Hip Arthroscopy: What Conditions Does It Treat?

Hip pain has been a growing problem that negatively impacts everyday life, especially for seniors and adults. In fact, current studies suggest that almost 50% of seniors experience hip pain. 

Although disruptive and debilitating, a lot of people think that hip discomfort is a normal and inevitable part of aging. But it shouldn’t be. With today’s medical innovations, many hip injuries and conditions are now treatable and can be managed using minimally invasive procedures, such as hip arthroscopy.

If you’re suffering from hip problems, read on below to learn more about hip arthroscopy, the different conditions it can treat, and how it can benefit you.

What is hip arthroscopy?

Hip arthroscopy refers to a minimally invasive procedure performed by creating 2-3 small incisions. These will serve as the entry point of the specialized instruments used in the operation. 

Using an arthroscope (small camera), your surgeon will look into your hip to diagnose your condition and assess the severity of the hip problem. They may also use the arthroscope to visualize the inside of the hip joint as they repair its damages or remove severely impaired structures. 

Unlike traditional open surgeries, hip arthroscopy is a much less invasive procedure, which means there’s also less pain, tissue damage, scarring, and risk for complications. Furthermore, the operation only takes at least 30 minutes to 2 hours and is usually done as an outpatient procedure.

What injuries and disorders can be treated by hip arthroscopy?

Generally, doctors manage hip conditions using conservative treatment options first, such as medications, injectables, and therapy. But if it doesn’t work and symptoms persist, your physician will usually recommend arthroscopic surgery.

Some of the most common conditions that can be treated using this procedure include: 


Osteoarthritis refers to a degenerative condition that gradually impairs the hip joints by damaging the cartilage that protects it. Over time, the cartilage will wear away, exposing the two bones of the joints. This results in both bones rubbing against each other, causing pain, swelling, and mobility difficulties. 

If left unaddressed, the friction between the bones can give rise to bone spurs, which can cause severe pain, weakness, and muscle cramps.

Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI)

Hip impingement occurs when there’s an abnormal growth of bone spurs in either the femoral head (ball) or acetabulum (socket). This bone overgrowth can prevent the hip joints from moving smoothly, thus causing pain, especially during motion.

As the ball and socket joint continues to rub against each other, it can cause damage to the labrum and articular cartilage of the joint. 

Through hip arthroscopy, your surgeon can remove the main culprit for your aching hip, which is the bone spurs. They can also arthroscopically repair any damages or tears to the labrum, thus preventing further issues, such as arthritis.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia refers to an abnormality of the hip joint wherein the acetabulum (socket) does not entirely cover the head of the femur (thigh bone). As a result, the hip joints will become unstable, increasing the likelihood of dislocation episodes.

Furthermore, hip dysplasia can also cause damage to the cartilage and labrum of the joint, thus causing pain when moving. This condition can also develop into osteoarthritis or hip labral tear if not treated.

Snapping hip syndrome

Snapping hip syndrome is a hip disorder characterized by clicking or cracking noise or sensation in the hip during motion. This happens when an inflamed tendon slides over a bone structure in the hip joint. As you move, the muscle stretches and produces tension, making a popping sound or sensation as it’s released.

Some patients with snapping hip syndrome won’t feel any symptoms, while others may experience pain and hip discomfort. But in some cases, this condition can cause hip damage, so it’s better to consult an orthopedic specialist if you think you have this problem.


Synovitis refers to a condition wherein the synovium一a tissue that lines the synovial joints of the hips一become inflamed. As the synovium swells, it will become thicker, thus making it painful to move. Over time, the inflamed synovium may also damage the cartilage and bones in the joint.


On the other hand, bursitis is a disorder characterized by an inflamed bursa. Normally, the fluid-filled bursa sac eases motion by cushioning the tendons, bones, and muscle structures surrounding the hip joint. This happens due to joint overuse or constant pressure in the bursa. 

People with bursitis often feel pain during movement, swelling, redness, and limited mobility. Your surgeon may perform hip arthroscopy to ease pain by removing the inflamed bursa sac.

outpatient surgery center in Cary

Where to find the best outpatient surgery center in Cary

At the Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek, your comfort is our top priority. We strive hard to bring you back on your feet and get you moving by providing the highest quality treatments and services. 

By choosing our ambulatory surgery center, you can rest easy knowing that our specialized orthopedic surgeon will handle your care and treatment on an outpatient basis for an efficient and convenient process. 

If you’re experiencing hip pains or other musculoskeletal conditions, then Raleigh orthopedic and Panther Creek is the right choice.

 Contact us now so you can start exploring different treatment options that will give you the best chance to achieve full recovery!

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

outpatient orthopedic surgery cary
6715 McCrimmon Parkway
Suite 205 A 
Cary, NC 27519
Monday – Friday: 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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