What is hip arthroscopy?
Hip arthroscopy is a relatively new technique with a very few surgeons across the globe have been trained to do this surgery. This is a keyhole operation where a light source and camera is passed into the hip joint to visualise the structures. Through other small incisions special surgical instruments are also passed to perform various procedures. This is a demanding procedure requiring considerable experience and training.
Who needs hip arthroscopy?
Hip arthroscopy is usually performed for non arthritic hip pain and sports hip injuries in young patients.
Specific indications are as below.
- Labral tear
- Loose bodies
- Hip infection
- Osteochondritis– chondral injuries
- Synovial chondromatosis
- Foreign body
- Resistant psoas tendinitis
- Resistant trochanteric bursitis
- Diagnostic indication
How is it done?
- Usually a day case procedure. But you may require one night stay in the hospital depending on your comorbidities.
- Operation is done under some form of anaesthesia with muscle relaxation. You will be placed on a special operating table allowing traction to be applied on your leg.
- Then the hip joint is located under an X- ray image using a C-arm image intensifier.
- Usually you will require three small 1cm long cuts around the hip which allows the passage of instruments and camera.
After the operation you will have small dressings.
Schematic diagram showing the placement of an arthroscope in the hip joint Second picture shows actual arthroscopic view of the inside of the hip joint and a labral tear.
Rate of complications following hip arthroscopy is less than 5% in most of the scientific studies. These complications are usually minor and self limiting. Main worry is not serving the purpose of relieving pain. This is usually because your hip is in a state of advanced degeneration due to some long term or neglected hip disorders. During the surgery the instruments may damage the articular cartilage. Small risks of infection and neurovascular damage are also exists.