Cheilectomy: Purpose, Procedure and Possible Complications

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A cheilectomy, also referred to as an arthroscopic cheilectomy, is a surgical procedure done to reduce decrease the chance of development of arthritis. It is typically performed after a hip impingement is found through diagnostic tests such as imaging. If this hip impingement is causing significant pain or if it is expected to cause significant pain this procedure may be performed. Hip impingements may occur due to trauma, overuse or age-related degeneration.

Purpose of This Procedure

The purpose of this surgical procedure is to alleviate pain by repairing any hip impingements as well as any associated damage. These impingement are most often found through an imaging technique called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Patients will most likely get an MRI after experiencing significant pain. This procedure may also help to alleviate abductor, psoas and sacroiliaca tenderness.

Procedure Description

Patients undergoing a cheilectomy will receive general anesthesia before their operation. A mounted camera and monitor will be used during the procedure to allow the surgeon to see what they are doing. During the procedure incisions will be made to insert the camera as well as any applicable surgical instruments and then any hip impingements will be removed. After the surgery, the patient will receive pain medication and most patients will stay in the hospital overnight for observation and continued pain control.

Possible Complications

Because this is a surgical procedure certain complications can occur. Patients may develop an infection or their incisions may not heal properly. In less common cases, the patient’s pain may actually be increased. Since anesthesia is used there is also a chance that patients may have adverse or allergic reaction to the medications used.


After patients are released from the hospital they will be provided with pain medication and will need to take it easy for about two weeks. At the two week mark patients will often begin physical therapy. After three months and after twelve months they will need to follow-up with their doctor. Most patients do well with this surgery and notice a significant decrease in their pain.


Eira. (2009). Cheilectomy. Retrieved on August 25, 2009 from Website: