Arthroscopy is a Minimally Invasive Surgical Option to Treat Hip Problems

May 05, 2022

DETROIT (May 5, 2022) – While not as common as knee or shoulder arthroscopy, hip arthroscopy has become a viable surgical option for patients to alleviate pain and restore their quality of life.

Considered one of the most innovative areas of orthopedic surgery, hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive technique allows the surgeon to treat and diagnose hip problems without making a large incision.

It’s been performed for the past 20-25 years to treat common conditions in patients experiencing pain and limited motion. An estimated 75,000 to 100,000 procedures are performed each year in the United States.

“Most hip issues we see are with patients who have pain along the front side of their hip,” said  T. Sean Lynch, M.D., a Henry Ford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine surgeon who specializes in treating hip and knee issues in athletes and non-athletes. “This pain is a result of sporting or daily activities. But with more people working remotely from home, the pain can be the result of sitting for long periods of time and going from sitting to standing.”

Dr. Lynch uses hip arthroscopy to address many common injuries and conditions including:

  • Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis
  • Labral tear, the tissue that holds the ball and socket parts of the hip together
  • Dysplasia, a condition in which the hip socket is abnormally shallow
  • Removing bone spurs and other loose bone or cartilage fragments
  • Femoroacetabular impingement, a disorder in which extra bone develops in the ball and socket of the hip

During a hip arthroscopy, two to four small incisions are made in the skin for a tool equipped with a camera or scope the size of a pencil to be inserted into the area and allow the surgeon to look at the whole joint. In comparison, a large incision is made during hip replacement surgery.

Prior to hip arthroscopy, the only surgical option was hip replacement surgery. Most patients lived with the pain, restricted motion and limited activity until hip replacement became an option.

Dr. Lynch said the benefits of hip arthroscopy include a faster recovery for patients and better aesthetic results. Patients are experience less pain and damage to tissue at the incision site and are able to go home the day of surgery. It’s performed in an outpatient setting so no hospital stay is needed.

Of his patients who are athletes, Dr. Lynch said their injuries are the result of playing sports like hockey and football that require lower extremity explosive movement These sports can expose athletes to a higher risk of lower extremity injuries including the hip.

Joey Liedel, a local college basketball player, sought out Dr. Lynch’s hip arthroscopy expertise to address years of debilitating hip pain that limited his ability to play the game.

Liedel received arthroscopy surgery in both hips about a month apart to relieve hip or femoroacetabular impingement. “Everything with Dr. Lynch has gone smoother than I thought was possible,” Liedel said.

“He’s doing fantastic,” Dr. Lynch said of Liedel’s progress. “I think he is a great example of a young athlete who, from diagnosis to treatment, has come back from not being able to play his sport by taking advantage of our one-stop surgical and performance program to help facilitate and speed up his recovery.” 

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