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Hip Arthroscopy: Repairing Chondral Damage
Part of your articular cartilage (firm tissue that covers the ball and socket of the hip) is damaged. This can cause painful catching in the joint. Your healthcare provider has suggested a procedure called arthroscopy. Using only small incisions and special instruments, arthroscopy can repair chondral damage.
In the Operating Room
Just before surgery, you may be asked several times which hip is to be treated. This is a standard safety measure. In the operating room, you will likely receive general anesthesia to make you sleep.
During the Procedure
After you are sedated, your leg is gently pulled to distract, or widen, the hip joint. Next, the surgeon makes a few small incisions called portals. Through these portals, he or she inserts surgical tools, including the arthroscope. The arthroscope sends images of the joint to a video screen. These images allow the surgeon to look inside the joint. The joint is filled with sterile fluid to help the surgeon see more clearly.
Repairing Chondral Damage
If the damaged cartilage is loose, it is removed. If the cartilage is missing, the exposed bone may be shaved to smooth it. Or, small holes may be placed in the bone (microfracture). This allows new cartilage to form. Once the surgeon finishes the procedure, the portals are closed and bandaged. Then you are taken to the recovery room.