Hip Arthroscopy

What is a Hip Arthroscopy?

Surgeons performing this procedure require a combination of knowledge and a certain level of technical expertise.

The hip joint is deeply seated and relatively inaccessible. Due to advances in surgical technique and through the use of special equipment a hip arthroscopy can be performed as a safe and reliable day-case operation.

A hip arthroscopy is a procedure where a camera is inserted into the hip joint, through small incisions.  It can be performed to remove loose bodies from the hip joint, evaluate and treat articular surface lesions, remove torn portions of the labrum, and shrinkage of the hip joint capsule.


Candidates for Hip Arthroscopy

  • Young, active individuals with a history of hip pain.
  • Hip pain greater than six-months that have not improved with conservative treatment consisting of anti-inflammatory medications and physiotherapy.
  • Sudden onset of pain due to a traumatic hip injury.

Patients with advanced osteoarthritic changes in the hip joint generally do not benefit from athroscopic hip surgery.

Benefits of a Hip Arthroscopy

Smaller incision site – A variety of procedures can be performed within the hip joint without the patient needing a large incision. This also leads to a shorter recovery time.

Shorter stay in hospital – Can be performed as a day surgery case.

Physical activities after the Arthroscopy

Patients are on crutches for the first few days to the first week following surgery.

Your physiotherapist will help you through an exercise programme which aims to:

  • Minimise the amount of swelling
  • Improve range of motion
  • Strengthen the hip muscles

Possible Complications

All surgical procedures carry a risk. Some specific risks are associated with hip arthroscopy due to the fact it is performed under traction.

Post operative muscle and tissue pain – Traction is used to pull open the hip joint so that the instruments used during the surgery can be inserted. Patients may experience post operative pain due to this.

Temporary numbness in the groin and thigh – This can be due to prolonged traction period.

Please talk to Professor Haddad before your operation if you have concerns about possible risks. We hope the information provided has been of benefit to you.

For further information please contact us on 0207 935 6083.

All patients will need a full blood count on day 1 and again days 4 and 7 if still in Hospital for thrombocytopenia although the incidents of HIT with low dose prophylaxis seems to be much lower than initially feared. 


Hip Arthroscopy FAQ

How long does surgery take?

The surgery usually takes an hour to perform. If more extensive work is required, then the surgery may take longer.

How long do I need to stay in hospital for after my hip arthroscopy?

It is usual for you to stay overnight. This allows you time to ensure that you are feeling OK and also have had the physiotherapists assess your progress after surgery. Should you have any medical concerns you will be able to contact our practice nurse to discuss things further.

What problems should I prepare for after surgery?

Bruising around the wounds and stiffness in the hip joint is expected. There is often a discomfort in your ankles from the pressure that is used to distract your hip to allow access. Numbness in the thigh is very common for the first 24 hours. Occasionally numbness in the groin/thigh and genital areas can persist for a few weeks. There is sometimes leakage from the wounds. If this persists beyond 48 hours you should contact the practice.

Can I shower with my wound dressings on?

Yes. You will be discharged with a waterproof dressing on. You will also be given some spare dressings to take home, should your postoperative dressing start to lift off or you have to change your dressing.

Will I need crutches after my hip arthroscopy surgery?

Yes. You will usually require crutches for up to the first 1-2 weeks from surgery. If we have to remove bone from an impingement lesion that is extensive or if you have a cartilage defect that requires drilling or microfracture, we will often ask you to stay on crutches for 4 weeks. A physiotherapist will assess you before you have been discharged, to ensure that you can mobilise safely with your crutches and navigate yourself up and down stairs. You will also be given a series of exercises to do by our physiotherapists, who will help minimise the amount of swelling, improve the range of motion of your hip and to help and to help strengthen your hip muscles. We will usually send your postoperative mobilisation protocol to your physiotherapist.

When can I drive after surgery?

Generally it will be about 2 weeks postoperatively before you will feel comfortable to drive. If you have had your right leg operated on you will need to be able to perform an emergency stop before you are able to drive.

When will I need a follow-up appointment with Professor Haddad?

Your follow-up appointment will be on the letter that was sent to you with the details of your surgery. Should this time not be convenient for you, do ring the office to change it. It is usual to have a follow up appointment within two weeks.

When can I travel after surgery?

You can travel once you feel comfortable; however it is best to wait until 2 weeks postoperatively. If you need to go on a long haul flight within the first six week postoperatively, please let the practice know so that we can discuss options for you to decrease the risk of a clot (DVT).