Joints, including the hip joint, play an important role in the human skeletal system. They have to endure heavy loads, which exposes them to deformation, degeneration or mechanical damage.
Hip arthroscopy is a surgical technique that has revolutionised the treatment of the common problem of hip pain. Applied at an early stage of the disease, it often allows for significant postponement or even avoidance of hip replacement surgery. Hip arthroscopy makes it possible not only to diagnose the cause of pain, but above all to repair elements of the joint to improve its function and prevent the rapid progression of degenerative changes.
Most patients requiring arthroscopic hip procedures are young, active people with complaints of hip pain. The cause of the complaints may be a trauma, such as a fall from a height or a car accident, but patients often do not associate the timing of the pain with a specific injury. Arthroscopy is recommended for the following conditions:
- femoroacetabular impingement (FAI)
- hip dysplasia
- Snapping HIP Syndrome (SHS)
- hip arthritis
- free body at the hip joint
- hip infections
Arthroscopy of the hip joint is a minimally invasive, extremely precise procedure, which usually takes up to two hours. It consists of the introduction of surgical instruments and a camera through two small incisions in order to precisely visualise and assess the extent of pathology. During the procedure visible damage is repaired, unwanted tissues are removed and the joint is rinsed. After the surgery the patient is transported to the recovery room where he/she rests. Upright positioning of the patient after hip arthroscopy takes place on the same day. The patient does not stay in hospital – he/she is discharged the same day after the surgery as the procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. Return to full activity after hip arthroscopy in some cases is possible even after a week after surgery, thanks to modern and personalized rehabilitation, planned together with the doctor at the clinic.
The advantages of hip arthroscopy are the small, virtually invisible post-operative scars, the short recovery period and the possibility of a quick return to previous activities.
The physiotherapist selects appropriate personalized therapy methods for each patient to restore neuromuscular coordination and increase muscle strength to improve the functional stability of the joint and protect the hip from further strain. Swelling in and around the hip joint resolves very quickly due to its close proximity to major blood vessels and the heart. Initially the rehabilitation includes isometric exercises and then active exercises in consultation with the doctor. For the first week, the patient avoids the load on the operated leg using elbow crutches. Gradual loading of the operated leg with the body weight is recommended to start after prior consultation with the doctor – in which the patient remains for the whole period of convalescence. Return to full activity depends on the extent of surgical repair of hip damage, patient’s involvement in the rehabilitation process and the form of activity to which the patient wants to return. Thanks to the state-of-the-art techniques and a strictly designed plan, the time to return to full mobility is usually 2 months.
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