Hip Arthroscopy

Introduction

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint and is one of the largest joints in the human body. The purpose of the hip joint is to support the upper body and is used in everyday activities such as standing and walking.

In a healthy hip joint the bones are connected to each other by ligaments which are lubricated allowing movement without friction. The surfaces of the bones are covered in a smooth cartilage allowing them to slide over each other and support the joint.

Wear and tear of the ball and socket joint can lead to damage of the hip joint.

Hip arthroscopy is a surgical procedure allowing consultants to treat hip problems. A small camera is inserted into the hip joint, displaying an image on a television screen. The consultant uses these images to guide miniature surgical instruments in the hip joint to correct the damage.

 Symptoms

  • Hip pain
  • Difficulty performing daily activities

It is important to make you that you have tried all of the following procedures before surgery is considered.

Nonsurgical Treatment

  • Rest
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs

Hip arthroscopy is performed when a patient has a painful condition that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment.

Surgical Treatment

At the start of the procedure the leg is put in traction, pulling the hip away from the socket. This allows for the consultant to insert instruments into the hip joint and to see the entire joint.

A small puncture will be made in your hip for the arthroscope (camera). The arthroscope makes an image of the inside of the joint allowing the surgeon to see the extent of the damage.

Surgical instruments are inserted through other small incisions to treat the problem.

The following procedures may occur:

  • Repair torn cartilage
  • Trim bone spurs
  • Remove inflamed synovial fluid

Following surgery, there is a gradual recovery programme.

For the first month, a walking aid will be needed such as crutches for support and comfort.

Exercises are then introduced in the main form of physiotherapy. These exercises will focus on building the strength of the quadriceps, gluteal and hamstring muscles.

Hydrotherapy can also be useful to reduce stiffness and to enhance mobility.