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Failed Hip Arthroscopy FAQs

What is hip arthroscopy?

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves inserting a small camera (arthroscope) and specialized instruments into the hip joint through small incisions. It is used to diagnose and treat various hip conditions, such as labral tears, femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), and hip joint cartilage damage. Hip arthroscopy is usually successful at providing favorable outcomes in most diagnoses. However, there is a portion on patients that experience inferior outcomes, particularly those with a diagnosis of femoroacetabular impingement.

A failed hip arthroscopy is typically defined as a situation where the procedure does not lead to the expected improvement in symptoms or the resolution of the underlying hip issue. This could be due to persistent or recurrent symptoms including pain, limited range of motion, or the development of new problems after the surgery.

  • Incorrect diagnosis: If the underlying issue is not accurately identified before the surgery, the procedure may not effectively address the problem. The solution is a hip surgeon who is board-certified and has significant experience in the diagnosis and treat of hip conditions, and hip arthroscopy.
  • Incomplete treatment: Sometimes, the surgeon may not be able to fully address all aspects of the hip problem during the procedure, leading to lingering symptoms.
  • Complications: Surgical complications such as infection, nerve damage, or blood vessel injury can contribute to a failed outcome.
  • Patient factors: Pre-existing osteoarthritis and older age are the most frequently reported risk factors related to a less favorable outcome after hip arthroscopy. However, patients with bone spurs, hip impingement and hip instability are also high-risk groups for failed hip arthroscopy.
  • Post-operative complications including adhesions and cartilage injuries can be the cause of residual or recurrent symptoms. Some patients with labral tears may have recurrent symptoms after hip arthroscopy. Instability can also occur after primary hip arthroscopy.
  • Underlying structural issues: Some patients may have complex or severe hip problems that cannot be adequately addressed through arthroscopy alone. Patients with hip impingement may have residual boney impingement that causes similar symptoms to those presented for hip arthroscopy.
  • Post-surgery rehabilitation: Inadequate adherence to post-operative rehabilitation guidelines can impact the success of the procedure.

Symptoms of a failed hip arthroscopy can vary, but they might include persistent hip pain, limited range of motion, instability, clicking or locking sensations, and a lack of improvement in the original symptoms that led to the surgery.

If you suspect that your hip arthroscopy has failed, it’s important to consult with your orthopedic surgeon. They will likely conduct a thorough evaluation, which may include imaging studies, physical examinations, and possibly additional diagnostic procedures, to determine the cause of your persistent symptoms.

Treatment options depend on the specific issues that are causing the failure. This could involve revisiting non-surgical treatments, undergoing a second arthroscopy, or considering other surgical interventions, such as a hip replacement.

In some cases, a second hip arthroscopy can be successful, especially if the underlying issues are better understood and the surgeon is experienced in handling complex cases. However, the success rate for revision arthroscopies may be lower compared to initial procedures.

To reduce the risk of a failed outcome, it’s important to have a thorough discussion with your surgeon about your expectations and surgical goals. Additionally, a complete pre-operative evaluation can ensure an accurate diagnosis. Choosing an experienced and skilled surgeon, like the ones at LALL Orthopedics + can help to ensure accurate diagnosis, and treatment outcomes. Adhering to post-operative rehabilitation guidelines can improve outcomes.

If you are experiencing persistent symptoms or have concerns about the outcome of your hip arthroscopy, it’s a good idea to seek a second opinion from another qualified orthopedic surgeon. A fresh perspective can provide valuable insights into your situation.

If you have symptoms consistent with failed hip arthroscopy, schedule a hip consultation with LALL Orthopedics +. LALL Orthopedics + is led by renowned hip surgeon Dr. Ajay C. Lall. Dr. Lall is a former dual sport NCAA collegiate athlete (football and track & field), American board certified, triple fellowship-trained expert orthopedic surgeon. LALL Orthopedics + specializes in the treatment of failed hip arthroscopy.

LALL Orthopedics + has offices in New Jersey, New York City,Philadelphia, PA,Illinois and Fort Lauderdale, FL.

At a Glance

Ajay C. Lall, MD, MS, FAAOS

  • Board Certified – Orthopedic Surgery
  • Triple Fellowship Trained
  • Performs over 750 Surgeries Per Year
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