Hip Arthroscopy

This essentially is keyhole surgery on the hip joint. It is usually performed under a general anaesthetic with traction applied to the hip to distract it enough to get instrument into the hip to diagnose and treat pathology. An xray machine is also used to ensure safe entry into the hip joint without damaging the articular surface.

The procedure has been developed over the last 20 years and with the advent of improved instrumentation it is now possible to perform numerous procedures with this technique. Some of these are listed below:

Labral repair
Microfracture of femoral head or acetabulum
Removal of loose bodies
Partial release of iliopsoas tendon
Removal of femoral bump causing hip impingement


The picture above shows an area of cartilage disease on the socket side of the hip joint. This can be treated by microfracture.
The picture above shows a labral tear inside the hip joint

Post operative recovery

Most patients will need to stay one night in hospital after hip arthroscopy. They will then be discharged with crutches to use for approximately 2 weeks depending on what has been done inside the hip They will need some physiotherapy for up to 6 weeks.
Time away from work is dependant on patient occupation.


Possible complications

Complications are few and far between ( 1-2%) but as with any surgical procedure can occur. Specific to hip arthroscopy are traction related problems which can result in numbness in the groin and genital area. This is normally transient and recovers fully in the majority of cases. There can also be some swelling and bruising of the genital area.
There are also some risk of infection and oozing from the small incisions used around the hip.