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What is Hip Arthroscopy?

What is Hip Arthroscopy?
What is Hip Arthroscopy?

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure to repair torn or damaged structures inside the hip joint. It can be performed as an outpatient procedure through small keyhole incisions. A hip arthroscopy may allow you to save your hip rather than have it replaced.

Many professional athletes such as Alex Rodriguez and Kurt Warner have undergone arthroscopic procedures to save their careers. At the American Hip Institute, we believe in treating all patients like professional athletes by offering cutting-edge treatments, such as hip arthroscopy, so patients can return quickly to their active lifestyles.

What Problems Can Hip Arthroscopy Fix?

Hip Labrum Tears: The ring of cartilage around the edge of the hip socket is called the labrum.  It keeps the upper end of the thighbone in the socket and seals the lubricating fluid within the joint. If the labrum is torn due to sports or otherwise, the seal is broken, and the lubricating fluid leaks out resulting in an unstable, un-lubricated, and painful hip joint. This tear can be repaired with tiny suture anchors that go in the bone and allow the surgeon to suture the labrum to the bone arthroscopically.

Hip Impingement: It is the abnormal shape of the bone that causes rubbing between the joint surfaces. If the shape of the upper end of the thighbone and the shape of the hip socket do not match each other perfectly then that rubbing cause tears of important structures, including ligaments and tendons. It may be an abnormal bump on the femoral head, or the ball of the femoral head is not quite round. Regardless, the bone can be reshaped arthroscopically to adequately round the femoral head and alleviate the impingement.

Gluteus Medius Tears: The gluteus medius is the muscle on the side of the hip and it may cause hip weakness or pain if torn. Diagnosis of hip problems such as gluteus medius tears can be challenging. In one study, 60% of athletes undergoing an arthroscopy were initially misdiagnosed and they stayed misdiagnosed for an average of 7 months, which is a long time to be walking around on a damaged hip joint.

In another research study, surgery on the wrong site was recommended in 17% of patients. Imagine, that’s a patient who had a hip problem and got recommended a different surgery like a spine surgery or hernia surgery because the diagnosis was challenging. Some of the common misdiagnoses include groin pulls, hip flexor pain, muscle strains, sciatica, bursitis, or hernias.

The challenge in hip surgery is that millions of Americans suffer from hip pain and many have trouble obtaining a diagnosis. There are very few comprehensive centers like the American Hip Institute that have the expertise and specialization in diagnosing and treating hip problems.

Some of the typical symptoms you may experience include chronic or acute hip pain with prolonged sitting, rising from a seated position, or rotation of the hip, a catching or popping sensation, painful intercourse, and pain while sleeping at night. Book your appointment today to obtain an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment recommendation for your hip pain.


Dr. Ajay C. Lall is a dual fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and hip arthroscopy. He is an avid clinical researcher with numerous presentations and publications at international academic meetings and within top peer-reviewed journals. The doctors at the American Hip Institute have been global leaders in Hip Arthroscopy and Robotic Surgery for over a decade. While some would call this excellence, we simply call it the American Hip Institute standard.

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