Hip arthroscopy involves several small incisions around the hip that allow a small camera and instruments access to the hip joint. This minimally invasive procedure allows for outpatient surgery, very little scarring, faster recovery, prompt rehabilitation, and a quicker return to activities. This animation from the Hospital for Special Surgery is a great overview of hip arthroscopy.
Before hip arthroscopy, a traditional open procedure was utilized which required a large incision and dislocation of the hip. This had the potential of causing more soft tissue damage as well as increased complications, bleeding and pain.