Hip Arthroscopy Risks

Your surgeon may recommend a hip arthroscopy to gather more information about your hip, or to perform arthroscopic (keyhole) procedures to improve your symptoms. Most people who undergo a hip arthroscopy do not have any complications however, any surgical procedure carries some risks. Some of these risks are seriousso, it is important to consider this with your surgeon before making the decision to proceed. If you are having a having a therapeutic procedure at the same time as your arthroscopy (ega labral repair) you will need to talk to your surgeon about the specific risks associated with that procedure.

It is important to remember that even when surgery is performed perfectly and there are no complications, there is no guarantee that pain or symptoms will be completely relieved following hip arthroscopy or that they will not recur.

The hip will be painful after the procedure but pain killers will be given to reduce this as much as possible.

Other less common risks (affecting 2-5% of patients) include:

  • Transient Leg or Groin Numbness or Weakness
    The skin around the hip/leg may become numb and the muscles become weak as the nerves around the hip can be pushed on or stretched during the procedure. This is nearly always temporary and usually resolves with time without treatment
  • Heterotopic Ossification
    This means the formation of bone in the soft tissues around the hip. In many cases, this causes no problems but occasionally, the abnormal bone can cause pain and problems with hip function. In extreme cases, further surgery may be required. The risk of this depends on what kind of arthroscopic procedure is performed and your surgeon may recommend a medication to reduce the risk of developing heterotopic ossification

Rare risks (affecting less than 1% of patients) include:

  • Infection
    The wound sites may become red, painful and hot. There may also be a discharge. These are signs of infection and can usually be treated by antibiotics. The infection may spread to the hip joint itself, requiring a washout surgery, or to the blood (sepsis) requiring intravenous antibiotics
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
    A DVT is a blood clot, usually in the calf/leg. They can cause swelling and pain. Very rarely may they travel to the lungs (a PE) and cause a serious medical emergency
  • Damage to the Structures Within or Around the Hip
    This is rare, but may cause further damage and symptoms. This may need further treatment including another operation. This could include damage to bones, nerves, blood vessels or the joint surface and may occur at the time of surgery or following the surgery
  • Abnormal Wound Healing
    The scars may become thick, red and painful (keloid scar). This is more common in in patients of certain races. There may also be delayed healing or wound oozing