Hip Arthroscopy Instructions

Print Discharge Instructions (Word doc)

What is a Hip Arthroscopy?

A hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure, which provides the doctor with a clear interior view of the hip joint. This can help with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the hip. The procedure is performed by placing an instrument, known as an arthroscope, into the hip joint through two to three small ¼ inch incisions.


You may feel somewhat dizzy or sleepy even after surgery. For the remainder of the day try to rest as much as possible. Anesthetic agents can remain in one’s body for up to 24 hours. As a result you should not operate heavy machinery, drive a motor vehicle, consume alcohol, or make any important business decisions for 24 hours.


You will be given a prescription for pain medication either in your doctor’s office prior to the surgery or before you are discharged home from the hospital. Take your medication as directed. Your doctor may have prescribed an anticoagulant for you to take. If so follow and take this medication as directed. It is common to have swelling for several weeks after surgery. Use an ice pack on your hip frequently during the day for the first two to three days after surgery. When using ice it is very important not to place ice directly on the skin. Place a facecloth between the ice pack and your skin. In order to reduce swelling: rest frequently during the day. This should be done lying down. Your first 48 hours should be spent off your feet as much as possible.

It is completely normal to feel water in your hip; it may even make a gurgling sound when you bend it. This is left over irrigation solution from surgery, which will eventually be reabsorbed.

Occasionally, patients may experience a strained or numb feeling in the groin or ankle. This can occur due to the traction used during the procedure or from the numbing medicine (local anesthesia) given during surgery. This feeling will eventually subside.


Change your dressing in 48 hours. Replace with a large square band-aide. Make sure to wash your hands before and after changing your dressing. If there is oozing from the incision, keep it covered with gauze pads. You should keep the incision covered until your follow up appointment with your doctor. If steri-strips where placed on the incision do not remove, eventually these will fall off or you can peel them off after two weeks. If your incision was sutured, the stitches will be removed in the office during your follow up visit, which should be scheduled in 7-10 days.


You may shower after two days. Do Not scrub the wounds; allow the water to rinse over the incisions. Pat the incisions clean and dry, and then apply a large square band-aide. You may take a bath in seven days.

Crutch Walking:

You will need to use crutches for balance until your leg strength returns. You may put as much weight as tolerated on your leg.


Be aware of when your leg feels increasingly sore or swollen and take time out to rest. Returning to sports will be discussed in the office with your doctor.


To be able to start driving after surgery you should no longer require narcotic pain medication. If it was your right leg: you should also have no pain and strong leg control (meaning without crutches or a limp). If it was your left leg: you should be off any narcotic pain medication before driving. Generally three days after surgery or as comfort allows.

Notify your doctor if any of the following occur:

• You have excessive drainage from the hip.

• You have increased redness, warmth and/or pus around the incisions.

• You have a fever greater than 101 degrees.

• You have severe pain or swelling in your hip and/or leg.

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