What is Hip Arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which an orthopaedic surgeon examines the inside of the hip joint with the help of an arthroscope. The hip arthroscopy process helps your surgeon diagnose the cause of hip pain or any other problems in your joint.
Who needs Hip Arthroscopy?
Hip Arthroscopy is done in the following cases:
- Intermittent pain in or around the hip or groin.
- Sharp pain after movements such as getting into or out of a chair, squatting or pivoting.
- Dull pain in the hip or groin even when you are at rest.
- Femoroacetabular impingement: a disorder in which extra bone develops on the femoral head or along the acetabulum. This overgrowth damages the soft tissues during movement.
- When your hip socket is abnormally shallow.
- Infection in the hip joint.
What may happen if Hip Arthroscopy is Delayed?
- Avoiding surgery not only worsens the effects of the disease but can also result in difficulties in your daily life activities.
- Degradation of the joint.
- Wearing down of the joint, and hence causing deformity.
- Joint stiffness because of the decrease in the body’s movement, ligaments, joint muscle, and capsule.
- Avoiding joint surgery will probably lead to general health problems.
- Back pain or knee pain.
- Infection and blood clots in the legs.
- Injured nerves and blood vessels can result in numbness and weakness.
How is Hip Arthroscopy Performed?
- A small puncture in your hip is made by your surgeon for the arthroscope.
- With the help of an arthroscope, your surgeon can view the inside of your hip and identify the damage.
- Your surgeon will evaluate the joint before he starts the treatment.
- The fluid flows through an arthroscope to clear the view and control bleeding.
- Once the problem is identified, your surgeon will insert other small instruments through separate incisions to repair it.
- Depending on your needs, your surgeon can perform a range of procedures like trimming bone spurs, smoothing off torn cartilage or repairing it, or removing inflamed tissue.
- Specialised instruments are used for cutting, shaving, suture passing, grasping, and knot tying. In some cases, special equipment and devices anchor stitches into bone.
- The duration of the entire procedure will depend on the amount of work to be done. After surgery, the arthroscopy incisions are usually sutured or covered with skin tapes.
- An absorbent dressing is applied to your hip.
What to Expect Before Hip Arthroscopy?
- Your orthopaedist will evaluate your hip condition and explain the treatment to you.
- Assess your general health.
- Your surgeon will ask you about your past and current medical condition, previous surgeries, smoking, alcohol, or drug abuse history or if you are under any medication for the underlying disease. So give your surgeon the names and dosages of all the regularly taken medicines.
- Avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight.
- Your hip arthroscopy will be an outpatient surgery considering you are generally healthy.
What to Expect on the Day of Hip Arthroscopy Surgery?
- You will have to sign a consent form, which permits the surgeon to do the procedure.
- Your assisting nurse will collect all the medical reports, x-rays etc., and put them in order on the day of surgery.
- If you are allergic to latex, anaesthetic agents, or any medicine, inform your doctor.
- You will be asked to stop drinking and eating at least 6 hours prior to the surgery.
- You must remove your ornaments and clothes before the surgery starts.
- Your vitals will be monitored.
What to Expect During Hip Arthroscopy?
- Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will give you general anaesthesia where you go to sleep during the whole procedure.
- Medications during the surgery will be given to you through an intravenous route.
- Your vitals and other important body functions will be monitored throughout the procedure.
- You will be laid and positioned on the operating table in a way that provides the best access to the joint.
- If there is excess hair on the surgical site, it may be shaved off.
- Your surgeon will start the treatment by putting your leg in traction, and pulling your hip away from the socket so that your surgeon can insert the instruments which are needed during the treatment to view the whole joint.
- Your surgeon will draw the anatomical lines on your hip for the incision placement.
- When arthroscopy is complete, the incisions are usually stitched and covered with skin tape.
What is Recovery and Post Op. Care after Hip Arthroplasty?
- Depending on your condition, your surgeon will decide whether you can leave the hospital immediately after the surgery or an overnight stay is required. Don’t drive by yourself.
- You will be prescribed medications to ease the pain and discomfort caused by the surgery.
- You might also expect to be on a walker or crutches for a while.
- Avoid strenuous activities for at least 3 months after the surgery.
- Avoid lifting heavyweights.
- Physical therapies are necessary for better improvement.
- Exercises to regain your strength and mobility are important.
- Avoid smoking or consumption of alcohol for some time after the surgery.
- Avoid driving until your surgeon tells you to.
- Use firm pillows to raise the hips above the knees while sitting.
First follow-up appointment
- You will be set up for timely follow-up visits with the surgeon. The first follow-up visit will usually be after 2 to 3 weeks.
- Your sutures will be removed during the first follow-up visit, and your surgeon will examine the wound.
- Your surgeon may change your medications and doses depending on your general health and recovery rate.
- The doctor will give instructions on your dietary sources and timely follow-ups.
When to Consult a Doctor?
Notify your surgeon if you are having the following symptoms:
- Fever and chills
- Redness, swelling or bleeding at the incision site
- Severe pain around the incision site
- Pus discharge from the incision site
- Delay in wound healing
- Numbness or tingling sensation around the incision site
- Blood clots
Seek immediate medical advice from your doctor if you face the above problems.