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Hip Arthroscopy vs. Traditional Hip Surgery: Understanding the Differences
Hip Arthroscopy vs. Traditional Hip Surgery: Understanding the Differences

Hip Arthroscopy vs. Traditional Hip Surgery: Understanding the Differences

Chronic hip pain can take a major toll on your physical and mental well-being. Hip pain doesn’t discriminate. It affects young, active athletes and all age ranges of people alike. The good news is, you don’t have to live with constant hip pain. Advancements in the treatment of hip conditions have soared over the last two decades with the introduction of hip preservation surgical techniques.

Traditional hip surgery was the only option surgeons had to treat hip conditions in the past. Thanks to technological advances, orthopedic specialists can perform hip surgeries minimally invasive, through the use of arthroscopic tools, to preserve the health of the hip joint.

Let's take a closer look at the differences between arthroscopic hip surgery and traditional hip surgery.

Arthroscopic Hip Surgery

Arthroscopic hip surgery is a “preservation technique” that addresses a wide spectrum of hip conditions, including femoral acetabular impingement (FAI), hip dysplasia, and labral tears, catering to individuals across all life stages—from young children and teenagers to active adults and seniors.

Arthroscopic hip surgery uses a tiny camera called an arthroscope to aid in the diagnosis and repair of hip conditions. The surgeon makes a few small incisions and inserts the arthroscope into the hip region. A magnified image of the area is then projected to a monitor. Once the damaged area is assessed, the surgeon can make any repairs without creating a large incision. Hip arthroscopy is typically used to treat hip impingement, labral tears, hip dysplasia, and the removal of loose fragments and bone spurs. Arthroscopic hip surgery has a tiny incision with little scarring, and a shorter recovery and faster return to activities than traditional hip replacement surgery.

Traditional Hip Surgery

Not all hip conditions can be treated with arthroscopic techniques. Traditional hip replacement surgery is a necessary option when the joint damage is significant, affecting the ability to walk or restricting movement. Usually, patients with extensive arthritis require a hip replacement using artificial implants to replace the damaged hip bones. Recovery can be lengthy depending on the age and health factors of each individual. Modern minimally invasive surgical techniques allow outpatient hip replacement for qualified healthy patients, allowing a quicker recovery with less tissue damage.

An internationally recognized hip preservation specialist, Dr. Srino Bharam has achieved master-level experience in treating the complex hip conditions for athletes, using the most minimally invasive approach possible with a personalized treatment plan.

AUTHOR: Srino Bharam MD, MBA is a board-certified, fellowship-trained sports medicine orthopedic surgeon and professor of orthopedic surgery specializing in the treatment of athletic injuries of the hip and groin. Dr. Bharam has over 20 years of experience in treating injuries and conditions of the hip to restore athletes and patients to an active lifestyle.

  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • Arthroscopy Association of North America
  • International Society for Hip Arthroscopy
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Ambra Health