Hip Impingement FAQs

What is impingement?

This is a clinical condition where the ball portion of the hip joint impinges against the socket during some of the hip joint movements.

What are the consequences of Impingement?

It is being recognised that the impingement if continues unabated may result in arthritis of the hip joint. However, there is no evidence till to-date to support that, the procedures done to relieve impingement prevent arthritis in the future.

Is it must for me to undergo surgery?

NO. The surgery is done only if you have groin pain and it is affecting your activities and quality of life. It is considered only after failed conservative therapy.

What are the types of available surgeries?

The surgery is commonly done through key hole (Hip Arthroscopy). Occasionally in some cases open surgery is used to address complex pathology. The key hole surgery is performed usually with two small cuts over your hip joint. The impingement is addressed by using instruments through these small cuts. The open surgery involves opening the hip joint and addressing the same issues under direct vision.

When can I go home after Surgery?

You will be allowed to go home either on the same day or the next day following key hole surgery. After open surgery, you will usually stay in the hospital for 2-3 days.
You are required to do partial weight bearing (20% body weight) with crutches for a period of two weeks after your key hole surgery. This will sometimes be different depending on the details of the procedures performed at the time of key hole surgery. After open surgery you are expected to be on crutches for a period of six weeks.

What are the complications of Arthroscopic (Key Hole) surgery?

The complications of hip arthroscopy are generally related to the traction employed during the procedure. These are rare indeed. These could include transient nerve paralysis in the leg, bruising and numbness in the perineal area.

What are the complications of Open surgery?

These include infection (<1%), fracture neck of femur (rare), avascular necrosis (rare). During open surgery, a piece of bone is reattached with three screws. In some patients, these screws cause local irritation and need removed in the future.

How is arthroscopy of the hip different from arthroscopy of other joints e.g. Knee?

Hip joint is a deep seated ball and socket joint. It is difficult to get an easy access. Traction applied through a boot fastened over the foot is employed to access the joint. The procedure is performed under x-ray guidance.

What is the reported success rate after these procedures?

The reported success rates range from 70% onwards. The outcome largely depends upon the degree of wear and tear changes in the hip joint.

Do I need Hip replacement in the later life?

The only indication for hip replacement will be presence of significant wear and tear (arthritis) changes accompanied by significant symptoms. Hip arthroscopy is avoided in patients who have presence of moderate to severe degenerative changes in the hip joint.

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