Arthroscopy is a type of keyhole surgery used to diagnose and treat joint problems. A small telescope (arthroscope), which is about the width of a drinking straw, is inserted into the hip. The addition of a light source and a camera allows the surgeon to view the inside of the joint and treat a range of problems using special slender instruments. The surgeon views images from the camera on a television monitor in the operating theatre.
Although the specialists at Fortius have great expertise and experience of hip arthroscopy, in general it is performed less commonly than knee or shoulder arthroscopy because the hip is less prone to injury.
Arthoscopy is often performed when non-operative treatments haven’t worked to relieve your symptoms. Procedures where it is commonly used include:
Arthroscopy is usually performed as day-case surgery under a general anaesthetic. During the procedure, the surgeon makes two, three or four incisions (cuts), each the size of a shirt button hole, for the arthroscope and surgical instruments.
As with any surgery, there is a risk of damage to nerves and blood vessels and arthroscopy isn’t suitable for everyone or for every procedure. You may have some temporary bruising, swelling or ‘clicking’ and you may also have temporary numbness or soreness in your foot or thigh. These symptoms should gradually improve over a few weeks.
Recovery depends on the reason for your arthroscopy but you’ll have a chance to discuss this before your procedure.
Everyone is different, so healing and post-operative programmes vary from person to person. However, the schedule of follow-up appointments below is typical:
The DVLA states that it’s the responsibility of the driver to ensure they are always in control of the vehicle. A good guide is if you can stamp down hard with the foot to stop the car during an emergency stop. It is usually a couple of weeks which coincides with the end of crutch use.
Although your specialist will be able to advise you about when it’s safe to start driving again, it is your own responsibility to drive safely and you should also check with your vehicle insurer to confirm you are covered.
Important: This information is only a guideline to help you understand your treatment and what to expect. Every person is different and your rehabilitation may be quicker or slower than other people’s. Please contact us for advice if you are worried about any aspect of your health or recovery.