Diagnosis and treatment of intra-articular hip problems in young patients present a challenge to hip surgeons. Previous studies have demonstrated that non-invasive investigations such as radiographs, computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provide limited help. Non-operative treatment is most likely to result in persistent symptoms and surgical options for hip intra-articular problems involve open arthrotomy of the hip joint, which carries potential risks associated with joint dislocation. Arthroscopy of the hip joint, therefore, appears to be an attractive option. It was once thought that introduction of a straight arthroscope into the ball-and-socket hip joint was almost impossible. Hip arthroscopy has seen several advances since then and, the speed at which it developed in the recent years directly corresponded to the rate at which the conditions affecting the hip joint were identified. Athletes and other young individuals with hip injuries are increasingly being diagnosed with ever evolving series of conditions. Many of these conditions were previously unrecognised and, thus, left untreated resulting in premature ending of their competitive careers. Hip arthroscopy, as any procedure, is not without risks. The procedure is not widely available as it requires much specialist equipment and takes a long time to learn. Complications are few, occurring in less than 5% of patients.
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