Arthroscopic hip surgery, also called hip arthroscopy, is used to assess the hip and determine the source of hip pain due to hip impingement, labrum tear, cartilage injury or other conditions.

During this outpatient procedure, a surgeon will use an arthroscope (a small tube with a light on the end) to project an image of the inside of the hip onto a TV monitor. Additional instruments are inserted through one or more small incisions to trim, shave, cut, stitch or smooth damaged areas of the hip.

Hip arthroscopy may be used to treat several conditions, such as:

  • Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) – A disorder in which extra bone develops along the acetabulum (pincer impingement) or on the femoral head (cam impingement). This bone overgrowth, called spurs, damages the soft tissues of the hip during movement. Sometimes, bone spurs develop in both the acetabulum and femoral head.
  • Dysplasia – A condition in which the hip socket is abnormally shallow, which puts more stress on the labrum in order to keep the femoral head within the socket, and makes the labrum more susceptible to tearing.
  • Snapping hip syndromes – A condition that causes a tendon to rub across the outside of the joint. This type of “snapping” or “popping” is often harmless and does not need treatment. However, in some cases, the tendon is damaged from the repeated rubbing.
  • Synovitis – A condition that causes the tissues that surround the joint to become inflamed.
  • Loose bodies – Fragments of bone or cartilage that become loose and move around within the joint.
  • Hip joint infection.

Risks and Complications:

  • Infection.
  • Blood loss requiring transfusion.
  • Blood clots in the veins of the calf or thigh in adults.
  • Numbness.
  • Weakness.
  • Pain.
  • Stiffness.
  • Re-injury to cartilage.
  • Cartilage degeneration.

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Kapiolani Bone & Joint Center


Straub Bone & Joint Center