Hip Arthroscopy

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to diagnose and treat a variety of hip joint conditions. This procedure involves the insertion of a small camera (arthroscope) and specialized instruments through small incisions to visualize and address problems within the hip joint. Hip arthroscopy has revolutionized the treatment of hip issues, offering accurate diagnosis, targeted treatment, and faster recovery compared to traditional open surgery. Here’s a comprehensive overview of hip arthroscopy, including its indications, procedure, recovery, and potential benefits:

surgeons operating patient medical professionals are wearing scrubs

Indications for Hip Arthroscopy:

Hip arthroscopy is often recommended for individuals with hip problems that have not responded to non-surgical treatments. Common conditions that may be treated with hip arthroscopy include:

  • Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI): Abnormal contact between the femur and acetabulum causing pain and restricted movement.
  • Labral Tears: Damage to the labrum, a ring of cartilage that lines the hip socket.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Abnormal development of the hip joint that may lead to joint instability and pain.
  • Synovitis: Inflammation of the synovial lining of the hip joint.
  • Loose Bodies: Small fragments of bone or cartilage within the joint causing pain and restricted movement.


Hip arthroscopy surgery involves several key steps:

  • Anesthesia: General or regional anesthesia is administered to ensure the patient’s comfort.
  • Incisions: Small incisions (usually less than an inch) are made around the hip joint.
  • Arthroscopic Examination: The arthroscope is inserted through one incision to visualize the inside of the hip joint on a monitor.
  • Treatment: Specialized instruments are inserted through other incisions to address the specific hip issue. Treatment may involve trimming excess bone, repairing labral tears, or removing loose bodies.
  • Closure: The incisions are closed with sutures or adhesive strips.

Recovery and Rehabilitation:

After hip arthroscopy surgery:

  • Patients are often discharged on the same day or after a short hospital stay.
  • Crutches or a walker may be used initially to assist with walking.
  • Physical therapy is initiated to restore hip strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
  • Gradually resuming weight-bearing and normal activities is guided by the surgeon.

Benefits of Hip Arthroscopy:

Hip arthroscopy offers several potential benefits:

  • Minimally Invasive: Smaller incisions and reduced tissue trauma compared to open surgery.
  • Accurate Diagnosis: Direct visualization of the hip joint allows for precise diagnosis.
  • Targeted Treatment: Specific hip issues can be addressed with specialized instruments.
  • Faster Recovery: Reduced tissue damage often leads to quicker recovery times.
  • Less Pain: Patients often experience less postoperative pain.

Risks and Complications:

While hip arthroscopy is generally safe, it carries potential risks and complications, including infection, blood clots, nerve or blood vessel damage, and joint stiffness.

Long-Term Outlook:

The success of hip arthroscopy depends on factors such as the patient’s adherence to postoperative care and rehabilitation, the surgeon’s skill, and the specific hip issue being treated. Many individuals experience reduced pain, improved hip function, and a faster return to activities following successful hip arthroscopy.


Hip arthroscopy is a valuable tool for diagnosing and treating a range of hip joint conditions with minimal invasiveness and faster recovery times. If you’re experiencing persistent hip pain, limited mobility, or other hip-related symptoms, consulting with an orthopedic specialist can help determine whether hip arthroscopy is a suitable option to address your concerns and enhance your overall hip health.