Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery designed to repair the hip and prevent a total joint replacement.

Often times when patients experience hip pain, they think they need a joint replacement. However, many patients who have damage to their hips do not require a total hip replacement, but instead could benefit from hip arthroscopy.

The typical hip conditions that lead to a recommendation for hip arthroscopy include:

  • Hip labral tears - torn cartilage deep inside the hip joint can cause symptoms
  • Femoroacetabular impingement or FAI - this causes too much friction in the hip joint and leads to loss of cartilage and labral tears
  • Loose bodies - these are pieces of cartilage that have torn away from the joint. They can look like marbles floating around the joint.

Evaluation for Hip Arthroscopy

In order to determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure, our surgeons will:

  • Perform a clinical examination
  • Review your X-rays and MRIs
  • Discuss possible alternatives like physical therapy, injections and pain management

Hip Arthroscopy Surgery

Prior to Surgery

If you and your doctor have decided that hip arthroscopy is the best possible treatment, our schedulers will work with you to arrange a time for your surgery.

You will have an appointment at our preoperative assessment clinic 24 hours prior to your surgery to meet with the anesthesia team. This appointment helps you to prepare for surgery and you and your doctor can ensure the medicine given to you will cause the fewest side effects.

Day of Surgery

We ask that you arrive at least 3 hours prior to the surgery and expect the surgery to last between 2 and 4 hours.

During the procedure, your surgeon will use a light and camera to look through a dime size incision at your hip joint. Depending on your conditions and symptoms, your orthopaedic surgeon will repair torn cartilage, remove loose pieces of muscle, tendon or ligaments, reshape the bones, or do a combination of these.

Most patients are sent home the same day of the procedure, though some may stay overnight for observation.

Recovery Process

On the first day after surgery, we will begin your rehabilitation process. This includes getting out of bed and walking.

We take pain management very seriously and 90 percent of our patients no longer need narcotics after the first week post-surgery.

Our surgeons will prescribe a full physical therapy regimen and most patients find they are back to full activities 12-16 weeks following hip arthroscopy.

We will see you 2 times after the procedure: at 4 weeks and then again at 4 months post-surgery.

Hip Arthroscopy at Wake Forest Baptist Health

At Wake Forest Baptist, our experienced physicians use the latest technology and most advanced techniques to offer you surgery options that mean less pain and shorter recovery times for you.

Wake Forest Baptist is one of the few medical centers on the East Coast where hip arthroscopy, a highly specialized procedure, is performed. We perform more than 200 procedures annually – well above the national average.

Joint Replacement Program

We offer one of the most comprehensive joint replacement programs in the Winston-Salem area. From minimally invasive to bone-sparing procedures, our full menu of surgical options fits patients of all ages and activity levels.

Our orthopaedic teams include surgeons who are highly trained specialists in their fields. That means they focus on diagnosing and treating problems in only one region of the body, such as the knees, hips or shoulders.