I had a surgery called "micofracture" for a hole in my knee joint. Worked great. Found out I have a similar hole in my opposite hip. Going to see the surgeon next month. If I have this done on my hip, what's the recovery time like?
Defects, holes, or lesions of the articular cartilage (surface of the joint) can be treated with the surgical procedure you referred to and known as microfracture. The surgeon creates tiny holes in the surface of the joint at the site of the problem area. Blood seeps through from the bone marrow and stimulates a healing response. This technique has been used for the knee and is starting to be used for the hip as well.
Postoperative rehab protocols have not been fully developed since this is a fairly new procedure. But the published studies done so far are using the same principles as with knee microfracture.
Patients are kept on a continuous passive motion (CPM) device for the short time they remain in the hospital. This is usually 24 to 48 hours. The application of cold is also continued until discharge from the hospital to home.
You would most likely see a physical therapist right away in the hospital. You won't be allowed to put any weight on that leg for the first six weeks while healing gets started. Range of motion exercises for the hip and leg are followed by exercises to improve strength. Six weeks after surgery, you will begin to put partial weight on the leg and gradually increase to full weight-bearing over a period of 10 to 14 days.
Current programs in place keep patients in therapy for three months. Gradually over time the program is progressed to work on endurance and coordination. You can expect to regain full motion, strength, and function during that period of time. Hopefully, the procedure will be successful and you will be pain free as well!
Shanmugam Karthikeyan, MBBS, MRCS, et al. Microfracture for Acetabular Chondral Defects in Patients with Femoroacetabular Impingement. Results at Second-Look Arthroscopic Surgery. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. December 2012. Vol. 40. No. 12. Pp. 2725-2730.
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