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Hip Arthroscopy: Removing Loose Bodies

Cross section of hip joint with arrows showing femoral head of thighbone being pulled out of socket. Dotted line shows normal position of femoral head in socket. 

  Cross section of hip joint showing arthroscopic instruments removing loose piece of tissue from joint. Closeup of arthroscope tip in hip joint and instrument removing loose body.

Pieces of bone or cartilage are loose in your hip joint. They can cause painful joint locking and catching. Your healthcare provider has suggested a procedure called arthroscopy. Using only small incisions and special instruments, arthroscopy can remove the loose bodies from your hip.

In the Operating Room

Just before surgery, you may be asked several times which hip is to be treated. This is a standard safety measure. In the operating room, you will likely receive general anesthesia to make you sleep.

During the Procedure

After you are sedated, your leg is gently pulled to distract, or widen, the hip joint. Next, the surgeon makes a few small incisions called portals. Through these portals, he or she inserts surgical tools, including the arthroscope. The arthroscope sends images of the joint to a video screen. These images allow the surgeon to look inside the joint. The joint is filled with sterile fluid to help the surgeon see more clearly.

Removing Loose Bodies

When the loose bodies in your hip are located, the surgeon will try to remove them using a surgical instrument. But sometimes the loose bodies aren’t small enough to be removed. In this case, the loose bodies are broken into smaller pieces. Then, they are removed. Once the surgeon finishes the procedure, the portals are closed and bandaged. Then you are taken to the recovery room.

 

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