The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on arthroscopic femoro-acetabular surgery for hip impingement syndrome.

This document replaces previous guidance on arthroscopic femoro–acetabular surgery for hip impingement syndrome (NICE interventional procedures guidance 213, March 2007).


Hip impingement syndrome is caused by unwanted contact between abnormally shaped parts of the head of the thigh bone and the hip socket. This results in limited hip movement and pain. The aim of  femoro–acetabular surgery is to improve range of movement and reduce pain. It is believed that it may also help prevent hip arthritis in later life. With the patient under general anaesthesia, a special camera (called an arthroscope) is inserted into the hip joint through a small incision. Using instruments inserted through one or two additional incisions, the surgeon removes some of the cartilage or bone, with the aim of reshaping the joint surface. Unlike open surgery, in arthroscopic surgery the hip joint does not need to be dislocated, and recovery is thought to be quicker.

Coding recommendations

This procedure cannot be expressed in the OPCS-4 classification by a single code. Procedures could vary for each patient depending on the nature of the condition, and these would be coded on a case by case basis based on the specific procedures carried out.

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