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Dedicated to patient care, we utilise the latest arthroscopic and minimally invasive techniques for the management of all hip, knee and shoulder conditions; thereby facilitating the best recovery and outcome for patients from surgery.
Dedicated to patient care, we utilise the latest arthroscopic and minimally invasive techniques for the management of all hip, knee and shoulder conditions; thereby facilitating the best recovery and outcome for patients from surgery.

  • Shoulder Pain
  • Anterior Hip Replacement
  • ACL Reconstruction
  • Rotator Cuff Tear
  • Hip Arthroscopy

Hip Arthroscopy

Hip Arthroscopy

What is Hip Arthroscopy?

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed through 2 or 3 small 5-10mm incisions (ie. key hole surgery) using an advanced HD camera and special instruments to visualise and work inside and around the hip joint. A specially designed hip traction table is used to allow access into the hip joint.

What are the risks of hip arthroscopy?

Complications are not common but can occur. Prior to making any decision to have surgery, it is important that you understand the potential risks so that you can make an informed decision on the advantages and disadvantages of surgery. The following list is by no means exhaustive, so it is important to discuss your concerns with your your surgeon.

Some patients occasionally report numbness or tingling in the groin or inner thigh. This usually resolves with time. It is quite normal to experience some swelling and discomfort in the leg, thigh and buttock region. This is expected and will also resolve with time. It is important to avoid high impact activities during the early phase of recovery to minimise the risk of fracture.

Other general surgical risks include: risk of infection, bleeding and clots in the leg (DVT) or lung post-operatively.

Apart from surgical risks, medical (including allergies) and anaesthetic complications can occur, and these can affect your general well being and health.

Rehabilitation and recovery after hip arthroscopy

Participating and completing a tailored exercise program before (ie. pre-hab) and after surgery (ie. rehab) with a trained physiotherapist will achieve the best result for you post-surgery.

Post-surgery, immediate mobilisation and weight-bearing is allowed. Initially, crutches may be required for support. independent walking is usually achieved by week 2 post-surgery. Returning to work, particularly low impact office work, is also possible within this period.

Low impact activities, such as cycling and swimming, may be commenced from week 4.

Where bone is removed as part of the procedure, high impact activities, such as running and jumping, are best avoided for six weeks post-surgery.

During the initial six weeks after surgery, it is best to avoid activities in the ‘impingement’ positions (ie. with the hip in excessive flexion > 90 degrees, adduction and internal rotation): lunges, squats, passive stretches, sitting in a low chair and prolonged driving.

Sport specific retraining can commence 6 weeks after surgery, with the aim of returning to elite level sports within 3 months post-surgery.

It will take 3 months for your hip to fully recover from hip arthroscopy. Continued improvements may be gained up to 1 year post-surgery.

Goals of hip arthroscopy pre-hab & rehab:

  • Education
  • Muscle retraining and rebalancing:
  • Target muscles: Short ER, Quadratus Femoris, Ab-Adductor, Quad-Hamstring
  • Motor control (isolated activation)
  • Active range of motion (extension to flexion)
  • Strength and Endurance
  • Posture, balance and gait retraining
  • Functional exercises
  • Sports specific training and returning to sport

What conditions does hip arthroscopy treat?

This list is by no means exhaustive but some of the common conditions treated include:

  • Hip arthroscopy has revolutionised treatment for femoral acetabular impingement (FAI):
  • Abnormal ball (ie. Cam lesion) – The abnormal bone is removed thus reshaping the ball to prevent further impingement and protecting the hip from further damage. This also improves your range of motion.
  • Abnormal socket (ie. pincer lesion) – The abnormal bone is removed thus preventing further impingement and protecting the hip from further damage.
  • Labral tears – These can be repaired and stabilised. Specialised anchors are used to re-attach the torn labrum.
  • Ligamentum teres tears – These can be trimmed, tightened and stabilised. Any inflamed tissue is removed.
  • Bone cysts (acetabular or femoral) – These can be removed or filled with a bone graft.

