Your doctor may recommend hip arthroscopy if you have a painful condition that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment. Nonsurgical treatment includes rest, physical therapy, and medications or injections that can reduce inflammation.

Hip arthroscopy may relieve painful symptoms of many problems that damage the labrum, articular cartilage, or other soft tissues surrounding the joint. Although this damage can result from an injury, other orthopedic conditions can lead to these problems, including:

1. Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), a disorder in which extra bone develops along the acetabulum (pincer impingement) or on the femoral head (cam impingement). This bone overgrowth can damage the soft tissues of the hip during movement, particularly the articular cartilage. Sometimes bone spurs develop in both the acetabulum and femoral head, and osteoarthritis can develop.

2. Hip Labrum Tears.

3. Dysplasia, a condition in which the hip socket is abnormally shallow. This puts more stress on the labrum to keep the femoral head within the socket and makes the labrum more susceptible to tearing. The surgeon takes great care during arthroscopy of a dysplastic joint, as joint instability can develop after surgery.

4. Snapping hip syndromes, which cause a tendon to rub across the outside of the joint. This type of snapping or popping is often harmless and does not need treatment. In some cases, however, the tendon is damaged from the repeated rubbing and benefits from surgery.

5. Synovitis, which causes the tissues that surround the joint to become inflamed.

6. Loose bodies, fragments of bone or cartilage that become loose and move around within the joint.

7. Hip joint infection.

8. Tendon ruptures or disorders involving the hamstrings, or gluteus medius or minimus muscles.

9. Other sources of hip impingement that are not in the actual hip joint (ischiofemoral impingement).

10. Sciatic nerve compression by the hip/hamstring.

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