Premature Hip Osteoarthritis

Recently we had a young 61 year-old woman in our office for right hip pain that had plagued her following a traumatic skiing since the age of 19.

She said her pain had been “low grade” and just nagging for most of her life, but in the four years previous to her visit with us, it began to get progressively worse.

A visit to an orthopedic specialist prompted an MRI of the hip. The scan revealed moderately advanced osteoarthritis of her right hip, severe atrophy of the right gluteus minimus, and osteoarthritis of the left hip.

Her doctor began treatment that included a synvisc injection into her right hip, and given percocet and oxycontin, to offer some improvement in the pain.

When she visited us at the Darrow Sports & Wellness Institute she described her right hip pain as constant, aggravated with prolonged sitting, and driving, and also worsened at night- preventing her from getting a good night’s sleep.

Over the years we have seen many patients in similiar situation and given the patient’s history of right hip pain and osteoarthritis she was an appropriate candidate for prolotherapy.

Two weeks, three treatments later the patient reported being completely pain free in the right hip and overall improvement.

Of course every patient is unique and positive results like those above may not be typical. Will Prolotherapy or Platelet Rich Plasma therapy be as effective for you? When the patient comes in, we do a physical examination and we see if surgery or prolonged narcotic use can be avoided. For most we use Prolotherapy and/or Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) and we can fix their hip pain.

Platelet Rich Plasma is a newer technology than traditional dextrose Prolotherapy. We draw blood out of the patients arm and spin the blood until we separate the platelets that help accelerate the healing of soft tissue. We then inject the platelets back into the hip under ultrasound guidance.

We do not use PRP for every patient because dextrose Prolotherapy is very effective for most. PRP is mostly reserved for patients with excessive deterioration or there is an exceptional need to get back to work or a sport very quickly.

We have had people come in where they could not even move their limbs and we get them well. We have seen close to 10,000 patients so we have a good understanding of when dextrose Prolotherapy will work, when PRP treatments will work, and when sometimes it won’t work. To be fair, many times that it does not work is because people give up early on it, confuse it with epidural and cortisone. But we have seen almost 10,000 patients so we have a good idea.

We have moved over to ultrasound guided injections because it helps us target the exact area of the injury. This is the latest in technology and it takes the “guess work,” out of where we should inject and helps us to reduce the number of injections necessary which is a comfort for the patients.

If you are interested in a cosnultation – why not give our office a call – 310-231-7000