James B. Grimes, MD
mis med pro

Hip Arthroscopy

Hip Arthroscopy web based movie

Hip Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy, also referred to as minimally invasive surgery, is a procedure in which an arthroscope is inserted into a joint to check for any damage and, at the same session, treat it.

An arthroscope is a small, fiber-optic instrument consisting of a lens, light source, and video camera. The camera projects an image of the inside of the joint onto a large screen monitor allowing the surgeon to look for any damage, assess the type of injury, and treat the problem.

Hip arthroscopy is a surgical procedure performed through very small incisions to diagnose and treat various hip conditions including:

  • Shaving or reattaching a torn labrum: The labrum is a fibrous cartilage ring, which lines the acetabular socket.

  • Removal of torn cartilage or bone chips that cause hip pain and immobility.

  • Removal of bone spurs or extra bone growths caused by arthritis or an injury.

  • Removal of part of the inflamed synovium (lining of the joint) in patients with inflammatory arthritis. This procedure is called a partial synovectomy.

  • Repair of fractures or torn ligaments caused by trauma.

  • Evaluation and diagnosis of conditions with unexplained pain, swelling, or stiffness in the hip that do not respond to conservative treatment.

Hip arthroscopy is performed under general or regional anesthesia depending on you and your surgeon’s preference.

Dr. Grimes will make 2 or 3 small incisions about 1/4 inch in length around the hip joint. Through one of the incisions an arthroscope is inserted. Along with it, a sterile solution is pumped into the joint to expand the joint area, create clear visualization, and create room for the surgeon to work.

The image on the video monitor allows Dr. Grimes to visualize the joint directly to determine the extent of damage so that it can be surgically treated.

Surgical instruments will be inserted through other tiny incisions to treat the problem.

After the surgery, the incisions are closed and covered with a bandage.

The advantages of hip arthroscopy over the traditional open hip surgery include:

  • Smaller incisions

  • Minimal trauma to surrounding ligaments, muscles, and tissues

  • Less pain

  • Faster recovery

  • Lower infection rate

  • Less scarring

  • Earlier mobilization

  • Shorter hospital stay

As with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications involved. It is important that you are informed of these risks before you decide to proceed with hip arthroscopy surgery. Possible risks and complications include:

  • Infection at the surgical incision site or in the joint space (rare)

  • Nerve damage which may cause numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness (rare)

  • Excess bleeding into the joint, a condition called hemarthrosis (rare)

  • Blood clots may form inside the deep veins of the legs that can travel to the lungs (rare).

Your doctor may advise you to take certain precautions to promote faster recovery and prevent further complications. These include:

  • Taking pain medications as prescribed.

  • Use of crutches to prevent or limit bearing weight on the operated hip

  • Exercises to improve hip flexibility and strength

  • Eating a healthy diet and avoiding smoking will help in faster healing and recovery

  • Avoid activity which involves lifting heavy things or strenuous exercises for the first few weeks after surgery

With advances in surgical techniques, arthroscopy plays an important role in diagnosis and treatment of hip diseases. Also, patients can anticipate a quicker recovery with less post-operative complications following hip arthroscopy surgery.

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