Hip Arthroscopy: Repairing Synovitis and Arthritis - Fairview Health Services
 
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Hip Arthroscopy: Repairing Synovitis and Arthritis

Cross section of hip joint with femoral head moved out of socket. Cartilage lining socket is damaged. Synovium lining joint is inflamed.

Cross section of hip joint with femoral head moved out of socket. Cartilage lining socket is damaged. Synovium lining joint is inflamed. Arthroscopic instruments are in joint near top of socket. Closeup of arthroscope tip inside joint with shaver removing damaged synovium.

Cross section of hip joint with femoral head moved out of socket. Cartilage lining socket is smoothed. Damaged synovium is removed.

With synovitis of the hip, the synovium (lining of the joint) is inflamed (painful and swollen). With arthritis, a large amount of the articular cartilage (firm tissue covering the “ball” and “socket” of your hip) is damaged. Your healthcare provider has suggested a procedure called arthroscopy. Using only small incisions and special instruments, arthroscopy can repair synovitis and arthritis.

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.

Repairing Synovitis and Arthritis

For synovitis, part of the damaged synovium is removed. This may be done by suction or shaving. For arthritis, the loose or torn cartilage is removed, or it may be smoothed with a shaver. Arthritis can lead to bone spurs. If bone spurs are present, they may be 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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