If you’re experiencing hip pain that limits everyday activities, you're not alone. You may feel pain when you walk, climb stairs or even while you’re sitting. Hip pain can be caused by sports injuries, age-related arthritis, or other diseases and disorders.
At El Camino Health, our orthopedic doctors use minimally invasive hip arthroscopy to both diagnose and treat hip pain — which can help avoid or delay the need for a more extensive surgery, such as hip replacement. This procedure allows surgeons to look inside the joint to assess damage without performing surgery. Surgeons manipulate tiny surgical instruments to clear away or repair damaged tissue and cartilage, perform a tumor biopsy or repair torn ligaments.
The orthopedic surgeons at El Camino Health have the high-level skills required to perform this technically advanced procedure. If you're experiencing hip pain, our team can determine whether hip arthroscopy is right for you.
How Arthroscopy Works
The surgeon uses a small, lighted video camera system called an arthroscope to examine the inside of your hip joint. The arthroscopic viewing system is about the width of a pencil. High-definition imaging equipment guides the surgeon with real-time images visible on a monitor. This technology gives the surgeon a clear view of your joint to evaluate and treat damaged areas.
Arthroscopy is considered a minimally invasive procedure because it's less invasive than traditional surgery, which requires cutting or separating muscle and tissue to access your joint. Using arthroscopy, the surgeon may make one or more small incisions, just large enough to insert the arthroscope and other tiny instruments. Because incisions are smaller and healthy tissue is spared, hip arthroscopy can offer less pain and a faster recovery.
Benefits of Hip Arthroscopy
Hip arthroscopy offers many benefits, including:
- Less pain and blood loss than traditional surgery.
- Faster healing and a shorter hospital stay.
- More efficient recovery so you can return to regular activities sooner.
- Relief from hip pain so you can lead a more active life.
Depending on your condition and the extent of your procedure, you may be able to go home the same day or the following day.
Conditions Treated with Hip Arthroscopy
Your doctor may recommend hip arthroscopy if your pain doesn't respond to other treatments, such as rest, physical therapy, or medication or injections to reduce inflammation.
Surgeons use arthroscopy to repair damage to tendons, ligaments or cartilage, including tears, injury or wear. This approach can also help relieve the painful symptoms of many conditions, including:
- Hip dysplasia – An abnormally shallow hip socket that causes your hip cartilage to tear.
- Labral tears – Tears in soft tissue surrounding the hip joint that can cause sharp pain.
- Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) – A condition in which bone spurs form as a result of abnormal mechanics. Without treatment, this condition can result in arthritis.
- Hip infection – Inflammation due to an infection in your hip bone or joint.
- Loose bone or cartilage – Small fragments that float around within your joint.
- Snapping hip syndrome – A tendon that rubs across the outside of your joint.
- Synovitis – Inflammation in the tissues surrounding your hip joint.