A hip arthroscopy is a procedure used to diagnose and treat a range of hip conditions. In this procedure, an arthroscope, a small instrument with a light source and a camera, is inserted into the hip to inspect the joint and source of pain.
What is it?
When nonsurgical treatments can not alleviate hip injuries or pain resulting from overuse, a hip arthroscopy may be needed to diagnose the underlying cause. Common reasons for hip arthroscopies include dysplasia (abnormally enlarged cells), hip joint infection, loose bodies in the joint, snapping hip syndrome, and femoroacetabular impingement (pinching where the thigh bone meets the hip joint). An arthroscope introduces a camera through a small incision near the joint that allows the surgeon to understand the cause of a patient’s pain. After identifying the issue, specific treatments that can be pursued.
What should I do to prepare?
It is important for a patient to talk to his or her doctors about necessary tests before a hip arthroscopy and to stop using any anti-inflammatory medication at least one week before surgery. Patients cannot eat or drink anything during the night before surgery. Additionally, patients should also make transportation accommodations to return home after completion of the surgery.
What happens during the procedure?
In order for the surgeon to access the hip joint adequately, the patient’s leg must be slightly extended from the socket to allow for insertion of the arthroscope. For that reason, the patient’s leg will be put in traction. A small incision will be made near the hip joint, and the arthroscope and other surgical instruments will be inserted.
What are the risks and potential complications?
Hip arthroscopy comes with associated risks that include, but are not limited to:
- Nerve damage
- Blood vessel damage
- Blood Clots
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
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