If arthroscopic hip surgery is in your future, you likely have questions about the procedure and what you can do to help prepare for your surgery.

What is hip arthroscopy?

Before you can ask the right questions, you first have to understand what hip arthroscopy is. Hip arthroscopy is a surgery done to visually examine, diagnose, and repair the hip joint. It is less common than knee or shoulder arthroscopy, but is used most often to: 

  • Diagnose an injury or disease inside the hip joint
  • Remove bone or cartilage
  • Repair tendons or ligaments 

Hip arthroscopy is performed using a special tool called an arthroscope, which is an instrument that looks like a long tube with a miniature camera on the end. Using the arthroscope and other tools, surgeons make small incisions near the hip to repair or correct the affected joint. 

Hip arthroscopy is minimally invasive compared to hip replacement surgery. It typically is done as an outpatient procedure or with a short hospital stay. 

How can you prepare for your arthroscopic surgery?

Before your arthroscopy procedure, your orthopedic surgeon will evaluate your hip joint with a physical exam, x-rays, and/or a MRI scan. Once your surgery is scheduled, there are some important steps you can take beforehand to help ensure a successful outcome and to make recovery easier: 

  1. Prepare your home for post-surgical recovery by reducing items that may make walking hazardous.
  2. Make an appointment with your primary care physician for a pre-operative physical exam to help ensure that you are in good health before your hip arthroscopy. In addition to a physical exam, he or she may order an electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood work. Discuss any existing medical conditions that could pose complications during or after your surgery. Medical issues that may increase the risk of complications from surgery include: 
  • Pre-existing heart or lung condition
  • Obesity
  • Recent or chronic illness
  • Diabetes
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Smoking
  1. On the advice of your doctor, you may need to stop taking medications that could contribute to prolonged bleeding. These include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium products like Aleve®, warfarin anticoagulants like Coumadin®, fish oil supplements, and others. Your doctor also may ask you to stop taking herbal supplements and drinking caffeine. Usually, these medications should be stopped 7 days before surgery.
  1. If you smoke, talk with your doctor about ways to quit before your surgery. Nicotine increases your risk of surgical complications and may delay healing. Your physician can help you find a smoking cessation program that is right for you.
  2. If you are overweight or obese, try to lose weight before your hip arthroscopy. Excess weight puts added pressure on your joint and can delay recovery. 
  1. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the procedure. Fasting helps reduce the nausea that anesthesia may cause. If your doctor says that it is okay to take certain medication on the day of surgery, take it with just a small sip of water. 
  1. Wear loose clothing on the day of your surgery to make it easier to get dressed afterward. 
  1. You should take a bath or shower before you arrive for your surgery, but do not apply any lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish. Do not shave the surgical site yourself. If your doctor provided a special soap, use it to thoroughly clean the hip and surrounding area on the morning of the procedure. 
  1. Remove all jewelry, including piercings, and take out contact lenses, if you have them. 
  1. Arrange for a ride to and from the procedure. You will not be able to drive yourself home, and your doctor likely will limit driving for a certain period of time after the surgery. In addition, if you are given any narcotics for pain management, you should not drive or operate machinery as they can impair your judgment. 

Following your arthroscopic hip surgery, the surgical dressings may be removed as early as a week after surgery. It takes 4-6 months for the joint to recover, and a physical therapy rehabilitation program will likely be recommended to help speed your recovery and protect future joint function.

Questions to ask before your arthroscopic surgery Following surgery, these are some questions you may want to ask your surgeon*: 

  1. How is the surgery done?
  • What type of anesthesia will I receive? 
  1. How many of hip arthroscopic surgeries have you done?
  • What is your success rate?
  1. Are there any risks or complications from having hip arthroscopy?
  1. How can I get my home ready before I even go to the hospital?
  • How much help will I need when I come home?
  • How can I make my home safer for me?
  • How can I make my home easier to get around?
  • How can I make it easier for myself in the bathroom and shower?
  • What type of supplies will I need when I get home?
  • Do I need to rearrange my home?
  • What should I do if there are steps that go to my bedroom or bathroom?
  • Do I need a hospital bed? 
  1. What precautions do I need to take after my surgery?
  • Will I need to use crutches, a cane, or a walker after I go home?
  • How much walking can I do?
  • Do I need to be careful about how I sit or move around?
  • Are there any things that I cannot do?
  • Will I be able to walk without pain? How far?
  1. How long will it take me to recover?
  • How soon can I resume sports and other activities like golf, swimming, tennis, or hiking? 
  1. Will I have pain or other medicines when I go home?
  • How often and how long should I take them? 
  1. How do I take care of my surgical wound?  
  • How often should I change the dressing? How do I wash the wound?
  • What should my wound look like? What wound problems do I need to watch out for?
  • When and how do the sutures and staples come out?
  • Can I take a shower or soak in the bathtub?
  • When can I see my dentist and do I need to take antibiotics before a dental procedure? 

Dr. Abdurrahman Kandil of Stone Springs Orthopedics can answer all of your questions regarding diagnosis hip issues, surgical options, and pre- and post-op instructions. You can call the practice at (703) 665-2720 or schedule an appointment online via the button below. He is currently welcoming new patients.

Book An Appointment Online with Dr. Kandil