What is Hip Arthroscopy?
The hip joint is the connection of the “ball” (head of the femur bone) with the “socket” (acetabulum of the pelvis). It supports the weight of the body in static and dynamic postures, and allows for a wide range of movements. The hip is comprised of several bones, as well as three key ligaments which reinforce the joint: the iliofemoral ligament, the pubofemoral ligament and the ischiofemoral ligament. The labrum is a ring of cartilage that surrounds the “socket” and holds the “ball” in place, making the joint harder to dislocate. The hip joint is susceptible to many musculoskeletal injuries which include arthritis, dislocation, impingement, labral tears and damage to the surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Symptoms of a hip injury
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Symptoms of a hip injury may include:
- Pain while walking or pivoting
- Pain at night
- Decreased mobility or flexibility
- Catching, popping or grinding of the joint
Injuries to the hip may result from acute trauma, such as a fall or motor vehicle accident, or chronic wear and tear. Diagnosis will include a comprehensive physical examination to determine range of motion, stability and pain, as well as an X-ray, MR Arthrogram to determine the nature of the injury and an intra-articular injection.
Nonsurgical treatments for a hip injury typically include a modification of activities, physical therapy exercises to strengthen the joint and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to relieve pain. Arthroscopic surgery will be recommended for injuries that do not respond to non-surgical methods and involve weakness, loss of function and pain. The advantage of arthroscopy to traditional open surgery is that the joint does not need to be completely opened up, and no muscles are cut or displaced. This reduces the recovery time and may increase the success rate due to reduced trauma to the joint.