Hip Arthroscopy

Hip arthroscopy is a comparatively new technique practiced by relatively few surgeons.  Just like knee arthroscopy it is performed under a general anaesthetic and involves making tiny incisions through which the inside of the joint is examined and procedures are performed.

Unlike the knee joint, the hip joint is a ball and socket joint with strong muscles surrounding it and has a very small joint space. Therefore, in order to perform such key-hole surgery the joint needs to be pulled apart a little (distracted).  This is done using special equipment that pulls on the leg and thus distracts the hip joint. This creates space in which the tiny fibre optic camera and instruments can be manipulated.

Procedures that can be performed during a hip arthroscopy include labral tear trimming or repair, articular cartilage injury treatment by microfracture or cartilage transplantation, femoroacetbular impingement treatment, and treatment of a clicking hip caused by a psoas tendon problem.  Hip arthroscopy can also be used to investigate the cause of hip pain where other tests have failed to diagnose this.

The surgery takes approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours and most patients can go home the same day. Crutches are usually required for about 2 to 3 weeks and physiotherapy is important.