If you’re suffering from hip pain and are looking for alternatives to steroid injections or joint replacement, then minimally invasive regenerative treatments could help you enjoy life the way you want to.
Arthritis which means ‘joint inflammation’, affects around 10 million people in the UK and hip arthritis is the second most common form (knee arthritis being the most). It tends to be found in people over 50 but it can also affect younger people including children and teenagers.
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What treatments does the regenerative clinic offer?
Our renowned medical team provides a range of treatments, from the traditional to the innovative:
This is an effective and well-researched procedure that’s a potential alternative to surgery. It takes advantage of the blood’s natural healing properties to reduce pain and improve joint function. It uses a specially concentrated dosage of platelets prepared from your own blood to repair damaged cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscle and bone. Patients usually see their symptoms improve in one to two weeks of having the injections. Read more clinical evidence supporting PRP here.
A pioneering new treatment using your body’s own stem cells from a combination of Lipogems® and Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy to treat pain and inflammation. It harnesses natural repair cells removed from your body fat to target problems affecting discs, joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles.
The procedure takes around an hour and early results suggest an improvement for 75% of suitable patients. The minimally invasive procedure is a possible alternative to having an operation or can be used after surgery to help healing.
What causes hip arthritis?
Hip arthritis is mainly caused by osteoarthritis, but it can also be caused by rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks its own cells), severe damage to the hip joint or by being overweight.
Osteoarthritis is also referred to as ‘wear and tear arthritis’ and it occurs when the cartilage which protects the joints, gradually wears away to expose the bone. With hip arthritis the bones of the ball-joint-socket rub against each other causing stiffness and pain and difficulty with walking.
What are the symptoms of hip arthritis?
Symptoms you may experience with hip arthritis include:
Joint stiffness: first thing in the morning when getting out of bed or after a long period of sitting
Pain: in the thigh, groin or knee may be felt when undertaking activities
Crunching feeling or sound: is caused by the ball-joint-socket rubbing together
Tenderness: in the hip joint
Limited mobility: in performing everyday activities likes getting dressed
How is hip arthritis diagnosed?
Initially, a medical practitioner will perform a physical examination including discussing your pain. You may also be required to have an X-ray, which while doesn’t diagnose arthritis, it will show up characteristic features of arthritis, such as narrowing of the joint or the presence of bony spurs near the joint.
CT scan, which uses an X-ray and a computer to create detailed images, can also be used in the diagnosis of hip arthritis. The CT scan can show if the hip joint is misshaped. MRI scans, which involves the use of magnetic fields and radio waves, can be used to look at muscles and tendons.
How does hip arthritis differ from other arthritic joints?
Arthritis affects people in different ways and no two patient’s symptoms will be the same. Research has also found that there are marked differences between hip arthritis and other arthritic joints.
Firstly, hip arthritis develops at a faster pace than knee arthritis which tends to progress at a slower rate over a number of years. Secondly, when scans of someone who has hip arthritis are done, bone cysts are often present, where they’re often not with knee arthritis. Bone cysts are fluid-filled holes that form in bones.
Finally, recent research has found that the cartilage found in the hip joint has less ability to repair itself than the cartilage in the knee. This is because the speed at which the cartilage repairs itself is slower in the hip than the knee.
What are the non-surgical options for hip arthritis?
Treatment for hip arthritis aims to relieve symptoms and improve the function of the joint.
Initial treatment may include medications such as analgesics which help reduce the pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDS – which reduce the pain and inflammation and steroid injections which reduce inflammation and provide short-term relief.
Lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, performing low impact exercises (like swimming or cycling) and minimising activities (such as bending, climbing stairs and running) that aggravate the condition may help relieve the pain caused by hip arthritis.
Physiotherapy can help with hip arthritis and assistive devices like canes and crutches may be used.
Our expert team specialises in treating hip arthritis using advanced non-surgical techniques including stem cell therapy, AMPP® Activated Mesenchymal Pericyte Plasma (using Lipogems® technology) and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy.
What are the surgical options for hip arthritis?
Surgery including total joint replacement and hip resurfacing may be recommended if other treatment options don’t yield results.
Total joint replacement is where the damaged femoral head (hip joint) is removed or replaced with a prosthesis which is made from metal, ceramic or plastic. Hip replacement tends to be recommended when the damage which has been caused is irreparable or the pain is so severe it can’t be relieved by non-surgical options.
Hip resurfacing is an alternative to joint replacement and is suitable for younger people who are highly active. Instead of the hip joint being removed or replaced, the joint is reshaped, and a metal covering fitted which then sits in the hip socket.
Why is joint replacement the last resort?
Joint replacement should only be considered after less invasive non-surgical treatments have been explored. While joint replacement is a routine surgical procedure there are still risks attached to the surgery.
Post-surgery there is an extensive rehabilitation period involved which involves regular physical exercises. And, at some point in the future, the joint may need replacing again.
Why have a consultation at the Regenerative Clinic?
Our experienced consultants will undertake a thorough examination exploring non-surgical and surgical treatments. They’ll also discuss your suitability for our innovative biological therapies.
Who will my consultation be with?
Your consultation will be with one of our hip specialists, Mr. Sebastian Dawson-Bowling, Mr. Arj Imbuldeniya, Mr. Sam Heaton, Mr. Ansar Mahmood or Mr. John S Davidson and will last approximately 30 minutes. On the day, or the day before you will be asked to attend for an MRI scan.
As well as undertaking an examination, our specialists will take details of your medical history and discuss your symptoms. They will also detail all your treatment options and cover their potential benefits and risks.
Our expert team comprises of highly experienced surgeons, sports medicine doctors and physiotherapists who are committed to delivering a high level of care and the correct treatment option so you can quickly get back to moving around.
What is the autologus biological approach and when should it be considered?
Autologous translates as ‘from the same person.’ In brief, it involves using your own cells to encourage healing. The major benefits are that there is very small chance of rejection, infection or contamination as you are using cells from your own body rather than a donor.
We offer a range therapies based on this principle which can be considered if traditional treatments aren’t relieving your pain.
Biological treatments are pioneering procedures and we’re continuously monitoring and recording its effectiveness. Patients undertaking these treatments are asked to complete pre-operative and post-operative questionnaires.
The information obtained from these questionnaires allows us to monitor your progress and it also contributes to our evidence-based database and other global studies on biological treatments. All information gathered is anonymised.