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Hip Pincer Resection

What is a Hip Pincer Resection?

Hip pincer resection, also known as acetabuloplasty, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to treat abnormalities in the socket of the hip joint to provide space for normal hip movement.

Anatomy of the Hip

The hip joint is a weight-bearing, ball-and-socket joint in which the head of the femur forms the ball, and the pelvic acetabulum forms the socket. The bone surfaces in the joint are covered by smooth articular cartilage that acts as a cushion and enables smooth movement of the joint. The bones are held together by several bands of tissue called ligaments which provide stability to the joint.

Bony irregularities on the femoral head or the acetabulum can restrict hip movement and lead to cartilage loss. This is called femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) or hip impingement. If the irregularities are present only in the acetabulum it is called pincer impingement. These bony overgrowths are usually present on the rim of the socket leading to over coverage of the joint and impingement.

Indications for Hip Pincer Resection

Hip pincer resection is mainly indicated to treat pincer impingement that results in pain and restricts hip movement. It commonly occurs due to growth abnormalities, bone disease, or overuse from sports activities that involve repetitive hip movements. 

Procedure for Hip Pincer Resection

Hip pincer resection is usually performed as a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure:

  • The procedure may be performed under general or regional anesthesia.
  • A few small incisions will be made over the hip joint.
  • An arthroscopic instrument with a camera at one end along with miniature instruments is inserted through the incisions into the hip joint.
  • The camera helps visualize the inside of the joint.
  • Your doctor will remove the abnormal bony growth on the acetabulum causing impingement.
  • All instruments are then removed and the incisions will be closed with sutures.

Post-procedure Instructions of Hip Pincer Resection

You will usually be discharged home on the same day. Post-procedure instructions for hip pincer resection include:

  • You will need to use crutches for about 3-8 weeks.
  • You will be advised to wear a brace to protect the healing joint.
  • Physical therapy is recommended soon after the procedure to strengthen muscles and improve movement.

Risks and Complications of Hip Pincer Resection

Risks and complications associated with hip pincer resection include:

  • Nerve damage
  • Bleeding
  • Iatrogenic instability of the hip joint due to over-resection 
  • AAOS
  • ABOS
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