Hip arthroscopies are a common surgical procedure that helps treat a large number of hip injuries and conditions. It allows orthopedic surgeons to assess and view the hip injury by making a small incision into the skin and tissue and determining the best treatment option for patients.
What do they do in a hip arthroscopy?
Through the incision, the hip surgeon inserts a small camera into your hip joint. This camera allows the physician to see a detailed image of your hip that is displayed on a monitor.
Thin instruments are used during an arthroscopic procedure, which is why the incision is very small compared to an open surgical incision. A smaller incision results in less pain for the patient shortens the recovery time and lessens the risk of infection. The length of the procedure is dependant on the type of injury.
Why would you need a hip arthroscopy?
If non-surgical treatment options such as rest, injections or physical therapy do not improve the injury or condition, hip arthroscopy may be the next step.
Hip arthroscopies can be used to treat symptoms of:
- Femoroacetabular impingement
- Snapping hip syndrome
- Loose bone fragments in the joint
- Hip joint infection
For example, depending on the injury or diagnosis your physician may smooth off torn cartilage or repair it, trim bone spurs caused by hip impingement or removes inflamed synovial tissue.
What is the recovery time for a hip arthroscopy?
After the procedure, you will typically stay at the hospital for one to two hours before being discharged. Expect to be on crutches, using a walker or using some type of assistive advice after the procedure. The amount of time you will need to use an assistive walking device will be dependant on how extensive the procedure was.
You will most likely be given medication to help manage the pain. This will help with short-term pain relief. Physical therapy will often be required to help you restore strength and mobility back in your hip.
When can I drive after hip arthroscopy?
In order to drive after a hip arthroscopy, you must be off narcotic medications for a full 24 hours and you must be able to move your foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal without hesitation.
A physician will determine how early you can drive depending on which hip was operated on. For a right hip arthroscopy, the earliest you can drive is when you are off crutches. For a left hip arthroscopy, you can drive when you’re off narcotics.
Learn more about hip injuries and conditions.
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