By Dr. Matthew Lewis
Our hips are some of the most important joints in our bodies. They allow us to walk, run and jump while bearing our weight. And when they aren’t functioning correctly, they can significantly impact our quality of life. Hip problems can affect anyone, regardless of age, and they can result from a variety of factors, including arthritis, compressed nerves, degenerative disease, sports injury and more. Depending on the condition, treatment can vary from outpatient injections to total joint replacement and may include both surgical and non-surgical options.
One minimally invasive outpatient option is a hip arthroscopy. It’s most appropriate when there is no or very mild arthritis. Miniature instruments and a small camera (called an arthroscope) are used to see inside the joint. The procedure begins with a small incision in the hip. The surgeon then inserts an arthroscope through the incision. The camera feeds video to a nearby monitor, giving the surgeon an interior view of the joint. The surgeon then will perform one or two additional incisions to insert the specialized instruments they will use to repair the joint. The surgeon can reshape, remove and stabilize the various components of the hip without fully exposing the joint. The surgery typically takes two hours or less and has many advantages.
Some of the benefits of a hip scope include less tissue damage, less postoperative pain and a faster recovery. Additionally, it has a low risk for complications and can be done in an outpatient setting rather than a hospital.
Arthroscopy has helped doctors better understand many hip joint problems. As surgical techniques evolve, experts anticipate that hip arthroscopy will play a greater role in diagnosing and treating hip disease. If or when you’re faced with the possibility of hip surgery, it’s essential to consult with an orthopaedic surgeon who can determine if an arthroscopic procedure is right for you. In the event surgery is necessary, consulting with a surgeon who specializes in hip arthroscopy will ensure your procedure is performed with the most technical precision and has the best outcome.
Dr. Matthew Lewis is an orthopaedic specialist with Bienville Orthopaedic Specialists. Reach him at (228) 230-2663.