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Hip Preservation Surgery (Hip Arthroscopy)

Hip arthroscopy is a surgical procedure done by making small cuts around your hip and looking inside using a tiny camera. Other medical instruments may also be inserted to examine or treat your hip joint.

Why is hip arthroscopy performed?

Hip arthroscopy is performed to repair torn cartilage structures in the hip including the labrum, and to correct bony abnormalities of the hip including femoroacetabular impingement. Hip arthroscopy can also be used to treat torn tendons around the hip including the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.

What does hip arthroscopy involve?

Hip arthroscopy involves creating small incisions around the hip through which a small camera and small pencil sized instruments are inserted to correct bony irregularities of the hip and repair the labrum. The procedure is performed as an outpatient surgery. Despite the minimally invasive nature of the incisions, the surgery still is a major procedure and involves a substantial recovery process.

What does the postoperative care include?

After hip arthroscopy, patients typically go home the same day. Ice can be applied to the hip to help reduce pain and swelling. Most patients are required to use crutches for a period of 3–4 weeks, with only partial weight applied to the affected extremity. Physical therapy is often begun within the first days after surgery, beginning with gentle hip mobility and massage, and over time progressing to more substantial strengthening and return to sport regimens.

What does the recovery involve?

The recovery process can often span 6–12 months, depending on the procedure performed. But most patients can resume most daily non-athletic activities far earlier than this. Physical therapy is an important part of the process in the initial months after surgery. The surgeon and patient should be sure to discuss appropriate expectations for recovery.

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