Lifespan Orthopedics Institute
The Most Comprehensive Orthopedic Care in the Region

Hip Arthroscopy at Lifespan Orthopedics Institute

Many people are familiar with arthroscopic procedures to repair knee joints. Less well known is that the same approach has long been used for treating hip problems. Using this minimally invasive surgical technique, our expert orthopedic surgeons may be able to restore your hip joint to pain-free function.

If nonsurgical treatments such as rest, weight loss, physical therapy, and medications to reduce inflammation do not relieve your hip pain, your orthopedic surgeon will do a thorough examination and review diagnostic images to determine whether hip arthroscopy is the best approach for you.

What is Hip Arthroscopy?

Arthroscopic surgery can help restore smooth, pain-free mobility to the hip joint while being less invasive than traditional open surgery, which requires a larger incision and a longer recovery. 

During hip arthroscopy, an orthopedic surgeon makes small incisions — less than a half-inch — to allow an arthroscope (tiny camera) and thin instruments to be inserted into the joint space. The scope transmits video to a screen so that the surgeon can assess injury or deterioration of the cartilage, ligaments, and bone that make up the ball-and-socket hip joint.

With the specialized instruments, the surgeon can repair tears, remove damaged tissue, and reshape the bone to remove overgrowth (spurs). The small openings the surgeon makes to admit instruments during hip arthroscopy are closed with sutures.

Hip arthroscopy is usually done as an outpatient procedure — you will go home the same day as your surgery.

How Long is Recovery After Hip Arthroscopy?

After a hip arthroscopy procedure to correct defects or make repairs, your return to work and routine daily activities is quicker than with open surgery. Complete recovery from an arthroscopic surgery may take as long as three to four months. You will probably use crutches for a brief time to limit weight and stress on the joint during early healing.

Depending on the surgery you need, your surgeon will prescribe physical therapy to help restore strength and mobility to your hip, assuring the best possible recovery.

Conditions Treated with Minimally Invasive Hip Arthroscopy

Many conditions that cause hip pain can be successfully treated with a less-invasive arthroscopic procedure. These include:

  • Femoral-acetabular impingement (FAI), when an overgrowth of bone (a spur) on either the socket (acetabulum) or ball (femoral head) interferes with smooth operation of the hip joint and results in cartilage damage and tears
  • Pediatric conditions, such as hip dysplasia, Legg-Calvé-Perthes' disease, and slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE)
  • Tears of the labrum, the cuff of fibrocartilage that encircles the hip socket and helps the joint function smoothly
  • Fragments of bone or damaged cartilage, known as loose bodies
  • Hip infection, which can severely damage the cartilage and bone
  • Avascular necrosis, deterioration of bone tissue due to a disruption of the blood supply, sometimes following a fracture or dislocation
  • Snapping hip, caused by a tendon rubbing on the outside of the joint, which sometimes damages the tendon
  • Other tendon injuries
  • Conditions that arise after hip replacement surgery

Learn more about the Lifespan Orthopedic Institute