What is Arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy, also referred to as keyhole or minimally invasive surgery, is a procedure in which an arthroscope is inserted into a joint to check for any damage and repair it simultaneously.
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 repair the problem.
Indications of Hip Arthroscopy
Hip arthroscopy is a surgical procedure performed through very small incisions to diagnose and treat various hip conditions including:
- Removal of torn cartilage or bone chips that cause hip pain and immobility
- Repair a torn labrum (fibrous cartilage ring that lines the acetabular socket)
- 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 (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 does not respond to conservative treatment
Hip Arthroscopy Procedure
Hip arthroscopy is performed under regional or general anesthesia depending on you and your surgeon’s preference.
Your surgeon 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 and create room for the surgeon to work.
The larger image on the television monitor allows the surgeon 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.
Advantages of Hip Arthroscopy
The advantages of hip arthroscopy over the traditional open hip surgery include:
- Less pain
- Faster recovery
- Lower infection rate
- Less scarring
- Smaller incisions
- Minimal trauma to surrounding ligaments, muscles, and tissues
- Early mobilization
- Shorter hospital stay