Arthroscopy of the hip is carried out to investigate and potentially alleviate hip pain. Common symptoms that suggest there may be a problem inside the hip are pain in the groin, clicking, locking and stiffness in the joint. An injury such as groin strain or early arthritis can cause damage to the hip which arthroscopy could improve.
The procedure is carried out under a general anaesthetic and patients are usually admitted as a day case. During the procedure, three small incisions are made on the outside of the thigh just above the bony prominence of the hip. The surgeon will look inside the joint and can introduce instruments to smooth off rough surfaces and remove loose pieces of cartilage that may be causing a problem. The leg will be pulled hard to enable the surgeon to see inside of the hip. This stretching can also help to relieve some of the stiffness.
After the procedure, patients can expect to be a little sore, but there should be no severe pain. Patients will need to use crutches for a day or two and should be able to resume driving after a fortnight. Patients will be given exercises to perform by a physiotherapist and are advised to avoid any impact exercises for one month.
Due to the pulling of the leg during the procedure, patients may experience some numbness in the groin or thigh that should resolve within a few days or weeks.