The hip joint is a ball and socket joint, and provides a great deal of rotation, similar to the shoulder joint. The hip socket joint, known as the acetabulum, surrounds the head of the femur (thigh bone). The acetabulum is a deep socket that fits the femoral head. Injuries to this area may require direct visualization, as injuries may not be easily observed via imaging techniques such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computerized Tomography (CT) scans.
Hip arthroscopy is the surgical procedure that allows the Los Angeles sports medicine doctor to directly visualize the hip joint, the surrounding muscle and connective tissues, without resorting to large incisions and open surgery to examine the joint. The procedure is used by the top orthopedic doctors in Los Angeles for dealing with loose bodies in the hip joint, cartilage injury, torn labrum and more.
The use of hip arthroscopy has been associated with better clinical outcomes, faster healing and operative time, and less risk of damage to the surrounding tissue and muscles. This minimally invasive technique also reduces the amount of rehabilitation time needed before return to normal function.
The operation is usually done under general anesthesia, although spinal anesthesia is also acceptable. The patient will be placed on a traction table, a specialized surgical table that allows the Beverly Hills orthopedic surgeon to fix the hip joint in a position that gives him the maximum space for arthroscopy. Sterile drapes will be placed around the operative area, and the surgical site will be scrubbed several times with an antiseptic solution.
The surgeon will proceed to make several small incisions, or portals, through which the instruments will be inserted. Careful incision and dissection is necessary to prevent intraoperative damage to the surrounding nerves and blood vessels. A sterile plastic cannula (small tube) may be placed through the portals to inflate the area with saline solution.
The arthroscope is a thin, pencil-sized (approximately ¼ inch) fiber optic camera that is inserted into the hip joint. The images will be displayed onto a television monitor placed inside the operating room. This will allow the Los Angeles orthopedic surgeon to directly visualize the affected area. Saline solution may be flushed into the hip joint to clear the space of debris and synovial (joint) fluid. Other instruments may also be inserted if other corrective measures are needed.
Once the procedure is complete, the portals and surgical incisions will be closed with sutures and surgical staples. The period of recovery will depend on the severity of the injury and the nature of the procedure done. The patient may need to be placed on a program of physical therapy and rehabilitation to return to normal function.