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. Treatment is administered via an injection and depending on the injury two to six injections may be required, performed at weekly intervals. Patients usually see their symptoms improve within four to six weeks of having the injections. PRP is a safe treatment option which, because your own blood is used, carries no risk of allergic reaction. Read more clinical evidence supporting PRP here.
This day case treatment is exclusively offered to our patients. It combines the benefits of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy with Lipogems®, a pioneering procedure that uses your body’s own adipose (fat) cells to treat pain and inflammation. AMPP® injections are minimally invasive and are carried out under ultrasound guidance. Altogether the procedure takes about an hour to perform with a minimal recovery time of around three hours. As well as being a potential alternative to surgery, AMPP® can also aid post-surgery recovery.
It is fairly common, affecting almost one in five people over 65 in the UK. However, while it’s more usual among older people, it can affect younger people as well – and even children. With younger patients the cause is often very different to adults, and may be triggered by abnormalities from birth or inappropriate exercise at a young age.
Where your hip pain is can provide valuable clues about the cause – problems with the hip joint itself tend to cause discomfort inside your hip or groin, while pain on the outside of your hip, upper thigh or outer buttock can suggest issues with muscles, tendons, ligaments or other soft tissues around the joint.
Pain in other parts of the body, particularly the lower back, can also cause pain to appear in your hip – this is known as referred pain.
A wide variety of problems that can trigger hip pain, ranging from minor issues that often clear up on their own over time, to more severe conditions requiring treatment, medication or even surgery.
Your hips are among your body’s hardest-working joints, with 27 different muscles alone. It means there’s a lot that can go wrong, with muscle strains and tendon tears not uncommon. Growing older, being overweight or being highly active or athletic can all cause issues that result in hip pain.
In rare cases the causes can be serious, so it’s important to get your pain properly diagnosed if it persists for more than two weeks. During a consultation, our specialist will also focus on other parts of your body connected to the hip, like the pelvis and lower back, to check for problems there that may be causing referred pain in your hip.
Common causes include:
Arthritis is a group of conditions that causes joint pain, with symptoms including swelling, stiffness and restricted movement. It more usually affects women and occurs more frequently as we get older.
Osteoarthritis is the most common, affecting millions of people across the world. It’s caused by the cartilage, the rubbery padding that protects the ends of your bones, wears down over time, particularly in your hands, knees, hips and back.
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by your immune system attacking parts of your own body by mistake. It affects the lining of your joints and leads to an uncomfortable swelling. Symptoms include joint tenderness, stiffness that’s often worse in the morning and after inactivity, along with tiredness, fever and loss of appetite. Often, the joint symptoms are the same on both sides of your body.
This condition causes the outer side of your thigh or hip joint to become painful, and tender. It can usually be treated at home and improves after a few weeks. It happens when the gluteal muscles in the buttock become inflamed and can result in fluid-filled sacs – called bursa – that cushion your joints also becoming inflamed. Symptoms include a dull ache, a tender or warm area around the joint and pain if you move or press on the area.
• Muscle or tendon strain
If one of the muscles or tendons supporting the hip joint is stretched too far or even torn, it can cause a hip strain. These can range from mild to severe, depending on the injury. You can even suffer a strain carrying out everyday tasks, but they’re more common when exercising or playing sport.
• Hip labral tear/Impingement
Tears may also involve the soft tissue ‘lip’ around your hip joint, called the labrum, that helps hold the ball at the top of your thighbone in its hip socket. These tears can be caused by an unstable joint or structural abnormalities, while athletes are also at a higher risk of developing one. They can be hard to detect, but you might experience a locking or clicking sensation in your hip as well as pain or stiffness.
• Hip fractures
Fractures, cracks or breaks close to the hip joint at the top of your thigh bone are usually caused by an injury or fall. They’re very common in older people, who may have reduced eyesight or be unsteady on their feet. As well as discomfort, symptoms include difficulty lifting or turning your leg, problems standing or walking with that leg, and swelling and bruising around your hip.
• Nerve entrapment
There are a number of nerves running through your hip, pelvis and lower back that can cause pain in any of these areas if they get pinched or inflamed. Symptoms can include tingling, numbness, discomfort, and pain that travels down one or both legs.
