Also referred to as keyhole or minimally invasive surgery, Arthroscopy is a procedure involving the insertion of an arthroscope into a joint for checking any damage and repairing it at the same time.
The arthroscope is an instrument with a fiber-optic lens, light source, and video camera. The camera helps the surgeon to look at the image of the inner part of the joint on a large screen monitor to assess any damage, the type of injury, and handle the problem.
In hip arthroscopy, the process is done making very small cuts to analyze and deal with many hip-related problems as :
- Removing the torn cartilage or bone chips causes hip pain and immobility.
- Repairing a torn labrum
- Removing the bone spurs or extra bone growth as a result of arthritis or an injury.
- Removing part of the inflamed synovium is known as partial synovectomy for patients with inflammatory arthritis.
- Repairing fractured or torn ligaments as a result of trauma.
- Evaluation and diagnosis of conditions with unexplained pain, swelling, or stiffness in the hip that does not respond to conservative treatment.
Arthroscopy of the hip can be done under local or general anesthesia. Again it depends on you and your surgeon’s choice.
While performing the procedure small incision of about ¼ inch in length near the hip joint is done. One of the incisions is used to insert an arthroscope and with it, a sterile solution is put for the joint to be enlarged so that the surgeon to work properly.
Observing the enlarged image on the television monitor helps the surgeon to view the joint more precisely and about the expanse of injury to be treated. After the investigation required surgical instruments will be inserted via other minute incisions for the surgical procedure.
Post-surgery, the cuts are closed and covered with a bandage.
The advantages of hip arthroscopy over the traditional open hip surgery include:
- Smaller incisions
- Minimal trauma to surrounding ligaments, muscles, and tissues
- Less pain
- Faster recovery
- Lower infection rate
- Less scarring
- Earlier mobilization
- Shorter hospital stay
There are likely to be some risks and complexity along with the surgery. And it is very much needed for you to be aware of all these impediments before going ahead with the hip arthroscopy.
Possible risks and complications include:
- Infection at the place of incision or in the area of joint.
- Numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness due to nerve damage
- A condition called hemarthrosis (excess bleeding)
- Pulmonary embolism may occur wherein blood clots may form and travel to the lungs
Some precautions may be taken to avoid the complexity and encourage faster recuperation.
- pain medications to be taken as prescribed.
- To avoid putting weight on the operated hip crutches should be used.
- Physiotherapy should be done for reinstating normal hip function and bringing about flexibility and strength.
- Intake of a healthy diet helps in fast recovery.
- lifting heavy things and demanding exercises should be avoided in the initial days after the procedure.