In fact, the keyhole procedure, known as arthroscopic surgery, is often inappropriate in any patient who is aged over 60 or has arthritis.
The rate of hip arthroscopies increased by 600 per cent between 2006 and 2010 in the US alone, and it’s easy to see why: it’s not invasive and it can be carried out on an outpatient basis so a hospital stay isn’t even necessary.
But it doesn’t always solve the problem, say researchers from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. They tracked the outcomes of 7,351 keyhole procedures carried out in Florida and California, and found that more than 35 per cent that had been performed on patients who were aged between 60 and 69 were unsuccessful, and a hip replacement was needed within two years. Arthritis and obesity were other complications, which also increased the failure rate.
(Source: Arthroscopy, 2016; 32: 587)