Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that orthopaedic surgeons use to visualize, diagnose, and treat problems within a specific joint. Even though knee arthroscopy and shoulder arthroscopy has been performed for many years, hip arthroscopy is a relatively new treatment option available to orthopaedic surgeons. However, hip arthroscopy is not yet widely available and only very few surgeons have the necessary training to perform such procedures.
During an arthroscopic hip surgery, the orthopaedic surgeon inserts a small camera, called the arthroscope, through a small incision (less than 1cm) over the hip joint. This camera contains a lens and a lighting system magnifying and illuminating the hip's internal structures. The arthroscope feeds to a television screen, which displays high quality pictures that guide the orthopaedic surgeon during the procedure.
Through either an additional one or two incisions, the surgeon is able to perform repairs of the labrum and articular cartilage, as well as remove bone spurs and inflamed tissue. This procedure can even be utilized to alleviate snapping hip syndrome, which is caused by a tendon snapping within the hip joint.