In addition to FAI, other hip conditions that benefit from hip arthroscopy include:

  • Articular cartilage damage (early arthritis) – If caught early, articular cartilage damage can be repaired and stabilised. Otherwise, unstable flaps can be removed and the underlying bone prepared to encourage new cartilage to form, a process known as ‘micro-fracture’.
  • Synovitis – Inflammed tissue around the hip can be removed (ie. synovectomy)
  • Abductor tendinopathy – Radiofrequency (RF) tenoplasty can be performed to stimulate neo-vascularisation (ie. new blood vessel formation) to promote tendon healing
  • Trochanteric bursitis – The inflammed bursa is removed (ie. bursectomy) and an iliotibial band (ITB) release is performed to decompress the inflamed area.
  • Psoas tendinopathy – The inflamed tendon can be lengthen to reduce the irritation and inflammation.
  • Loose body – Bone, cartilage or any other loose tissue can be removed to prevent ongoing damage to the hip.
  • Biopsy – Tissue specimens can be taken to aid the diagnosis of certain conditions.
  • Washouts – For the treatment of hip infections.

What are the benefits of hip arthroscopy?

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive approach resulting in less tissue damage, less pain, less blood loss, and faster recovery and return of function. Patients are allowed to immediately weight-bear and walk, and can go off crutches as soon as they are able. Hip arthroscopy can be performed as a “day-case” (ie. going home the same day) but patients typically choose to go home the following day.

FAQ

When can I walk after hip arthroscopy?
Full weight-bearing and walking is allowed immediately. Initially, this will be aided by crutches. Most people will walk independently by 10-14 days post-operatively.

When can I drive after hip arthroscopy?

You should not drive for 48 hours after an anaesthetic. After 48 hours, your ability to drive will depend on the side you had your operation, left or right, and the type of vehicle you drive, manual or automatic. If you had a left hip procedure and drive an automatic, you can drive whenever you feel comfortable. Otherwise, it is reasonable to drive when you are confident with walking and can fully weight-bear on your affected side.

When can I return to work after hip arthroscopy?

Your return to work will vary depending on the procedure performed and type of work you are engaged in. Most people can return to office work within 2 weeks. Labour intensive work however, may require you to take 4-6 weeks before returning to full duties.

When can I play after hip arthroscopy?

Low impact activities, such as cycling and swimming, can be commenced from week 4. If your procedure involves bone removal, high impact activities, such as running and jumping, are best avoided for 6 weeks post-surgery. Sport specific re-training can commence from week 6, with the aim to return to elite level sports 3 months post-surgery.

How long will I take to heal after hip arthroscopy?

The wounds take 7-10 days to heal. Most patients improve dramatically in the first 6 weeks. Occasionally, there are periods where the hip may become sore and then settle again. This is part of the normal healing process. It takes three months for your hip to fully recover from hip arthroscopy. Continued improvements may be gained up to 1 year post-surgery.

How much pain will I experience after hip arthroscopy?

Your experience of pain will vary depending on the procedure performed and the amount of pre-existing damage in your hip. Most patients are pleasantly surprised at how little pain they have after the procedure. Local anaesthetic is injected before and after the procedure to minimise any pain you may feel.

Will FAI return after hip arthroscopy?

The symptoms of FAI occur when impingement occurs between the ball and socket of your hip. Once the abnormal growth of bone in your hip joint has been removed, it is unlikely to grow back. The risk of ongoing damage to the hip is now low as the cause of the FAI has been removed.

What are the risks of hip arthroscopy for the treatment of FAI?

Complications are not common but can occur. Prior to making any decision to have surgery, it is important that you understand the potential risks so that you can make an informed decision on the advantages and disadvantages of surgery. The following list is by no means exhaustive, so it is important to discuss your concerns with your your surgeon.

Some patients occasionally report numbness or tingling in the groin or inner thigh. This usually resolves with time. It is quite normal to experience some swelling and discomfort in the leg, thigh and buttock region. This is expected and will also resolve with time. It is important to avoid high impact activities during the early phase of recovery to minimise the risk of fracture.

Other general surgical risks include: risk of infection, bleeding and clots in the leg (DVT) or lung post-operatively.

Apart from surgical risks, medical (including allergies) and anaesthetic complications can occur, and these can affect your general well being and health.

Hip Knee Shoulder FAORTHA FRACSInternational Society for Hip Arthroscopy

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