Hip Instability


What is hip instability?

Hip instability may be traumatic or chronic in nature.

Traumatic instability ranges in severity from a major dislocation to a more subtle hip subluxation (hip joint sliding out of place, but immediately re-establishing the correct position on its own). Traumatic hip instability usually occurs from motor vehicle accidents and athletic mishaps. These injuries often cause damage to the femoral head, labrum and cartilage, and can also result in the formation of loose bodies within the hip joint which can cause pain.

Chronic instability may be congenital, where the person is born with a hip problem, as well as long-term overuse of the hip joint.

how is hip instability treated?

If a patient has failed conservative treatment measures, including physiotherapy, hip surgery may be considered. Hip arthroscopy is frequently capable of addressing the causes of hip instability, as well as any damage after a traumatic instability event.

Specifically, the hip capsule and ligaments surrounding the joint can be tightened arthroscopically to give the hip greater stability, known as a capsular plication. This involves suturing the ligaments around the joint arthroscopically in order to give the hip greater stability.

Hip arthroscopy is usually an outpatient procedure, with minimal pain. The usual postoperative course involves 2 weeks in a hip brace and 2 weeks on crutches to protect the work done on the hip. A brace may be required for 6 weeks, and crutches may be required for up to 8 weeks if the hip’s condition requires a more extensive surgery. Most patients begin riding a stationary bicycle and begin physical therapy the day after surgery. Patients can return to work as soon as a 2-3 days after their procedure, depending on their work type. Athletes can expect to return to sports between 3-6 months after surgery. High-level athletes participate in an intense physical therapy course after surgery, gradually increasing their workout intensity.