Hip Arthroscopy FAQ

Are there any medications I can take for my hip? 

The medication most commonly taken for hip pain are anti inflammatories such as Ibuprofen, Diclofenac and Naproxen. Sometimes people report benefits from supplements such as glucosamine tablets. Unfortunately, most pain medication only seems to take the edges off the pain and does not provide a cure.

How long do I need time of work?

This depends on the type of work. Office work can in principle be resumed within a week after the surgery, but you should bear in mind that time is required to do the rehabilitation exercises. If your work involves extensive driving, then it is advised to wait until you come off the crutches, usually around 4 weeks postoperatively. More heavy manual work can usually be resumed between 6 to 8 weeks postoperatively.

How long do I have to be on crutches?

Following labral debridement and decompression of an impingement lesion, patient are advised to use crutches for 2 to 4 weeks. Following a labral repair, crutches are used for 4 weeks and following microfracture, patients are advised to remain on crutches for 6 weeks.

What happens with an MRI arthrogram or steroid injection of the hip?

You will be asked to sit or lie down on an x-ray table. You may be given a shot of anesthesia medicine to numb the area around your joint. A long, thin needle will be put into your joint space. Your caregiver may use fluoroscopy to guide him when inserting the needle. Joint fluid may be removed, and a small amount of contrast dye is injected into your joint. The dye will help your caregiver see that he is in the right area. Once the needle is in the right area of your joint space, more dye will be injected.

After the dye is given into your joint space, the needle is removed. You may be asked to move your joint around to help the dye coat your whole joint. Fluoroscopic x-rays may then be taken. If an MRI or CT scan will be done, you may be moved to another room. You will need to stay very still while the pictures are being taken of your joint. Patients can expect to feel some discomfort with this procedure. It is quite normal that the hip feels stiff the day after the injection.

When do I need to be referred?

The 2 main reasons for referral are: pain and not being able to do the activities that are important for you. This is very individual and for some patients it only affects their sports activities, whilst others experience pain and functional problems with daily life activities. If we grade pain from 0 to 10, 10 being the worst possible pain, then most people have surgery with a pain level around 7 to 8.

Can the pain subside without surgery?

Hip pain is usually activity related and some patients can have improvement with a reduction or abortion of the physical/ aggravating activities and intake of medication. There is a high probability, however, that this will only reduce symptoms in the short run and the pain gradually will become more permanent.
Steroid injections of the hip can improve the pain symptoms, but the effect is usually only temporarily.

I have a problem in one hip, will I require surgery for my other hip as well?

Currently 1 in 6 patients have surgery on both hips.

When can I drive?

It depends on the side that you are operated on and type of car you drive. If you are operated on your left side and drive an automatic car, you can start driving 48 h after your general anesthetic. It is important that you should be able to make an emergency stop if required, without damaging the operated hip. If you are operated on the right side or don’t have an automatic car the advice is usually to wait for about 2 to 3 weeks before starting driving.

When do I start with physiotherapy?

Patients are provided with a detailed rehabilitation program that covers the first 7 weeks. Most people start around 2 weeks after the operation, but it is advisable to see your physiotherapist before the surgery to run through the program.

When can I pick up my children?

Lifting is allowed from the moment patients come off their crutches.

How long do I need to stay in the hospital?

The majority of patients stay overnight following a hip arthroscopy but some have the procedure as a day case.

When can I have sex?

Sexual Intercourse can be resumed at any time as long as it is comfortable. Similar to the rehab exercise we advice patients to avoid movements that cause pain or discomfort. If you are a male, you want to avoid hyperextension (bending the hip backwards) of the hip in the first few weeks. Women want to avoid too much abduction and flexion (bending) of the hip in the early postoperative stage. Several back pain website discuss comfortable positions during intercourse.

Credits & Documentation references