Risks of hip arthroscopy | Arthroscopy of the hip

Risks of hip arthroscopy

As with all operations, arthroscopy of the hip joint is not without risks. Nevertheless, since the introduction of arthroscopy of the joint, the risks have been enormously reduced compared to the previously common operations on the hip joint. Since the operation is performed under general anaesthesia, there are certain general risks that can occur with any operation of this type.

These include the risk of stomach contents entering the respiratory tract, damage to the teeth (during intubation), allergic reactions to the medication administered, or cardiovascular disorders. A complication that often occurs due to intubation is a certain hoarseness after the operation, which usually improves quickly. A possible and relatively frequent complication, which can be attributed to the arthroscopy itself, is injury to the structures of the joint or structures near the joint.

These include nerve damage (in up to 5% of patients treated), which usually resolves itself, bleeding when a blood vessel is injured, and injuries to the cartilage structures within the joint. There is also the risk of developing a thrombosis. For this reason, thrombosis prophylaxis is usually prescribed to prevent this complication, which occurs after the operation.

Infections of the joint can also occur due to the introduction of the instruments. However, since sterile instruments are used, this is a very rare complication. All in all, however, the performance of an arthroscopy should be regarded as having few complications.

Reasons for an arthroscopy of the hip

There are a number of different diseases that can be effectively treated by arthroscopy of the hip. One of the most common indications why a hip arthroscopy is performed nowadays is a so-called femoro-acetabular impingement (short: FAI). This involves friction between the femur and the acetabulum.

The impingement is caused by a congenital defect of the acetabulum and/or the femur, which leads to friction between the two bones. To prevent an almost inevitable development of arthrosis due to the clinical picture, an arthroscopy can be performed. Other reasons why an arthroscopy is performed are the detection of free joint bodies in the joint, an injury to the ligaments of the joint, infections of the joint, hip joint arthrosis, cartilage damage (damage to the cartilage of the hip) as well as in cases of hip pain which cannot be attributed to any cause.