Bumps in Hip Surgery

Hip arthroscopy complications occur in 7 percent of procedures

(RxWiki News) Arthroscopy of the hip doesn't involve much cutting into the skin or joint. But going under the knife, even for a minor hip procedure, is not without its risks.

About 7 percent of minor hip surgeries had some kind of complication, according to a new study presented at a conference.

Though the findings have not yet been peer-reviewed, the rate was higher than reported in previous studies, researchers said. The study is the first of its kind to measure complications in all hip arthroscopies.

"Know the risks before getting hip surgery."

Researchers led by Christopher Larson, MD, of the Minnesota Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Institute in Minneapolis, wanted to find how many complications occurred after hip arthroscopy.

The procedure involves a small incision made into the skin, with a camera then inserted into the hip joint. The arthroscope also treats damaged parts of the hip.

The study included more than 500 patients who had hip procedures between January 2011 and April 2012. Patients averaged about 32 years of age and were treated at three different institutions.

Researchers noted whether patients had the surgery before, why they needed surgery and patients' demographic information.

Most of the surgeries were primary hip arthroscopies, or a patient's first hip surgery. Only 41 surgeries were revision, or additional, hip arthroscopies.

Researchers found that 7.2 percent of hip surgeries had some kind of complication, which is higher than the 1.5 percent reported in earlier studies.

The most common complication was sensory disturbance in the operated leg. About 23 percent of the surgeries had sensory disturbance, which was primarily detected during physical examinations rather than by the patients themselves.

Gender, body weight and whether the surgery was primary or a revision did not impact the number of complications.

"The overall complication rate after hip arthroscopy was 7.2 percent and higher than previously reported in the literature," researchers wrote in their report. "This rate of complications is in line with complication rates after open surgical dislocation using the same classification system."

The study is the first of its kind to assess how common complications were in all arthroscopic hip surgeries, according to the researchers.

The study, which has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal, was presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Specialty Day in Chicago.

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Review Date: 
March 24, 2013