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Arthroscopic Hip Impingement Surgery

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Learn more about hip impingement surgery at King Edward VII’s Hospital

Why would I need arthroscopic hip impingement surgery?

Hip impingement is a condition caused by impingement, or abnormal contact, between the top of the thigh bone (the ‘ball’) and the hip socket. Often, this is due to the top of the thigh bone, or femur, pushing up against the cup of the hip socket or being abnormally shaped. This causes damage to the cartilage in this area called the labrum, leading to hip pain and potentially arthritis.

Most people who have this kind of surgery have been diagnosed with hip impingement syndrome and it’s causing them significant pain and discomfort that’s affecting their quality of life.

This procedure is normally carried out when hip impingement syndrome hasn’t responded to pain relief medications and lifestyle changes.

What symptoms does arthroscopic hip impingement surgery address?

Arthroscopic hip impingement surgery provides relief from hip pain and pain that’s also often felt in the groin area. It helps to relieve the stiffness and reduced range of movement in the hip joint as well as treating the clicking within the joint that some people with the condition experience.

When should you speak to your specialist about arthroscopic hip impingement surgery?

If you’re experiencing hip pain and stiffness that’s extending to the groin area or the front of the thigh, it may be helpful to speak to your GP or specialist. The pain and discomfort of hip impingement syndrome often feels worse when bending at the hip or waist or when sitting for long periods of time.

How is arthroscopic hip impingement surgery performed?

Arthroscopic hip impingement surgery is carried out as a keyhole procedure under general anaesthetic. It involves your surgeon making small incisions in the hip in order to pass long, thin surgical instruments into the joint.

These instruments include an arthroscope with a light and camera attached to allow your surgeon to get a good view of the inside of your hip joint. Your surgeon will then use other, similar instruments to remove or repair the damaged cartilage.

The procedure takes between an hour and two and half hours and you will wake with your wounds stitched up and the area bandaged.

What is the recovery like for arthroscopic hip impingement surgery?

Your recovery from arthroscopic hip impingement surgery will depend on multiple factors, including your age, fitness level and the nature of your procedure.

Most patients can return home the same day after this kind of surgery but some may be required to spend one night in hospital.

You can expect some pain and swelling following surgery.

You may be given crutches to use for your recovery. Depending on the treatment you’ve had, you may be able to walk on the leg immediately or you may need to wait. Your surgeon will advise you on this.

Your nursing team and physiotherapy team will give you advice that will help you best recover, based on advice from your surgeon. This includes when you can put weight on your leg, when your stitches should be removed or dissolved by and when your dressings should come off.

You will also be advised how long you may need off work and resting from your normal activities. Most people can resume their normal activities relatively pain free after eight weeks.

Are there any risks/complications associated with arthroscopic hip impingement surgery?

As with any medical procedure, it’s possible for risks or complications to arise. Speaking with your specialist or surgeon beforehand will help you avoid any adverse reactions.

Arthroscopic hip impingement surgery has a relatively low risk of serious complications, but the following risks and complications can occur in a small number of cases:

  • An infection in the surgical wound
  • Bleeding inside the hip joint
  • Avascular necrosis of the top of the thigh bone (death of the thigh bone ball caused by a lack of blood flow to the area)
  • A blood clot called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Nerve damage
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Damage to the scrotum or vagina

How can I prepare for arthroscopic hip impingement surgery?

Prior to arthroscopic hip impingement surgery, your surgeon will discuss with you how best to prepare, as each patient is different with differing needs.

Common preparations for arthroscopic hip impingement surgery include:

  • Routine blood tests, x rays or scans as requested by your surgeon
  • Taking steps to stop smoking if you smoke
  • Losing weight if you’re overweight
  • Remaining active and doing regular exercise

Are there alternatives for arthroscopic hip impingement surgery?

Depending on the severity of hip impingement syndrome, it may be possible to manage your pain using pain relief medications and physiotherapy. Lifestyle modification to rest the affected hip may also help.

Call 020 7467 4344 or fill in your details below to make an enquiry
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