Vale Healthcare surgeons lead pioneering hip surgery

A complex procedure designed to correct abnormalities in the hip joint can now be treated using minimally invasive surgery and on a day-case basis. Usually requiring painful and traumatic open surgery with a stay in hospital overnight to receive pain relief, patients can now be discharged soon after undergoing the innovative keyhole surgery known as Hip Arthroscopy. 

Orthopaedic Consultants based at Vale Healthcare say this procedure has revolutionised hip care and two practicing surgeons based at the Cardiff Bay Clinic have been trained directly by Dr Damien Griffin, the surgeon who pioneered this technique.  Mr Phill Thomas, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Mr Stephen Jones, Specialist Adult Hip Surgeon are the first and only surgeons offering Hip Arthroscopy in South Wales, with just a handful of other surgeons performing this surgery across the UK.    

The advanced technique is designed specifically at treating younger adults, rather than older patients who are traditionally treated for severe arthritis. Most commonly it is used to target problems relating to the soft tissues around the hip in active sportsmen and women, who have developed abnormal hip growth during adolescence, but which have come to fruition as a result of their high levels of physical activity.

Hip Arthroscopy is not a widely available technique because it requires specialist equipment and operating instrumentation. By using the unique equipment these surgeons can achieve safe access into the hip joint via keyhole surgery. This means that just two to three small incisions are made (measuring half a centimetre in length),which is much less traumatic than undergoing an open surgery procedure. Through one cut a miniature video camera is inserted on the pencil-sized arthroscope and through the other instruments to examine and operate on the problem. Due to the deep-seated, inaccessible nature and anatomy of the hip joint, it can be difficult to master.

For more information on Vale Healthcare’s Hip Consultants or specialist private Hip Clinic, visit


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