Hip arthroscopy is a procedure that can be used to treat several conditions and injuries affecting the hips. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that can be completed without the need for large incisions, which can result in less pain and quicker recovery times.
Dr. Shane Hanzlik specializes in hip arthroscopy, and trained under Dr. J. W. Thomas Byrd, who is known as the father of hip arthroscopy. With this specialized training, hip arthroscopy is a large part of Dr. Hanzlik’s practice.
Anatomy of the Hip
To understand how hip arthroscopy can help with certain conditions and injuries, it is helpful to understand how your hip functions.
The hip is a “ball and socket” joint. The femur (thighbone) has a rounded, ball-shaped upper end, which fits into a socket in the pelvic bone. Tissue called articular cartilage lines the joint surfaces so that the bones glide smoothly when moving the hip. The hip socket is also surrounded by the labrum, a thick ring of strong cartilage that acts as a “gasket” for the joint, helping to hold the ball in the socket.
Ligaments surround the hip, forming a capsule around it. The synovium, a thin membrane, lines the underside of the capsule. The synovium produces fluid that lubricates the hip joint. Small, fluid-filled sacs called bursa are also present in the hip between the bones and soft tissue to help cushion the joint.
All of these components work together to allow the hip to function properly. When one of these components is not working properly due to an injury or other condition, patients may experience pain and decreased hip function.
What Does Hip Arthroscopy Treat?
Not all hip injuries and conditions can be treated with hip arthroscopy, but this procedure can be helpful for several conditions. An evaluation with a qualified orthopedic surgeon like Dr. Hanzlik is necessary to determine whether or not you are a candidate for hip arthroscopy.
Dr. Hanzlik often treats the following conditions and injuries with hip arthroscopy:
- Labral tears with femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) - FAI is a condition in which bone overgrowth, called bone spurs, develops in the hip joint. Bone spurs can rub against the soft tissues in the hip, leading to pain and stiffness. FAI can also cause the labrum to tear. With hip arthroscopy, Dr. Hanzlik can remove bone spurs and clean out or repair damage to the soft tissues.
- Gluteus medius tears - The gluteus medius is a muscle on the outside of the hip that allows for lateral movement of the hip. When the gluteus medius tears, it can cause pain, weakness, and limping. The torn muscle can be reattached with hip arthroscopy.
- Hip bursitis - Hip bursitis occurs when one of the bursa in the hip becomes inflamed, causing hip pain. Hip bursitis can often be treated with nonsurgical methods, but if bursitis persists, the inflamed bursa can be removed with arthroscopy.
- Cartilage defects of the hip joint - Arthroscopy can be used to “clean out” any loose or damaged cartilage in the joint that may be causing pain or affecting motion.
Hip Arthroscopy Procedure
Hip arthroscopy involves using a small camera called an arthroscope to see inside the hip. The arthroscope is inserted through a small incision, and surgical instruments are inserted through additional small incisions to complete the procedure. There are several potential benefits to using smaller incisions for surgery, including:
- Less pain after surgery
- Less blood loss during surgery
- Reduced stiffness after surgery
- Quicker recovery
Though there are some procedures that must be done with more traditional open surgery methods and larger incisions, Dr. Hanzlik uses arthroscopy whenever possible.
The hip arthroscopy procedure will vary depending on the goal of surgery, but may involve cleaning out loose tissue, removing bone spurs, or reattaching torn muscles or tendons. On average, the procedure takes about 1-2 hours to complete. It is an outpatient procedure, so patients are able to return home the same day.
Recovering from Hip Arthroscopy
Following a hip arthroscopy procedure, patients begin walking at the surgical center using a walker or crutches for support before they return home. Patients are instructed to continue using crutches for approximately 2 weeks after surgery. Dr. Hanzlik uses a multi-modal pain management program to help with pain in recovery and reduce narcotic use.
Physical therapy is an important part of the recovery process, as it helps to improve strength and mobility of the hip. Patients typically begin physical therapy one week after surgery and continue working with the physical therapist on an outpatient basis for 8-12 weeks. Dr. Hanzlik and his practice work with a preferred physical therapy team and can provide referrals if needed.
Full recovery typically depends on the nature of the procedure. Patients may need to take up to 2 weeks off of work to recover, and will need to be on light duty until cleared to return to more strenuous activity. Full return to activity, including sports, typically takes about 3 months. Dr. Hanzlik will be with you every step of the way to advise when it is safe to return to certain activities.
Hip Arthroscopy in Oregon City & Tualatin, OR
Dr. Shane Hanzlik is a hip arthroscopy specialist and has trained with one of the world’s leaders in hip arthroscopy. He uses arthroscopy to treat conditions like labral tears with FAI, gluteus medius tears, hip bursitis, and cartilage defects. If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hanzlik for an evaluation, please call our office at (503) 214-1101 or use his appointment request form.