Hip Replacement Alternative: One Patient’s Hip Arthroscopy Disaster

By /

hip replacement alternative

Is hip arthroscopy a hip replacement alternative? One of the patients I saw this week in clinic is in her late 30s and has now had two of these surgeries on one hip. I’ve been seeing her for chronic spine issues for years, but last year she had hip MRIs that showed labral tears and mild arthritis. She is a former physical therapist who wanted to get hip arthroscopy done because she was told she had “FAI” or hip impingement. She had the surgery on her left hip, which failed, so she doubled down for a second. This hip is now a mess. The anchors they put in to hold the labral tissue they tried to tack back to the hip socket caused osteolysis. This means that she had an allergic reaction to the material and the bone in that area died off. What’s left of the labrum is now mush and she has advanced to moderate hip arthritis. What’s worse is that she also has a pelvic fracture that despite being on crutches for three months didn’t heal, which presumably is also from the surgery. What’s next for this poor woman? If she doesn’t have an infection requiring six weeks of IV antibiotics and a surgery, the plan is to remove the anchors in a third surgery which will also remove most of what’s left of the labrum, resulting in a frankly unstable hip joint. My guess is that her fourth surgery will be a hip replacement, which will happen well before she’s in her mid forties.

The upshot? I’ve been very critical that we have sparse high level evidence that operating on the hip labrum in most patients is a good idea. In addition, this is a big surgery with big hip arthroscopy complications that are tough to navigate when things go wrong, just ask this poor woman. My guess is that once we investigate hip arthroscopy results in the same way we’ve studied knee arthroscopy, we’ll find that the results aren’t as good as we think they are.

Learn about Regenexx procedures for hip conditions.

If you have questions or comments about this blog post, please email us at [email protected]

NOTE: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

Get Blog Updates by Email

By submitting the form, you are agreeing that you read and consent to our Privacy Policy. We may also contact you via email, phone, and other electronic means to communicate information about our products and services. We do not sell, or share your information to third party vendors.

Category: Hip
Copyright © Regenexx 2021. All rights reserved.



9035 Wadsworth Pkwy #1000
Westminster, CO 80021


*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.

Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.