Hip Arthroscopy

Hip arthroscopy is a same day procedure that often cures hip pain, especially in younger patients. During this procedure Dr. Shah repairs the cartilage tears within the hip causing that pain. The orthopedic surgeon does among the highest-volume of hip arthroscopies in Chicago. The procedure is extremely delicate as the hip socket is just half an inch deep. . The surgeon also holds a teaching course which attracts over 50 colleagues yearly from across the country. The procedure not only relieves pain but many researchers believe it also eliminates otherwise inevitable hip replacement surgery down the road. Unfortunately studies show the average young patient has hip or groin pain for over three years before being correctly diagnosed.

The Procedure:

Hip arthroscopy is performed through tiny incisions used to position a camera and instruments within the stretched hip. The procedure is extremely meticulous as the hip socket is just half an inch deep. Suturing instruments may be the length of your pinkie. (Dr. Shah spent a year at Washington University in Saint Louis separated from his family so he could learn the procedure from its pioneers.) In addition to stitching a torn shred of cartilage, Dr. Shah can also debride injured cartilage, remove bone spurs, and correct other abnormalities. The same day procedure takes about ninety minutes.

The Recovery

Dr. Shah says hip arthroscopies often transform incapacitated young patients to fully active adults. Ninety percent of patients can do everything they used to do. However patients who choose to have the procedure have to be motivated because the recovery can be prolonged. “Recovery can actually take longer than a hip replacement,” says Dr. Shah, “because the body is completely healing itself.” Patients typically spend three weeks on crutches, six weeks in a brace, and 2-3 months in physical therapy. Patients can usually return to light work within a few days. Elite athletes may take up to six months, however, before they perform at their previous levels.

Dr. Shah says, “Our patients universally say the recovery is worth it. They’ll spend the rest of their lives as active as ever…and they’ll likely escape later hip surgery.”