The rim of your hip socket is lined with a fibrous cartilage called the labrum. This cartilage is different to the cartilage lining the ball and socket of the hip joint. The labrum serves to keep the fluid inside the hip joint and forms a suction seal. For further information please read my article on ‘your hips don’t lie’.
The labrum can be torn for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is hip impingement. Patients are also prone to labral tears if they have dysplasia of the hip where the socket is not fully developed and doesn’t cover all of the femoral head or ball. The labrum can also be torn in sporting injuries. During hip arthroscopy, I always aim to preserve the labrum and repair if possible. The results have been shown to be better with a repair than the more commonly performed debridement.
Click here to learn more about labral tears
Articular cartilage damage
The cartilage lining the ball and socket of your hip joint is truly a unique structure that nature has provided us with. It’s facilitates smooth movement of the joint that is fiction free. This cartilage can be torn as a result of hip impingement or simply just trauma from activities that involve running or jumping or pivoting. A number of techniques can be used to address this during hip arthroscopy.
Complications and surgical risks
All surgery carries risks, which can be generalised or specific to the surgery. General complications include things related to the general anaesthesia, for example, inability to pass urine , blood clots in the legs or lungs, and infection can occur with any surgical procedure, but is extremely low following hip arthroscopy.
Specific risks to hip arthroscopy include
- nerve damage, causing numbness on the side of your thigh
- traction injury, causing numbness and bruising in the groin and a foot
- very rarely, damage to the sciatic nerve leading to foot drop
- rarely, the labrum repair fails to heal or gets retorn again
- Sometimes, fibrous bands or adhesions can form in the joint leading to stiffness
We can discuss all of these during our consultation and there will be plenty of time to discuss everything in more detail.
Not only have I completed a fellowship in a high volume hip arthroscopy centre, but also, I have been a consultant in a highly specialised Young Adult Hip Unit. During this time, I was selected by the British Hip Society to undertake the prestigious Travelling Fellowship in Vail, Colorado (USA) to learn from one of the best hip arthroscopists in the world (Marc Philippon). Thus, you should be reassured, that I have learnt and practice on a regular basis advanced hip arthroscopy techniques to achieve the best possible outcomes for my patients. Currently, I am in the process of setting up a Young Adult Hip Unit at The Royal Free London NHS Trust.