There are a lot of options to treating your hip pain.
Hip resurfacing is not hip replacement. In hip resurfacing a metal ball replaces the bone “ball” portion at the top of the femur (thigh bone) that fits into the socket of the pelvis.
In hip replacement not only is the “ball” replaced, but the socket and a portion of the femur bone into the “greater trochanter.”
One of the main selling points for hip resurfacing is that it leaves more bone so a hip replacement can be performed later.
In our chronic pain clinic at the Darrow Sports and Wellness Institute – we see this as one hip surgery setting up another. Surgery in my opinion, should always be the last option.
Is Hip Resurfacing really a less invasive technique?
According to surgeons, hip resurfacing is more difficult to perform and requires a larger incision than typical hip replacement. This increases the risk of complications.
For an athlete or worker who’s profession is physically demanding, this can mean a lot of down time.
Does hip resurfacing keep a younger patient active?
Another main selling feature for hip resurfacing as opposed to hip replacement is that studies have shown that it allows the patient to remain more active. The problem is, it is for a limited amount of time. Hip resurfacing has a life span of 15 years. After 15 years – it is hip replacement.
So if you are a young person of 45 who loves to play tennis or other demanding sports, at age 60 those days may be gone for good as your hip resurfacing needs replacement and there is just enough bone for a total hip replacement.
What are the options?
In our clinic we try to keep the patient away from surgery because once something is removed, it cannot be restored. Such as the bone removed in hip resurfacing.
We look at the problem of the hip in another way. The reason a hip procedure is needed is because there is a bone-on-bone situation causing pain and possibly impingement of soft tissue. The reason the bone on bone situation occurred was because the connect tissue in the pelvis region, the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage have shrunk, been torn, or have become weakened through “laxity.” In other words they are stretched out.
Strengthening and restoring the connective tissue, naturally, is in my opinion, the best first option.
Rejuvenating the hip
In our pain clinic we use Prolotherapy to revitalize weakened and damaged connective tissue. Using a simple sugar (dextrose) injection, the Prolotherapy doctor hopes to mimic a new injury by causing a minor irritation at the connective sites where tendons attach to muscles, ligaments attach to bone, and also where cartilage has flatten.
The irritation caused by the Prolotherapy injection causes a controlled inflammation. In this inflammatory response the body brings the immune cells necessary to rebuild the collagen matrix-the protein blocks that soft tissue is made from.
Strengthened ligaments and tendons help hold the hip joint in its proper place cause less grinding and bone on bone. Restored collagen can help rebuild the cartilage between the pelvis and thigh bone – cushioning and relieving the bone on bone situtation.
Why remove tissue when it can be restored?