Arthroscopy, a procedure using a small fiber-optic camera device, has revolutionized hip joint surgery. Often recommended for athletes or those with degenerative arthritis, it is used to remove damaged tissue or splintered-off cartilage floating around the hip joint or to reattach structures within the hip.
A surgeon uses a small incision to insert a tiny camera into the hip, so that the damage around the joint is visible and whatever is causing pain and dysfunction in the patient can be fixed. In the past, an invasive procedure (and much larger incision) would have been necessary to treat many hip problems, but arthroscopy can achieve the same results with easier recovery time and less chance of complications.
Hip arthroscopy is an outpatient procedure, meaning that you will be sent home within hours after the surgery. Your physician may recommend using crutches, resting and applying ice packs for a short time to relieve pain and inflammation. Within a few weeks, you will feel well enough to incorporate some gentle movement of the hip into your recuperative routine. It is important to start a rehabilitation program as soon as possible, because research suggests that early movement speeds healing while lack of movement can lead to lasting problems. The rehabilitation sequence will be dictated by the specific tissues affected by the surgery.
Working with us, you can take advantage of what some experts have dubbed the “window of opportunity” after hip arthroscopy, when physical therapy makes the muscles around the joint stronger and before your body re-creates the corrosive fluids that caused your hip problems in the first place. Because your surgeon has just removed inflamed tissues and extra fluid that have affected the hip joint, you may find yourself pain-free for the first time in years. This is a perfect time to increase flexibility and function in the hip and strengthen the surrounding muscles, especially in the case of degenerative arthritis, whose symptoms may reappear in time.
On average, the rehabilitation process takes around six weeks, but the length and intensity of your postoperative rehabilitation will depend upon exactly what was accomplished–and why–through your surgery. Regardless, we can assist you to achieve your best chance of a full recovery after this revolutionary and effective type of joint surgery.