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What is Hip Arthroscopy?
An arthroscopy of the hip is a procedure where an arthroscope, a small camera, is inserted into the hip joint. This is done to directly visualize the joint structure and to provide any treatment that is required. The image is projected onto a television screen in the operating room so that any additional surgical instruments may be maneuvered around the joint with the benefit of image guidance. Hip arthroscopy allows hip problems to be treated without major surgery and with minimal trauma.
Who needs Hip Arthroscopy?
There are number of different reasons why a hip arthroscopy may be performed. These include:
- Presence of bone spurs within the hip joint
- Inflammation of the synovial tissue within the hip, or synovitis
- Infection of the hip joint
- Abnormal structure of the hip joint, or hip dysplasia
- Removal of loose bodies, such as loose bone and cartilage fragments within the hip joint
- Snapping hip syndrome, which is where patients experience a feeling of something being caught within the hip joint that snaps during movement.
What are the steps in Hip Arthroscopy?
Preparing for the Procedure
Prior to the procedure being performed, consent will be obtained and the patient is placed in position to access the joint. The leg is placed in traction so as to ensure the hip joint stays stable during the procedure. The skin over the hip is cleaned with antiseptic solution. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia or just spinal anesthesia. The procedure can take a variable amount of time, depending on what is performed. Examples of procedures that may be performed include cartilage removal or joint wash out.
Creating Initial Incision and Inserting Arthroscope
Following this, an arthroscope device is inserted into the joint through a small incision that is made in the skin.
Performing Any Necessary Procedure
The required procedure is performed using the arthroscope and once the procedure is complete, it is removed.
Ending the Procedure
The skin is closed with a suture or dressing.
After the procedure, the patient is observed for a period of a few hours and then discharged home. Once the required treatment is complete, patients require a period of rehabilitation to get back on their feet. Support devices such as crutches may be required to prevent excessive weight-bearing during healing.
The risks involved with this procedure are rare, but they can include damage to the nearby blood vessels and nerves.