Hip Arthroscopy: Understanding Non-Arthritic Hip Pain

As an orthopedic surgeon at OrthoNebraska with over two decades of experience, I specialize in hip arthroscopy, a surgical procedure for younger individuals with non-arthritic hip pain. Let’s explore the symptoms, causes and treatment options for non-arthritic hip pain, including the success rate of hip arthroscopy.

Understanding Non-Arthritic Hip Pain

Hip pain in younger individuals without arthritic conditions often presents differently from arthritic hip pain. Common symptoms include deep groin pain and pinching, difficulty sitting for extended periods and discomfort during hip rotation. Activities such as putting on shoes and socks or getting in and out of a car can also trigger pain. This type of hip pain usually stems from damage to the soft tissues surrounding the hip, particularly the labrum, rather than arthritis.

The Function of the Labrum and Hip Impingement

The labrum is a fibrocartilaginous structure that stabilizes and deepens the hip socket, providing a suction seal within the joint. Labral damage often occurs gradually due to hip impingement, which can be classified as pincer impingement or cam impingement.

Types of Hip Impingements

  1. Pincer impingement happens when the hip socket (acetabulum) is too deep or improperly rotated. Because the labrum attaches to the edge of the socket, this can lead to a greater degree of abnormal contact with the femoral head (ball), especially during athletic activities, leading to damage of the labrum.
  2. Cam impingement occurs when the ball of the hip joint is not perfectly round, exerting abnormal pressure on the socket’s edge and potentially damaging both the labrum and socket cartilage.
  3. Combined impingement, where both conditions are present, can lead to compression on both sides of the labrum and cartilage.

Evaluation and Treatment for Non-Arthritic Hip Pain

If you experience ongoing groin pain, a groin pull or sharp pain in the lateral aspect of your hip lasting more than a couple of months, or worsening over time, it is crucial to consult an orthopedic provider for evaluation. Through X-rays and physical examinations, a hip specialistcan assess the presence of structural damage.

The Importance of Early Intervention and the Success of Hip Arthroscopy

Delaying treatment for significant hip impingement or femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) may complicate the repair process. While physical therapy can benefit individuals with minor impingement or small labral tears, surgery often proves to be the most effective treatment for those with substantial damage. Hip arthroscopy involves repairing the labrum and correcting the bony impingement.

Studies indicate that approximately 85 to 90 percent of patients who undergo hip arthroscopy experience successful outcomes, with complete or near-complete resolution of symptom.

Restoring an Active Lifestyle through Hip Arthroscopy

Non-arthritic hip pain affects individuals in different ways, from chronic daily discomfort to pain during athletic activities. The goal for all patients is to eliminate pain and restore their ability to participate pain-free in the activities they enjoy.

Understanding non-arthritic hip pain, its causes and treatment options is vital in providing effective care. If you suspect structural damage or experience ongoing hip pain, consulting an orthopedic hip specialist like myself  at OrthoNebraska for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan can help you regain a pain-free lifestyle. Hip arthroscopy, with its high success rate, offers hope for individuals seeking relief from non-arthritic hip pain.

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