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Bouncing Back with Hip Arthroscopy: November 16, 2011

The next generation of hip procedures isn’t addressing the worn out joint but are instead mending the malformed or injured hip through arthroscopic hip surgery.

“It’s a minimally invasive technique in which we make small incisions about a half inch to a quarter inch, and use very specialized instruments. We’re able to work inside the ball and socket joint of the hip,” says Dr. James Bynum, an orthopedic surgeon with Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.

The arthroscopic hip patient is generally much younger than your average hip replacement candidate. Male or female, they suffer from knife-like pain on the inside of their hip.

“Fifteen years ago or so, before we really fully understood pathology and what goes on in the hip, patients that didn’t have arthritis but had groin pain would be told that maybe it was from a pinched nerve in their back, maybe it was from some type of muscle groin strain or even a gynecologic or urologic problem,” says Dr. Bynum.

People with this type of chronic groin pain are generally movers and shakers, between the ages of 15 and 55. They range from high caliber athletes to weekend warriors.

“There seems to be two peek ages in which we see this problem. There’s younger patients in their teens and twenties that will complain of it and they will tend to be the high school athletes or collegiate athletes and that’s because they’re stressing it more. Then you’ve got the rest of the population that they’re able to hide it or live with it until they get to a certain age in their forties and fifties when finally all that accumulation of damage they finally notice it,” says Dr. Bynum.

The pain generally comes from either a malformed bone or a small tear. Guided by a small camera, and using arthroscopic tools, surgeons fix the problem and get their patients back up and running.

“The recovery is very fast, especially compared to traditional open treatments that required a big incision. Usually patients come in, have surgery and go home,” says Dr. Bynum.

A new study showed 78% of athletes returned to their sport within nine months with over 90% competing at their previous level. Proving they were able to bounce back with hip arthroscopy.