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Hip Scope

What is it and how is it performed?

Physician’s View: Dr. Roberts’ Hip Scope Technique

Dr. Tim Roberts has a unique approach to hip arthroscopy that reduces the risk of injury and improves recovery. He answers some questions about his technique on hip scopes.

What is a hip scope?

Much like a knee or shoulder scope, it is a surgery that allows us to look inside the joint utilizing small incisions and instruments. We can use it to diagnose and correct problems that cause hip pain.

What is unique about your approach?

In traditional hip arthroscopy, the leg is placed in traction for the duration of the surgery. This means the hip will be pulled away from the socket so the surgeon can insert instruments, see the entire joint, and perform the treatments needed. I only place traction for the exact time needed for a repair of the labrum (less than half the time of traditional) and bring the instruments down to the joint from the outside. Decreased traction time decreases the risk of nerve injury. Approaching the hip from the outside also decreases the risk of damage to the joint cartilage.
I use the technique developed by Dr. Frederic Laude in Paris. Because the technique is quicker (decreased traction time and overall surgery time) and safer (less risk of cartilage damage to the hip or instrument breakage), I feel it is the best options for my patients. In my first day of learning this different technique, my perspective on hip arthroscopy changed forever.

Who is a candidate for Hip Arthroscopy?

For most patients, nonsurgical treatments are pursued first. This may include physical therapy, activity modifications, core strengthening and/or medications. When conservative treatments do not relieve pain, we consider a hip scope.
Patients with hip pain show symptoms of pain/discomfort deep in the groin or under the butt where a patient sits. It can also be seen as discomfort or apprehension to flexing the hip up and in towards the body. I see it evenly between males and females. In females, I do see a trend towards gymnasts, dance team and cheer. Diagnosis is often made on exam alone but confirmed with x-rays and an MRI with an arthrogram.

What is the recovery timeline?

Hip Arthroscopy is an outpatient procedure. The surgery takes varies by patient, but it typically lasts 2-2.5 hours. Usually, patients tend to say their hip feels better or “different” than it did even within the first 6 weeks. Full recovery from the surgery itself can take 6 months.

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