The hip is critical to our comfort and mobility. If you’ve ever had a hip injury—even a simple strain—you know that any issue involving this ball-and-socket joint can drastically impact your activity level and well-being. It’s therefore welcome news that there’s a minimally invasive surgical treatment for many common hip issues: hip arthroscopy.
A hip arthroscopy is considered minimally invasive because the incisions used can be quite small. The surgeon uses these incisions to insert a tiny camera into the hip joint. This camera, called an arthroscope, transmits a view of the inside of your hip to a television screen, allowing the surgeon to view damage and use small surgical instruments to make repairs.
If you’re experiencing hip pain or stiffness, your sports medicine doctor may first recommend nonsurgical treatment, such as rest, physical therapy, and medication and injections to reduce inflammation. If discomfort isn’t relieved with these approaches, it might be time to consider hip arthroscopy.
Hip arthroscopy can be used to repair soft tissue damage around the hip joint. This damage includes tears and inflammation and can be caused by an injury, wear-and-tear from repeated use or orthopedic conditions (such as bone spurs, dysplasia, snapping hip syndrome, hip impingement syndrome, or loose fragments of bone and cartilage). Using the arthroscope as guide, your surgeon will use other small instruments to remove loose fragments of bone or cartilage or repair torn tissues.
Research has shown that athletes tend to be satisfied with outcomes after hip arthroscopy. According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, athletes reported that they were generally able to return to their sport and happy with their outcome a year after surgery.
As a minimally invasive procedure, the risk of complications with hip arthroscopy is low. As with any incision, however, there’s a risk of infection. And patients are also monitored for blood clots in the legs. You’ll generally spend one or two hours in the recovery room before heading home for the evening. You’ll need to be on crutches or a walker as you gain strength and your physical therapist helps you return to your favorite activities.
Our goal at OSMI is to provide our patients quality, cutting-edge orthopedic treatments, both surgical and non-surgical. If you have questions and would like to schedule an appointment, please submit an online appointment request or contact our office at 817-529-1900.
 Lovett Carter D, Kennedy N. What Are Athletes’ Perceptions of Rehabilitation Outcome One Year Post Hip Arthroscopy? Journal of Sport Rehabilitation [early online publication]. October 23, 2013.