Hip arthroscopy

Asian senior woman with hip pain

Hip Arthroscopy: A Minimally Invasive Look Inside Your Hip Joint

When rest, physical therapy and other non-surgical treatments fail to relieve your hip pain, hip arthroscopy may be just what the doctor ordered.

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that lets your doctor examine your hip joint from the inside without requiring a large incision through your soft tissues and skin.

What is hip arthroscopy?

Your hip is a ball and socket joint and one of the largest joints in your body. A hollow in your pelvic bone called the acetabulum creates a space called a socket. The top portion of your thigh bone, known as the femoral head, forms the ball. Fibrocartilage called the labrum acts like a gasket and connective tissues called ligaments provide stability and hold the joint together.

“We use a camera and small instruments inserted through small holes around the hip joint to visualize the joint and do any work,” says Dr. Brian Cash an orthopaedic surgeon with Roper St. Francis Physician Partners Orthopaedics. He specializes in sports injuries affecting the hip, knee and shoulder and often uses hip arthroscopy to diagnose and treat hip pain.

“This innovative procedure expands the options for addressing our patients’ hip pain and its impact on their daily lives,” says Dr. Cash.

Hip arthroscopy vs. hip replacement

Hip arthroscopy is different than hip replacement, according to Dr. Cash. “Hip replacement is appropriate when you have severe arthritis and that has worn away your cartilage. When that happens, you typically need to replace the bone and cartilage with metal and plastic components,” he explains. “Hip arthroscopy is used for different conditions that are non-arthritic.”

Who needs hip arthroscopy?

Anyone experiencing hip pain that has not responded well to other non-surgical treatments can be a potential candidate for hip arthroscopy. The typical hip arthroscopy patient is an active individual without any significant hip arthritis, who has had persistent hip pain despite physical therapy and other conservative treatment options. A consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon can help determine if you are a candidate for hip arthroscopy. Oftentimes, an MRI will be obtained to evaluate the complex anatomy of the hip.

Hip arthroscopy is used to diagnose and treat a wide range of hip issues, including:

Advantages of hip arthroscopy

Hip arthroscopy is less invasive than traditional open hip surgery that requires a large incision and extended recovery time. With this minimally invasive procedure you can expect:

Arthroscopy can be a literal game-changer if you’ve been searching for relief. “In the past, non-arthritic hip pain was just kind of overlooked. There wasn’t a good, minimally-invasive option to treat it. So, many patients just lived with the pain. Maybe you had some pain and then 20 years later, your hip joint wore down and you got a hip replacement,” says Dr. Cash. “Arthroscopy is an effective tool in our toolbox to help address those cases.”

Joint pain can impact many areas of your life including mobility, sleep quality, daily activities, and more. Take our assessment to help evaluate your pain and how it may be affecting your quality of life.

Call today for an appointment

For more information about orthopaedic care at Roper St. Francis Healthcare, call (844) 975-MOVE (6683)  or visit rsfh.com.