What is arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a procedure that allows your orthopedic surgeon to look at and repair problems inside a joint. The procedure can be used to diagnose joint problems, perform surgery or monitor disease. The procedure is often used to treat knee, hip, wrist, ankle and shoulder injuries.

How does it work?

During arthroscopy your doctor will insert a camera into your joint. Images will then be displayed on screens for your orthopedic surgeon to see as he works with small surgical tools. The surgical equipment used in arthroscopy is particularly small, which means that the incisions made in the body will be small, less painful, and will heal much quicker than those made in traditional open surgery.

When do you need hip arthroscopy?

New technology has now made the practice of arthroscopy possible on the hip. In hip arthroscopy, orthopedic surgeons are able to view the acetabulofemoral joint and various conditions can be treated and repaired with a minimally invasive approach.

The following conditions can be treated with hip arthroscopy:

  • Femoroacetabular impingement
    Bone spurs cause damage around the socket or femoral head.
  • Dysplasia
    The socket is too shallow and can cause the labrum to tear.
  • Snapping hip syndrome
    This condition causes tendons to rub the outside of the joint, causing tendon injuries.
  • Synovitis
    This condition causes the inflammation of joints.

How do I prepare for hip arthroscopy?

Your orthopedic surgeon will conduct a thorough physical examination and order XR’s and most probably an MRI scan before considering surgery. During the surgery, your leg will be placed in traction so that your hip is pulled far enough away from the socket for your surgeon to insert the relevant instruments, and perform the procedure.

How long will recovery take?

Recovery will depend on the severity of your injury, as well as your personal condition. Speak to your orthopedic surgeon about rehabilitation, physical therapy, and any lifestyle changes that might be required.


Dr Gabriel Pirjol is based at St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban and also consults and operates from Gateway Hospital in Umhlanga, Westville Hospital and Malvern Medicross.


Telephone : +27 31 202 5463

Email : reception@durbanorthopaedicsurgery.co.za

Address : Suite 24 Chelmsford Medical Centre
St Augustine's Hospital
107 J B Marks Road
Berea, 4001