Hip arthroscopy treats more problems

Dr. David Pearce and Dr. Adam Smith recently met with Dr. Marc Philippon in Vail, Colorado, at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic to discuss new developments in hip arthroscopy.

Arthroscopy, which is less invasive than other techniques, has been used for several years to treat a limited number of problems in the hip. Recent developments allow surgeons to treat a broader range of problems.

Drs. Pearce and Smith discuss hip arthroscopy…

Q: What is hip arthroscopy?
A: Hip arthroscopy is a technique that is used to treat disorders in the hip with the use of small incisions that allow a camera to be used to directly visualize the hip joint and any damaged structures.

Q: What disorders can be treated with hip arthroscopy?
A: For many years hip arthroscopy has been used to remove floating cartilage fragments and debride damage to the socket of the hip. Exciting techniques have been developed that offer the ability to repair damaged and torn tissues in the hip with a goal to restore patient function and pain-free activities.

Torn cartilage in the hip is a common problem that causes pain in the groin when certain movements of the hip occur. Arthritic changes can occur in young active patients that include spur formation. These spurs cause damage to the hip, including labral tearing and further damage to surrounding cartilage.

Hip arthroscopy allows for the removal of impinging bone spurs around the hip on the femoral neck and socket. Removal of these impinging spurs can help with pain and limit further damage to the hip joint.

Torn labral cartilage that frequently leads to pain and popping in the hip can be treated in some patients with repair. Small anchors with strong suture allow for solid fixation of these torn structures with a goal to restore more normal hip function.

Q: Can complications occur from this procedure?
A: Like any operative procedure, complications from hip arthroscopy do occasionally occur. Several important nerves surround the hip and, while not common, can be injured. Patients with more advanced arthritis and damage to the hip may not get relief of pain, and arthritis can progress.

Q: What is the rehabilitation for hip arthroscopy like?
A: Rehabilitation after hip arthroscopy typically involves protection of the hip with the use of crutches for two to six weeks. Stretching of the hip joint and strengthening begin at the appropriate time, and patients gradually return to activities.