Hip arthroscopy

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat various hip joint conditions. The surgeon inserts a small camera (arthroscope) through small incisions to visualize the interior of the hip joint. Commonly addressed issues include labral tears, femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), and synovitis. Procedures may involve repairing the labrum, reshaping the hip joint, and addressing inflammation. The benefits include smaller incisions, reduced postoperative pain, and faster recovery. After the surgery, patients undergo physical therapy to aid recovery. Follow-up appointments monitor progress and assess rehabilitation effectiveness.

Why its Done

Hip arthroscopy is performed for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, involving the use of minimally invasive techniques to address various issues within the hip joint. Here are common reasons why hip arthroscopy might be done:

  • Diagnostic Evaluation for Unexplained Hip Pain: Hip arthroscopy allows direct visualization of the hip joint to identify the source of persistent hip pain when a clear diagnosis is lacking.
  • Treatment of Labral Tears: Tears in the labrum, the cartilage rim around the hip socket, can be addressed through arthroscopic repair or reconstruction.
  • Correction of Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI): Arthroscopy is used to reshape the hip joint, preventing abnormal contact between the ball and socket and addressing FAI.
  • Management of Synovitis: Inflammation of the synovium within the hip joint can be treated by removing inflamed tissue during hip arthroscopy.
  • Removal of Loose Bodies: Small fragments of bone or cartilage floating within the hip joint can be removed through arthroscopic procedures.
  • Rehabilitation and Treatment of Hip Injuries: Hip arthroscopy is employed to facilitate rehabilitation and improve overall hip function, particularly after injuries like labral tears or ligamentum teres tears.


  • Infection Risk: As with any surgery, there is a potential risk of infection, although it is generally low with hip arthroscopy.

  • Bleeding: There is a risk of bleeding during or after the surgery, though it is typically minimal.

  • Nerve or Blood Vessel Damage: The use of arthroscopic instruments poses a small risk of unintended damage to nearby nerves or blood vessels.

  • Stiffness or Weakness: Some patients may experience stiffness or weakness in the hip post-surgery, particularly if extensive repair or reconstruction is performed.

  • Persistent Pain: In certain cases, patients may continue to experience pain after the surgery, necessitating further evaluation and management.

  • Scar Tissue Formation (Arthrofibrosis): Excessive scar tissue formation in the hip joint can potentially limit range of motion and function.

  • Incomplete Healing: Tissues may not heal as expected in some cases, requiring additional interventions or procedures.

  • Anesthetic Risks: General or regional anesthesia involves its own set of risks, including allergic reactions, respiratory issues, or adverse reactions to anesthesia drugs.

  • Failure to Resolve Symptoms: While hip arthroscopy can address specific issues, there is no guarantee that all symptoms will be completely resolved.

  • Complications from Specific Procedures: The nature and complexity of specific arthroscopic procedures (e.g., labral repair or FAI correction) may introduce additional risks or complications, which should be discussed with the healthcare team.


Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure involving several key steps:

Anesthesia: The patient is placed under general or regional anesthesia to ensure comfort during the procedure.

Incision Placement: Small incisions are made around the hip to serve as entry points for the arthroscope and specialized instruments.

Arthroscopic Inspection: An arthroscope, a small tube with a camera, is inserted through one of the incisions to visualize the interior of the hip joint on a monitor.

Diagnostic Evaluation: The surgeon examines the cartilage, labrum, ligaments, and other structures within the hip joint to diagnose the specific issue.

Treatment or Repair: Based on the diagnosis, the surgeon may perform various arthroscopic procedures, such as labral repair, reshaping of the hip joint, or removal of loose bodies.

Closure: Once the necessary procedures are completed, the arthroscope and instruments are removed, and the small incisions are closed with stitches or adhesive strips.

Recovery and Rehabilitation: The patient undergoes monitoring in the recovery room, and physical therapy is often initiated to aid in the recovery process and restore hip function.

Postoperative Care: Patients receive instructions for wound care, pain management, and guidelines for hip movement. Follow-up appointments are scheduled to monitor progress and assess the effectiveness of rehabilitation.

Exploring the Hidden Benefits of Arthroscopy