While the majority of hip-related pathology and pain can be successfully addressed via conservative means such as rehabilitation and injections, a small proportion do not respond to these measures. In these cases, your orthopaedic surgeon may consider surgical intervention in the form of a hip arthroscopy.
A hip arthroscopy involves the Orthopaedic surgeon inserting a small camera, called an arthroscope, into the hip joint. The camera displays pictures on a television screen, and your surgeon uses these images to guide the surgical instruments when performing the operation. The exact surgery performed will depend largely on the Surgeon’s findings on MRI and on assessing the hip joint during the arthroscopy.
Common hip arthroscopy sub groups include labral repairs, microfracture procedures and FAI debridement.
Labral repair surgeries will often be performed if the labral tear in question is still quite acute and if there is significant damage to the labrum, with severe pain or instability. The surgery itself involves the Surgeon stitching the labrum back together.
Microfracture procedures may be appropriate for those with significant but localised chondral wear in the hip who have failed with conservative treatment. It involves the surgeon drilling tiny holes in the affected bone to stimulate growth of new bone cells from deeper layers. This procedure normally requires a period of 4 weeks on crutches, taking minimal weight through the affected limb.
FAI debridement refers to surgical debridement and removal of the excess bony CAM or PINCER protrusions. This can be effective in alleviating pinch-type symptoms during repetitive hip flexion related tasks.
Recovery after arthroscopies can take anywhere in the region of 3 – 6 months, depending on the nature of your individual intervention and also your desired level of activity. Often you will be required to use crutches when mobilizing for the first 4 weeks after the surgery and the amount of weight you can take through your operated leg will be dictated by the significance of the surgical technique performed. It is important to note that rehabilitation following the surgery is extremely important in order to address muscular strength and control deficits alongside optimizing biomechanics and movement competency.
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