Articular Cartilage Damage in the Hip
The joints of the human body can become injured through trauma associated with sporting accidents, overuse, or as a result of degenerative changes. While certain structures within the hip joint may be capable of healing (either naturally or with the help of surgery), articular cartilage is one such structure that is thought to be largely incapable of repairing itself once damaged. Articular cartilage is the soft tissue that covers and protects the joint and allows for a smooth and gliding movement. If the cartilage is damaged or if it begins to degenerate, flaps of cartilage may catch in the joint causing pain and further progression of the injury. Eventually, the cartilage damage may leave exposed bone resulting in grinding with pain, stiffness, and an abnormal, abrasive surface that does not glide smoothly.
In recent years, orthopedic surgeons have advanced the area of cartilage treatment in the hip. These procedures are intended to help prevent further injury to the cartilage or to restore damaged areas. One such procedure is known as chondroplasty, which helps smooth out irregular shaped cartilage and removal of any loose flaps. Orthopedic hip surgeon, Dr. Robert Boykin specializes in treating articular cartilage damage for patients living in Asheville, Arden, Fletcher and surrounding communities.
Hip Chondroplasty Overview
Arthroscopic chondroplasty is a procedure that Dr. Boykin performs on patients who have articular cartilage injuries without exposed bony surfaces. Using several small incisions, Dr. Boykin will be able to assess the locations of damaged cartilage through the use of a tiny camera that is inserted into the joint. This guides him to find the damaged areas and using small surgical tools, he then smoothes the irregular areas and removes the loose pieces of cartilage. This particular approach is successful in patients with small, partial thickness conditions where the damage has not yet reached the bone itself.
Recovery Following Hip Chondroplasty
Following a guided and progressive physical therapy program (post-op), many patients are able to resume normal activities with minimal pain. In certain patients who are found to have exposed bone from loss of cartilage on one side of the hip (femoral or acetabular) with good intact surrounding cartilage, they may be a candidate for a microfracture procedure.
For more information on arthroscopic hip surgery, including chondroplasty of the hip, please contact the office of Dr. Robert Boykin, orthopedic hip specialist serving patients in Asheville, Arden, Fletcher and surrounding North Carolina communities.