This is a painful condition that can affect any bone, though is most common in the hip where it’s caused by a disruption to the blood flow to the top of your thigh bone. If it’s not treated, it can ultimately lead to severe arthritis and can even destroy the joint. It can affect anyone, but especially men aged between 40 and 65. Symptoms start with a dull ache in your groin or buttock, and over several months it can limit your ability to stand on the affected hip. Early diagnosis is important as studies have shown that prompt treatment leads to better outcomes.
Bone cancer is rare – it accounts for less than 1 per cent of all cancers – but usually affects the pelvic area, arms and legs. Signs and symptoms include bone pain, swelling, fatigue and unintended weight loss. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are common treatments depending on the type of bone cancer.
A different type of cancer that may cause hip pain is leukaemia, which affects the body tissues that create blood, including bone marrow. Symptoms vary depending on the sort of leukaemia, but can include chills or fever, continual tiredness, frequent infections, unplanned weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, bleeding or bruising easily, frequent nosebleeds and bone pain.
• Septic arthritis
Septic arthritis is rare. It is caused by an infection and is often accompanied by a fever. Any joint can be affected, but it’s most common in the knee and hip. As well as pain, your hip becomes swollen and red, with the symptoms often coming on quickly. Because septic arthritis can cause permanent damage or even become life-threatening if untreated, it’s important to seek medical attention straight away if you have any of the symptoms.
For some causes of hip pain, simply resting, applying ice to the area and taking over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen may be all that’s needed. However, you should see your GP or a specialist if the discomfort lasts more than two weeks, or if you experience any of the following symptoms:
• your hip is swollen
• it hurts to move your leg
• your hip joint looks unusual
• you’re in severe pain
• you had a fall and heard a crack or pop
• sleeping is difficult due to the pain
• painkillers no longer help
Treatment for hip conditions such as osteoarthritis is usually initially aimed at relieving pain and involves anti-inflammatory medication, low-impact exercise, walking aids and weight loss, sometimes under the guidance of a physiotherapist.
If the first-step approaches don’t help, or a specialist has advised your condition requires more in-depth treatment, there are several options to treat hip pain that don’t involve surgery.
We offer a variety of biological therapies that harness your body’s natural ability to repair itself – Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment and Activated Mesenchymal Pericyte Plasma (AMPP®) injections.
They are minimally invasive, can decrease inflammation, stop the progression of arthritic damage and may repair joint cartilage. The recovery time is also much shorter than with surgery.
Following these treatments, you are often encouraged to walk the same day and quickly return to normal activity without having to go through the risks associated with surgery.
Known as an arthroplasty, surgery to replace a hip with an artificial joint is most common for people between 60 to 80. It’s usually carried out when the joint is so worn or damaged it is restricting mobility and causing pain even when you are not moving.
As more people continue to enjoy sport as they move towards retirement age, the advice is to try as far as possible to avoid joint replacement until you’re 65. This is to lower the risk of the implant needing to be replaced – or at the very least only be replaced once. While the surgery itself is usually a great success it can be traumatic and requires months of recovery.
Our innovative range of treatments goes beyond what’s available on the NHS. As well as providing a full opinion on your condition that includes all the traditional non-surgical and surgical options, our experienced consultants will also assess your suitability for our alternative biological therapies, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Activated Mesenchymal Pericyte Plasma (AMPP).
You will see one of our expert orthopaedic consultants, Professor Wilson, Mr. Sam Heaton, Mr. Jamie Arbuthnot, Mr. Arj Imbuldeniya, Mr. Rohit Jain, Mr. Ed Britton or Mr. Amit Kumar for around 30 minutes.
During the consultation, our specialist will:
• discuss your medical history to find out more about your symptoms
• examine the joint and identify the source of the pain and any mobility issues
• arrange for a diagnostic investigation, usually an MRI scan
• discuss all the treatment options with you, along with their potential benefits and any risks.
Autologous means ‘from the same person’ rather than from a donor. Essentially, your own cells are used to encourage healing. With this type of treatment, there’s a dramatic reduction in the risks of the rejection, infection or contamination that come with using material from someone else. The innovative therapies we offer are based on this idea. If you’ve found traditional treatments aren’t helping your pain, of if you’re looking for a possible alternative to surgery, then this approach is one to consider.
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.