Hip Arthroscopy

What is a hip arthroscopy?

Performed under general anaesthetic, a small camera inserted into the hip area gives unprecedented access and the chance to perform corrective surgery using miniature instruments.

Improvements in technology have resulted in the hip arthroscopy procedure being minimally invasive and commonly performed to treat many hip problems.

Conditions treatable with a hip arthroscopy

In the event that non-surgical treatments including rest, physiotherapy and even medicines to assist with the reduction in inflammation are unsuccessful, a hip arthroscopy may be recommended.

Some of the common conditions treatable include:

Femoroacetabular impingement

Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a condition where extra bone grows around the hip joint during development. Affecting the hip ball (femoral head) and socket (acetabulum), an area lined by cartilage, the additional bone damages soft tissues during hip movement and due to its irregular shape causes friction resulting in pain that can limit movement.

Labral tears

The labrum is the ring of cartilage on the outside rim of the hip joint that holds the ball of the hip firmly inside the joint. This connective tissue can tear or detach from the bone, causing restricted motion and discomfort.

The presence of loose bodies, chondral or cartilage damage, hip dysplasia and ligamentum teres injuries can also benefit from a hip arthroscopy. This procedure is also used to treat hip infections, synovitis (inflammation of the joint), snapping hip syndrome and to perform biopsies where tissue specimens are taken to aid in diagnosis.

Candidates for hip arthroscopy

Candidates include those who are physically active yet still experience hip pain or a condition that after careful consultation is deemed treatable with arthroscopic surgery.

Advantages and disadvantages of surgery


Approved candidates for a hip arthroscopy experience less tissue damage and pain than would be associated with alternative hip surgery. As a result, patients generally recover faster resulting in a speedier return to normal functionality. Without the need for open surgery, patients are typically able to walk without crutches sooner and as an outpatient, experience a day procedure or short hospital stay depending on the severity of the condition requiring attention.

Such is the success of a hip arthroscopy, many candidates are able to avoid or postpone open hip surgery or delay the need to undergo total hip replacement.


It is important to remember that all surgery comes with an element of risk. Complications associated with a hip arthroscopy are minimal. Common side effects can include temporary bruising and discomfort as a result of the traction placed on the hip during the procedure. The more serious complications that can eventuate include infection, nerve injury, scar tissue formation and even continued pain in and around the hip joint. These are extremely rare.

Post surgery recovery

Whilst crutches can be used for the first 2-3 days or as required, some candidates are able to resume regular activities, drive a vehicle and return to work within a week providing heavy lifting is not required and inhibitive medication is not being taken. It is recommended that high impact sport including running be minimised for at least 6 weeks post surgery. Over exertion can increase the level of discomfort so taking it slow and gradual is highly advisable.


Don’t put off a visit to the Adelaide Hip Centre for a consultation.

Arrange a consultation if you are living with regular hip pain and common symptoms associated with osteoarthritis.

If you are experiencing hip joint discomfort and are seeking advice as to whether you may be a suitable candidate for a hip arthroscopy.  A consultation will help determine the most appropriate treatment for your hip condition.

For any enquiries relating to hip arthroscopy, get in touch with us through our contact page.