Many patients may be aware of arthroscopy – or the process of using a camera to see inside of a joint without having to make a large incision – as a good option for repairing knees and shoulders.  What many may not know is that this technique may also be used effectively on hips.

The Procedure

During the arthroscopy procedure, not only can your surgeon look inside your hip joint to see what’s causing problems, he or she may also be able to fix common hip injuries such as labral tears (where a torn fragment of tissue can get pinched between the ball of the hip joint and the socket, causing a lot of pain to the patient).  Surgeons may also be able to fix impingements – a condition that occurs when your hip’s ball (femoral head) and socket (acetabulum) don’t fit well together and cause pain by pinching surrounding soft tissue.  Impingements are fixed by removing bone spurs and/or re-contouring your hip bones to create a more perfect fit between your hip’s ball and socket.

Recovery Time

The incision made during surgery is small.  While experiences vary from patient to patient, recovery after a hip arthroscopy procedure, often involves only 1-2 hours in the recovery room before being discharged home.  Patients will often require assistance at home during the first night and should expect to use crutches or a walker for a period of time after the surgery.  In many cases, your surgeon will also prescribe a physical therapy regimen to help you restore your strength and mobility after surgery.

Dr. Michael Bollinger is an expert in the North Bay on this procedure and one of a limited number of surgeons in Sonoma County to perform it.

“Hip arthroscopy is a great option for many patients who suffer from persistent hip pain, and who do not respond well to conservative non-surgical treatments” said Bollinger.  “Not only is this procedure effective at helping us see and fix problems that may otherwise have gone undiagnosed, it also helps us prevent those smaller problems from turning into larger ones that would eventually lead to a much more invasive hip replacement surgery.”

If you are experiencing hip pain or have questions about this procedure, please contact our office to make an appointment.