Hip Arthroscopy

Minimally Invasive Surgery for Hip Pain

For hip pain that doesn’t improve with exercise, medications, and other nonsurgical measures, your physician may recommend hip arthroscopy. This minimally-invasive surgery may relieve painful symptoms of damage to the hip joint caused by injury or aggravated by repetitive motions, such as running and jumping.

Causes of Hip Pain

Two conditions commonly treated with hip arthroscopy are femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), commonly called hip impingement, and/or a labral tear.

The hip joint is essentially a ball and socket. The “ball” is at the head of the femur, the large bone inside the thigh, and the “socket” is the acetabulum, which is part of the pelvis bone.

  • Covering both bones is articular cartilage, a slippery tissue that should allow smooth, almost frictionless gliding between the two surfaces. The socket is surrounded by a fibrous structure called the labrum. The labrum provides a tight seal around the joint and stability to the joint. Additionally, the entire joint is covered by synovial fluid that lubricates the joint.
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) occurs when the ball and socket do not fit together properly. The (ball) head of the femur may develop an abnormal shape, so the ball is no longer rounded to fit the socket. Or, the (socket) acetabulum may develop an abnormal rotated position. Because they do not fit together perfectly, the hip bones rub against each other and, over time, cause damage to the joint.

When the labral tissue is torn, a “labral tear,” damage to the nerve endings inside the labrum may cause pain.

While exercise does not cause FAI, athletes and others who engage in vigorous exercise may experience pain sooner than those who are not as active.

Diagnostic Tests

To diagnose FAI or a labral tear, your physician may choose to do diagnostic testing such as radiographs or x-rays, Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI), or a computed tomography (CT) scan. When there is confirmed damage to the cartilage or labrum, the disease is likely to progress without treatment.

Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

The Procedure

Hip arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that gives a surgeon a clear view of the hip joint. This helps the surgeon diagnose and treat joint problems. During the procedure, the surgeon inserts a camera, called an arthroscope into the hip joint. The camera displays images from inside the joint onto a monitor, allowing the surgeon to guide miniature surgical instruments.

The goal of the hip surgery is to reduce symptoms, such pain and stiffness, and correct the cause, impingement and/or a labral tear, to prevent future damage to the hip joint.

During the arthroscopy, your surgeon can repair or remove damage to the labrum and articular cartilage. The surgeon can treat the FAI by smoothing the surfaces of both bones into the correct shape.

If a labral tear exists, the surgeon may reattach the labrium to the acetabulum (socket) wall. Other options are to sew the tear in the labrum back together with bioabsorbable sutures, smooth and remove the labrium entirely, or remove the torn or damaged section.

Pain after Surgery

Typically, patients experience some pain the first two days following surgery. Using prescribed pain medication as directed by your surgeon will help control pain.

Recovery and Return to Normal Activities

Most patients will use crutches for two to six weeks following surgery. Athletes typically can return to play symptom-free anywhere from two to six months after surgery, depending on the extent of the damage.

Outpatient Physical Therapy

After discharge from the hospital, your recovery will continue under the guidance of therapists in our outpatient physical therapy program. Physical therapy is needed to improve the hip’s range of motion, and muscle strength and stability around the hip.

Baptist has locations for outpatient therapy throughout the metro Jackson area, so you can get care in a facility that is most convenient to you.

Learn about Baptist's Physical Therapy program

Orthopedic Surgeons at Baptist

Because there are 27 muscles in the hip joint, hip arthroscopy is a technically demanding procedure. The experienced orthopedic surgeons at Baptist have performed more than 300 complex hip procedures of this type. All orthopedic surgeons on staff at Baptist are board certified, and many have sub-specialty training within the field of orthopedic surgery.

Have Hip Arthroscopy at Baptist

The first step in having hip arthroscopy at Baptist is being seen by a Baptist physician. You can request a referral by using our online form, or by calling the Baptist Health Line at 601-948-6262 or 1-800-948-6262.

Request a referral online.


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