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What is hip arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is key-hole surgery of the hip joint in which small incisions are used to place a small camera and instruments inside the joint to perform corrective procedures.

How can hip arthroscopy performed?

Hip arthroscopy is usually performed under general anaesthetic (asleep) with the muscles relaxed and the legs placed in a specialised table to help distract and access the joint. Between two and four incisions, each approximately 5mm in length, are made around the hip to place the camera and surgical instruments into the joint to treat labral tears, bony impingement around the hip joint that leads to a pinching and catching feeling, muscle tears and painful snapping of the hip. Hip arthroscopy usually takes between 45 minutes and 2 hours, depending on the complexity of the operation.

How long will it take to recover?

The recovery largely depends on the operation and will be discussed with you in detail by Dr. Chandrasekaran.  Generally, you may be required to use crutches for 1-2 weeks but this may be up to 6 weeks. You may be are able to drive a vehicle the next day as long as you are not taking stronger analgesics. People with desk jobs can return to work within 10 days, while people in more heavy manual employment may require up to 6 weeks.  Sport can often be reintroduced early depending on the nature of the activity - often swimming and cycling are well tolerated. Returning to run training should usually be with held for a minimum 6 weeks where possible

Is physiotherapy required after the arthroscopy?

Regular physical and hydrotherapy is essential during the recovery period to assist in rapid recovery of joint function and muscular control. Dr. Chandrasekaran will provide your physical therapist with recovery information and protocols.

What are the risks?

Hip arthroscopy is a generally a safe procedure. The most common side effect of hip arthroscopy is temporary discomfort, slight bruising or numbness around the foot or groin related to the traction placed on the hip during the procedure. This is seen in about 5% of cases and usually lasts no more than a few days. Serious complications such as infection, bone fracture or permanent nerve injury are extremely rare. Secondary procedures such as a hip replacement may be required in the future.

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