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With synovitis of the hip, the synovium (lining of the joint) is inflamed (painful and swollen). With arthritis, a large amount of the articular cartilage (firm tissue covering the “ball” and “socket” of the hip) is damaged. Using only small incisions and special instruments, arthroscopy can repair synovitis and arthritis.
Just before surgery, you may be asked several times which hip is to be treated. This is a standard safety measure. In the operating room, you will likely receive general anesthesia to make you sleep.
After you receive anesthesia, your leg is gently pulled to distract, or widen, the hip joint. Next, the surgeon makes a few small incisions called portals. Through these portals, he or she inserts surgical tools, including the arthroscope. The arthroscope sends images of the joint to a video screen. These images allow the surgeon to look inside the joint. The joint is filled with sterile fluid to help the surgeon see more clearly.
For synovitis, part of the damaged synovium is removed. This may be done by shaving tissue using arthroscopic instruments. For arthritis, the loose or torn cartilage is removed, or it may be smoothed with a shaver. Arthritis can lead to bone spurs. If bone spurs are present, they may be removed. Once the surgeon finishes the procedure, the portals are closed and bandaged. Then you are taken to the recovery room.
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