How hip arthroscopy can help with hip or groin pain
Hip or groin pain can alter your daily life. Hip arthroscopy has evolved as a procedure that can treat a variety of injuries using a minimally invasive approach to the hip joint. Orthopedic surgeon Guillaume D. Dumont, MD, explained how hip arthroscopy can improve your hip pain and function and get you back to feeling like yourself again.
How is hip arthroscopy different from hip replacement surgery?
Hip replacements are for arthritis, a condition that involves wear and tear of the cartilage in the hip over time. When arthritis is present, hip arthroscopy is likely not a good option. Hip arthroscopy is for hip pain related to impingement, labral tears and other non-arthritic conditions.
“Just because you’re older in age, this does not necessarily mean your hip is arthritic and the only solution is a hip replacement,” said Dr. Dumont.
What is hip impingement?
Hip impingement is a condition caused from abnormal contact between the hip’s ball and socket bones. An irregularity in the way the bones are shaped can lead to this abnormal contact. The condition often leads to tears in the hip cartilage and labrum.
“Once a tear occurs, hip pain may increase. As ball and socket bones “impinge,” the torn cartilage is pinched and pain occurs,” said Dr. Dumont. The pain is felt in the front of the hip or groin and increases with activity, walking or even sitting.
Who should have hip arthroscopy?
The best candidates for hip preservation surgery are people with hip pain or groin pain who have not seen results from nonoperative treatments such as rest, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, activity modification and steroid injections.
“The ideal candidate would also not have significant arthritic changes showing up on imaging. If a significant amount of arthritis is present, hip arthroscopy is generally not recommended,” said Dr. Dumont.
What should you expect from hip arthroscopy surgery?
The main goals of hip arthroscopy surgery are to repair the torn labrum and cartilage and shave out or reshape some of the bone that is causing the pain. The primary benefits are pain relief and improved function.
Hip arthroscopy is performed as an outpatient procedure. A small camera system is used through keyhole size incisions. While the typical recovery time varies from person to person, on average, recovery takes 6–12 months. Most pain from the operation will go away within the first 3 months and patients tend to keep improving for 1–2 years after surgery.
“Average return to sports and exercise begins around six months, although more minor forms of exercise may be started sooner,” said Dr. Dumont.
If you are experiencing hip or groin pain, talk to your doctor about your options.
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