Hip Arthroscopy

A minimally invasive treatment option for chronic hip pain

Hip arthroscopy may postpone or eliminate the need for hip surgery. Fewer than 1 in 10 orthopedic surgeons perform hip arthroscopy. Aurora BayCare was the first to offer this innovative treatment in Green Bay.

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive treatment option for chronic hip pain. But unlike the knee and shoulder, your hip joint is not easily accessible via arthroscopic surgery.  To offer this procedure, your surgeon needs special training and experience. That’s what you get at Aurora BayCare.

Benefits of Hip Arthroscopy

Before arthroscopic hip surgery, physicians had to cut through skin and tissue and dislocate the hip joint to get at problem areas. But with arthroscopy, an orthopedic surgeon makes small incisions and then inserts a tiny, high-definition camera and thin surgical instruments to work inside the joint.

Benefits include:

  • Less blood loss during surgery
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Shorter hospital stays (often home the same day)
  • Faster healing
  • Relief from hip pain and a more active life

With hip arthroscopy, your hip joint and surrounding tissue experience less disruption.  Many patients can resume their normal activities in just three to six months.

Conditions Treated With Hip Arthroscopy

If your hip pain does not respond to conservative treatment (rest, physical therapy, medication), hip arthroscopy may be an option. It can relieve pain caused by many conditions, such as:

  • Labral tears involve the ring of soft tissue around the socket of your hip joint. The labrum helps hold the ball at the top of your thighbone (femur) in place.
  • Dysplasia is a condition in which the hip socket is abnormally shallow, making the hip labrum susceptible to tears.
  • Hip abductor tears are similar to the rotator cuff tear in the shoulders.
  • Hip arthritis occurs when the joint cartilage is worn away after years of use. 
  • Hip bursitis is a condition in which the bursa (small fluid-filled pads that cushion bones, tendons, and joint muscles) in your hip become inflamed.   
  • Hip impingement is a disorder in which bone spurs around the socket or femoral head cause damage to the joint. (More technically known as femoracetabular impingement, or FAI.)
  • Ligament tears cause pain where the ball of your hip joint connects to the hip socket.
  • Snapping hip syndrome causes a tendon to rub across the outside of the joint.
  • Hip joint infection

Hip Arthroscopy for Labral Tears

Until recently, hip arthroscopy was used primarily to diagnose hip pain by looking inside the joint. But advances in arthroscopic technology have made it possible to not just see hip problems, but to treat them too. One of the first applications was to repair labral tears.

If you have a labral tear, your orthopedic surgeon may choose one of three approaches:

  • Debridement, or removal of the damaged tissue
  • Repair, in which the damaged tissue is reattached to the bone with suture anchors
  • Reconstruction, the latest generation of labral tear repair, used when the labrum is irreparably damaged.  In this procedure, a tendon graft is placed in the site of the labral deficiency to replace damaged hip joint tissue. 

Labral repairs became a common orthopedic treatment only within the last 10 years. Labral reconstruction is an even newer treatment option. It’s just one of the many ways Aurora BayCare is leading the way for orthopedic surgery in Green Bay.

Aurora BayCare Orthopedic Minute

Dr. Jon Henry explains how hip arthroscopy works

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