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Hip arthroscopy

A surgical procedure also known as keyhole surgery. It involves inserting a camera (arthroscope) into the hip joint to locate and treat the cause of hip pain. The advantage of keyhole surgery is that surgeons can access the hip with minimal damage to the surrounding muscle.

As a specialist hip unit, it’s our aim to harness the expertise of world-class surgeons, dedicated nurses and physiotherapists to deliver the highest possible standard of care, the best possible results and the fastest possible recovery times for our patients.

Experience the benefits of a dedicated hip unit

Specialist facilities - Sulis Hospital Hip Unit provides access to true hip specialists, the very latest technologies and a pioneering recovery programme. With a multidisciplinary team all under one roof, patients benefit from our shared expertise and joined-up approach to treating hip pain.

Patient-focused care - we want every patient to feel calm and prepared ahead of surgery. You will be welcomed into a warm and friendly environment and your consultant will be on-hand to answer and questions you might have.

Enhanced recovery - Sulis Hospital Hip Unit benefits from a team of physiotherapists and occupational therapists. This has enabled us to create a recovery programme specifically for hip surgery patients – it’s designed to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.

Your hip arthroscopy questions answered

The aim of hip arthroscopy is to find and remove the cause of hip pain and prevent further deterioration of the hip joint. This could involve repairing tears, removing cartilage fragments, reshaping bones or removing damaged or inflamed tissue.

Hip arthroscopy is generally suited to younger patients, for whom hip pain is often caused by repetitive minor injuries (for example, when playing sport), overuse or abnormalities in the hip.

If there is an abnormality in the hip joint, it can lead to impingement (pinching), which causes further problems and pain. The longer an impingement is left, the worse it can get, so it’s important to book a consultation if you are experiencing hip pain.

Your consultant will take the time to listen to your concerns and understand the pain you are experiencing. You may also need to have a scan, such as an MRI, X-Ray or CT scan.

We offer all these diagnostic tests here at the Sulis Hospital Hip Unit. If hip arthroscopy is the right treatment option for you, these scans will help to inform the surgeon during the procedure.

You may be advised to stop taking certain medications or avoid eating on the morning of your operation.

After surgery, you will need to arrange for someone else to drive you home, as you won’t be able to drive after your operation. There will be other things you will need to consider, such as how to use crutches in your home, but we will ensure you are fully prepared ahead of any procedure and for the recovery period afterwards.

For hip arthroscopy, you may be placed under a general anaesthetic (which means you will be asleep) or an anaesthetic that numbs the lower half of your body.

At the start of surgery, your surgeon needs to make a space between the socket and the ball of the hip to allow the instruments to do their work. To do this, a needle is passed into the hip joint to allow air into the joint. The arthroscope is then inserted in a way that reduces damage to the surrounding muscle. With the camera in place, the surgeon should be able to see the source of the pain. They can then make further small incisions to insert the tools they need to begin the reparative work.

Once the surgery is complete, the hip is mobilised (by bending it) to check that there isn’t any further impingement. If the surgeon is satisfied that the damage has been repaired, then you will be returned to your private room to recover.

Most hip arthroscopy patients can return home on the same day as their operation, and some are even able to return to work within a week. However, it can take several months to make a full recovery and patients are advised to take around ten days off work. Most of this time is recovering from the condition, rather than the pain from the surgery itself.

You will be given exercises to do to enhance your recovery. In the weeks after your surgery, you will be invited back to the hip unit for a follow-up appointment to check your progress and remove any stitches.

Hip arthroscopy is designed to be minimally invasive, but all surgery carries risks. For hip arthroscopy, complications can include the risk of infection, as well as nerve damage and injury to the blood vessels and muscles at the insertion site. Your consultant will discuss all the risks with you ahead of surgery.

Of course, there is always the risk that the treatment won’t reduce all the pain you are experiencing, in which case your consultant will explore further treatment options with you.

You may be covered by private medical insurance, or you may wish to consider spreading the cost of your surgery by opting for a monthly payment plan.

We aim to make our costs as transparent as possible, but it’s important to talk everything through in detail with your consultant at the time of your appointment. Some costs may be paid directly to the hospital, while others, such as your consultant fees, may be paid directly to the consultant.

Why choose Sulis Hospital Hip Unit for your hip surgery?

Hip pain can get in the way of living life to the full – it can be distressing and reduce your mobility, confidence and quality of life.

Sulis Hospital Hip Unit is a specialist unit with internationally recognised surgeons. We understand that long wait times can affect your fitness, health and wellbeing, so we offer a timely pathway from investigation and diagnosis to surgery.

Treatment Overview

Combining a calming hospital environment with outstanding patient care so you can recover quickly.

  • Typical hospital stay Daycase

  • Covered by health insurance? Yes

  • Can I pay privately? Yes

You’re in safe hands at Sulis Hospital.

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