Hip Arthroscopy

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive, camera-based surgical procedure that allows for visualization and treatment of a variety of conditions that cause hip pain.

Compared to open surgery, arthroscopic surgery has the advantage of using smaller incisions, which often results in less pain and a faster recovery.

Many disorders that result in hip pain can be managed with nonsurgical treatment such as rest, activity modification, physical therapy, medications (such as NSAIDs), and possible injections that can reduce inflammation. Hip arthroscopy may then be recommended when hip pain is not relived with these nonsurgical options.

Who can benefit from hip arthroscopy?

Hip pain can result from numerous orthopaedic conditions, ranging from anatomical variations that predispose an individual to hip pain to acute and overuse injuries. Common hip conditions that can be treated with hip arthroscopy include:

  • Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI): A condition in which the femoral head (upper part of the thigh bone) pinches up against the acetabulum (hip joint). People can be born with this abnormality, or they can develop bone spurs over time that can result in this condition. People often notice hip pain from FAI in early adulthood, although the condition might not be diagnosed until later in life. Over time, this bony overgrowth can result in tearing of the labrum (the ring of cartilage around the hip socket) and break down of the cartilage within the hip joint, which can lead to arthritis. Surgical treatment can relieve hip pain from FAI and may delay the onset of arthritis.
  • Hip labrum tears: A tear in the ring of cartilage that rims the hip socket.
  • Hip dysplasia: A condition in which the hip socket is underdeveloped and abnormally shallow. This puts extra pressure of the femoral head on the edge of the hip joint (acetabulum) and labrum and increases the risk for damage to the labrum and cartilage. Surgical treatment for this condition often involves open surgery, sometimes with the concurrent use of hip arthroscopy, but hip arthroscopy alone is more rarely used to treat this condition.
  • Tendon ruptures or disorders: Involving the gluteus medius or minimus muscles. 
  • Synovitis: The result of inflamed tissues that line the hip joint.
  • Loose bodies: Pieces/fragments of cartilage or bone that become loose and move around within the hip joint.
  • Hip joint infections
  • Snapping hip syndromes: Conditions in which a tendon rubs across the outside of a joint or bone. They are often harmless/painless and do not require treatment. When a patient is symptomatic. injections can be considered, and in some instances hip arthroscopy may be considered.

What to expect

When conservative measures fail to reduce pain, hip arthroscopy may be the recommended treatment.

During the procedure, several small incisions are made in the skin to allow a small camera, or scope, to evaluate the cartilage, bones and other structures of the hip. Other tools to repair damage will also be inserted, as necessary, depending on the diagnosis. The procedure is performed by a U-M Health surgeon who specializes in sports injuries and has formal training in hip arthroscopy. 

Patients are typically on crutches for approximately two weeks, with a gradual return to sports or other activities over the next several months. Physical therapy is recommended starting one week after surgery to increase strength and regain range of motion.

Common timelines after surgery include return to running at around three months after surgery and return to higher intensity/agility sports approximately five months after surgery. 

Why choose U-M Health

Our goal at Michigan Medicine is to help our patients with hip conditions get back to their sport or activity as soon as possible. Our multidisciplinary team of doctors, physician assistants and physical therapists have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating hip pain. As a tertiary referral center, surgeons are highly trained and skilled in hip arthroscopy as well as other hip-related procedures. 

Contact Us/Make an Appointment

To schedule an appointment call Orthopaedic Surgery at MedSport: 734-930-7400