Orthopedic surgeons use hip arthroscopy to treat complications of femoral acetabular impingement. FAI occurs when the ball and socket bones of the hip form abnormally during childhood. When this happens, there is little that can be done to prevent FAI, and this deformity of a cam bone spur, a pincer bone spur, or both leads to joint damage, pain, and if untreated, premature hip arthritis. Some people live long, active lives with FAI and never have problems. When symptoms do develop, however, it usually indicates there is damage to the cartilage or labrum, and the disease is likely to progress.
Symptoms may include pain, stiffness and limping. Patients with FAI usually have pain in the groin area, but sometimes the pain is more toward the outside of the hip. Sharp, stabbing pain may occur with turning, twisting and squatting. However, some patients only experience a dull ache.
The majority of patients are young, active adults who have hip pain during or after activity, or patients who have hip pain onset by a traumatic injury.
If conservative treatment fails, such as anti-inflamatory medicines and physical therapy, hip arthroscopy may be considered for the following.
- To smooth off torn cartilage or repair it
- To trim bone spurs caused by FAI
- To remove inflamed synovial tissue