This outpatient procedure is an examination of the inside of the hip joint. The surgeon uses miniature instruments and a small camera (called an arthroscope) to see inside the joint. Arthroscopy can be used to diagnose and treat problems of the joint.
In preparation for the procedure, anesthesia is administered. The patient may be given general or regional anesthesia. The hip is placed in traction to expand the joint.
Inserting the instruments
The surgeon makes a series of tiny openings in the skin. The arthroscope and instruments are inserted. Fluid is injected to help cleanse the joint and provide a clear view. The surgeon inspects the hip with the aid of a video monitor.
Repairing the Joint
The surgeon can use the instruments to repair some types of problems. Loose or damaged cartilage may be removed. Bone spurs may be shaved down. Severe damage to the hip may require open surgery.
End of Procedure
When the procedure is complete, the instruments are removed and the openings are bandaged. The patient will be observed for a short time and then discharged. The patient will require crutches or a walker while the joint heals. Physical therapy may be recommended to help restore strength and mobility.