition to the benefit of smaller incisions, arthroscopic hip surgery offers accelerated recovery, less pain, and a lower risk of complications.
Arthritis is an exceedingly common diagnosis in older adults. Unfortunately, it can progress and significantly decrease a person’s quality of life. Sometimes, arthritis is so debilitating that people have to be considered for a joint replacement, with a common place being the hip. Over the years, there has been innovation in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis. Hip arthroscopy allows for diagnosis and advanced treatment plans for arthritis, while minimally invasive hip replacement can replace traditional techniques. Furthermore, an emerging treatment option for the loss of cartilage, the main problem with hip arthritis, is stem cell therapy, which could potentially replace arthroscopic hip surgery and other minimally invasive hip surgery techniques.
Hip dysplasia refers to the hip socket (acetabulum) being too shallow or misaligned. Unfortunately, hip dysplasia is one of the leading causes of hip pain and arthritis in men and women younger than 50 years old. For those with this diagnosis, total treatment and hip preservation can be obtained through hip surgery combining periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) and hip arthroscopy. PAO involves cutting the bone around the acetabulum to better align the hip socket. Arthroscopic hip surgery can be performed at the same time to repair any damage to the cartilage of the hip joint. The best candidates for PAO with hip arthroscopy do not have advanced arthritis, and the combination can prevent the development of significant arthritis and progression to the need for total hip replacement in a majority of patients.
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