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Hip Arthroscopy: A State-of-the-Art Approach to Pain Relief – Southlake Orthopaedics

Jonathan Isbell, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Sports Medicine

If you’re suffering from hip pain, you’re not alone. In fact, 10% of the general population suffers from hip pain. This pain greatly interferes with daily life, making everyday tasks like sitting and standing uncomfortable. However, there are solutions to your suffering! The specialists at Southlake Orthopaedics can customize a treatment plan that will work for you. We offer a wide variety of treatment options for hip pain—including one of the newer and less invasive options known as hip arthroscopy.

A hip arthroscopy is, of course, not for every patient. It truly depends on what the root cause of the hip pain is.  Dr. Jonathan Isbell, a fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine, arthroscopy, and joint replacement at Southlake Orthopaedics, stresses that this procedure is not a substitute for a total hip replacement, as a replacement is usually recommended for patients whose damage is beyond repair, generally in cases of people with osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, or Osteonecrosis. But for other patients, especially younger people, a hip arthroscopy can be an excellent solution. According to Dr. Isbell, one of the only five specialists in the region who performs this surgery, hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive technique used to treat conditions within and around the hip joint. “This procedure usually involves two to three small, poke-hole incisions—and similar to any other arthroscopy procedure, like a shoulder or knee arthroscopic procedure, we can treat a lot of conditions with this technique. The most common issue we treat with a hip arthroscopy is a hip impingement.”

Dr. Isbell explains that hip impingement happens over time, rather than as an acute injury. The impingement typically happens because of a mismatch between the shape of the ball of the hip joint and the socket. It causes pinching of the labrum or cartilage ring that surrounds the socket while performing typical motions of the hip. “Overtime, this pinching can lead to tearing, and long-term can even lead to degeneration of the cartilage of the hip and arthritic-type changes, so we try to address these issues a little bit sooner as a hip preservation procedure.”

In these cases, hip arthroscopy acts not only as a pain reliever but can also increase the longevity of the joint and help minimize the risk of arthritis going forward.

“What we do is go in and gently recontour the ball to create a more ideal shape to allow an appropriate match between the ball and socket,” explains Dr. Isbell. This reshaping of the bone prevents pinching of the labrum and corrects the problem without the need for major surgery. It is an outpatient procedure that takes about two hours. Then, patients start physical therapy during their first week of recovery and begin walking and performing basic movements within just two weeks after the procedure. Dr. Isbell says most patients completely heal and go back to living their normal lives within only three months of the procedure.

Other indications for hip arthroscopy, besides the most common hip impingements and resulting labrum tears, are hip bursitis, snapping hip, and tendon tears around the hip.

Dr. Isbell stresses that if you feel hip pain, especially if you are feeling it around the anterior aspect of the hip like in the groin region while seated for long periods of time, don’t ignore it. The specialists at Southlake Orthopaedics, including Dr. Isbell, can help you live a pain-free life. If you’re ready to seek help for constant hip pain, contact Southlake Orthopaedics today!



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