Arthroscopic procedures are modern, minimally invasive surgical techniques uniquely suited to the treatment of diseased joints. In arthroscopic surgeries, the surgeon inserts an arthroscope, a tiny fiber-optic camera which illuminates the interior of the joint, through a very small incision to simultaneously study and repair any damaged tissue. This camera is equipped with a light to enable a clear view of any interior section of the body, especially tight areas such as joints.
An arthroscope is a cutting-edge device with a high-resolution fiber-optic camera built in. The camera is able to transmit a live image from inside the damaged joint onto a large monitor which provides the surgeon with a crystal clear image of the tissues inside.
Arthroscopic surgery is the ideal method to perform work on a damaged hip joint. Hip arthroscopy is a viable procedure for the following uses:
- Excision of damaged cartilaginous tissues
- Removal of bone spurs
- Repair of hip labral tears
- Excision of damaged synovium from the joint’s interior
- The suture of torn ligaments
- Comprehensive diagnosis of painful, inflammatory conditions with unspecified origins
Even though it is minimally invasive, an arthroscopic procedure is typically a part of a larger, more serious surgery. Understand that an arthroscopic surgery will therefor become a more invasive surgery that will require general anesthesia and a longer recovery period than a simple arthroscopic procedure.
During a hip arthroscopy procedure, the surgeon makes just a few small incisions. The exact location of the incisions will depend on which access method has been chosen. The arthroscopic device is then inserted into one of the incisions, and a clear, sterile solution is pumped directly into the joint in order to expand the cavity and allow the arthroscope to gather a clearer image. Post-surgery, the incisions are sutured and covered with a post-operative bandage.
Benefits of Hip Arthroscopy
Hip arthroscopy offers many distinct advantages over the more traditional surgical methods. These benefits include:
- The ability to access the damaged joint while keeping incisions to a minimum
- The surrounding ligaments and associated joint structures sustain significantly less collateral damage
- Considerably less post-operative pain
- Improved post-operative recovery times
- Decidedly lower rates of post-operative infection
- Minimum scarring
- Patients recover full mobility much sooner
- Patients spend less time in the hospital
As with any surgical procedure, undergoing a hip arthroscopy surgery places the patient at risk of certain complications. As always it is extremely important that all patients be informed of the potential risks before a commitment is made to undergo a hip arthroscopy.
Potential risks associated with hip arthroscopy include:
- Surgical incisions always carry the potential for bacterial infection
- All joint surgery carries the risk of suffering some form of nerve damage
- Surgical incisions that involve the joints carry the risk of hemorrhaging into the joint cavity and inducing a potentially crippling condition known as hemarthrosis
- All surgeries carry the risk of a potential pulmonary embolism
Post-surgery, there are ways to induce healing and facilitate the recovery process. Patients are encouraged to follow these practices in order to minimize the risk of developing complications. Among these, we find:
- A course of non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory medications in conjunction with painkillers
- During recovery, the patient should use crutches and other mobility aids in order to reduce the weight load on the operated joint
- Rehabilitative physical therapy programs are highly encouraged, and in some cases are deemed necessary for recovery
- Patients are advised to completely abstain from any physical activity that can put unnecessary stress upon the operated joint
Arthroscopy is a cutting-edge technological advancement, and it can significantly improve the expected outcome of any joint surgery. Patients with degenerative joint conditions can experience significant improvements to their health due to the advantages of arthroscopy.