Hip arthroscopy is a procedure in which a miniature telescope is inserted through an incision over your hip joint commonly used to diagnose a problem, or occassionally to perform a treatment.
What happens during hip arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy is very often performed as a day case with the patient under general anaesthetic. In some cases local anaesthetic may be used. Your anaesthetist will discuss the options with you. The operation takes between 30 and 90 minutes.
You will be put on to a traction table (a type of operating table), which pulls firmly on your leg. This pulls your hip joint apart a little, so your surgeon can see into the joint. They will insert a camera through one or more small cuts around your hip. Other small incisions may be made to introduce instruments to remove fluid, diseased tissue or bone or to perform some procedures to the area.
The inside of the joint will be examined enabling your consultant to decide whether an operation is required to repair damage or remove loose material interfering with joint movement.
Immediately after your operation you will be taken to a recovery area. Our healthcare team will monitor you and give you medication to relieve any pain.
A physiotherapist will visit you to help you begin to move about on your own. You may need to use a walker or crutches. You may be given gentle exercises to help build your muscle strength.
In some cases hip arthroscopy is performed as a day case meaning you can go home when you have recovered from the anaesthesia. Your consultant may require you to stay overnight.
Going home after hip arthroscopy
You will not be able to drive yourself home so please arrange for someone to take you on the day of discharge.
You should take it easy for a few days. You may have a few small stitches on each wound, which should be left in place until your follow-up appointment at the hospital, around 10-14 days later. Continue to take any pain relief medication if needed.
Discuss any return to work with your consultant.
Most people make a good recovery from hip arthroscopy. As with any surgical procedure there could be complications including:
- Infection on the wound
- Difficulty passing urine
- Blood clots (deep vein thrombosis – DVT)
Specific complications of hip arthroscopy may include:
- Nerve damage
- Infection in the hip joint
- Tendon damage
- Localised stiffness or pain
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Derek went from unbearable pain that forced him to walk with a stick to playing squash in less than seven months. Explore the short history of Derek's hip with this interactive timeline.