Hip ArthroscopyDr. Kostas Economopoulos
“Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat several disorders by placing a small camera into the hip and using instruments the size of a pen. The procedure can be performed through 2 or 3 poke holes in the skin rather than making a large incision. The surgery can be done on an outpatient basis and due to its minimally invasive nature, allows patients to return to sport and other activities quickly. Hip arthroscopy is a relatively new procedure and only a few people in Arizona are performing the surgery. Currently, I am the only orthopaedic surgeon in Arizona to have completed a concentrated fellowship in hip arthroscopy.
The most common disorders treated with hip arthroscopy are femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) and tears of the hip labrum. FAI is a condition where the hip is misshaped which can lead to injuries inside the hip and possibly early arthritis. The labrum acts like an “O” ring around the hip socket and can be injured or torn due to FAI or other traumatic events to the hip. Tears of the labrum may lead to disabling groin pain in athletes.
FAI is a common issue in young athletes causing them to miss playing time. There is a high prevalence of FAI in athletes participating in sports such as soccer, football, hockey and rugby. Other activities such as running and ballet can also lead to injuries inside the hip such as labral tears which can be treated with hip arthroscopy. Due to the minimal invasive nature of hip arthroscopy, athletes can return to action earlier than if they were treated with open surgery.
My interest in hip arthroscopy stems from my background in general surgery, sports hernias and groin injuries in athletes. Groin pain in athletes is becoming a more common problem, and to be an effective sports medicine surgeon, I felt I needed to be able to treat FAI appropriately. I have spent the past 6 months in a fellowship focusing on hip arthroscopy and FAI. I look forward to returning to Phoenix and focusing on sports hip injuries in addition to other aspects of sports medicine.”