Hip arthroscopy instead of invasive surgery

Dr. Christoph Gebhart

President of the Austrian Society of Hip Arthroscopy (ASHA)

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery technique that allows specialists to see, diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint all at once. “One key objective of every surgical intervention is the least possible disturbance of surrounding tissue”. Says Dr. Christoph Gebhart. The main task of ASHA is to train surgeons in this technique which requires at lot of training and experience. Unlike the knee joint the hip joint is difficult to access – it is surrounded by many tough ligaments and strong muscles. A soft tissue mantle of 10 cm thinkness has to be penetrated, also the joint capsule is massive and not easy to stretch, the joint cavity very close.

 

Minimally invasive three-portal-technique

It only takes three incisions of 7 mm length to introduce the camera and the surgical instruments. “The three-portal-technique and the three-dimensional arthroscopy allow us to see the whole joint via video camera. Thus we can see damages that are often not visible on X-ray-images, and we can remove them at once”, says Dr. Gebhart. „Traditional surgery techniques implies large incisions and a long time of immobility after the operation. With arthroscopy most of the patients can go home the day after the operation, almost without any pain”.

Main indications include:

  • Damages of cartilage
  • Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI - a disorder where bone spurs around the socket or the femoral head cause damage)
  • Labrum lesions (tear involves the ring of cartilage (labrum) that follows the outside rim of the socket of your hip joint)
  • Synovitis – inflammation of the major lining of the joint called the synovial membrane

Hip arthroscopy is not indicated for cases of severe arthrosis or necrosis of the femoral head.


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