I have worn out the cartilage in my left hip and have had pain for the last 5 years or so. I am planning on having hip resurfacing surgery this year and recently had someone tell me prolotherapy may heal it without surgery. Does anyone have any information or experience in this technique? I would like to continue playing soccer and tennis and I am 55 years old. I walk with a limp and just recently stopped playing contact sports because it is hampering me too much. It is not horrible pain but it is fairly constant now. Also, has anyone had hip resurfacing surgery and gone back to contact (ie running) sports? Any bad experiences with metal on metal Birmingham?
I'm actually a double total knee replacement patient (both done within the past year with excellent results.)
Anyhow, I don't know what prolotherapy is, so you might want to look that up online. But given that you have no cartilage in the hip, you should probably go for the more permanent hip resurfacing option. (This technique was first developed in Birmingham, England, and my Ortho surgeon was one of the first U.S. Orthopedic surgeons to go there to be trained in this procedure) As you know, it's supposed to hopefully spare a patient from needing TOTAL hip replacement.
As for your question about metal on metal Birmingham for total hip replacement, you should check VERY THOROUGHLY into this because I just read last month that there are recalls for metal on metal hip replacement prosthetics due to the risk of eventual "leaching" of pieces of the metal prosthetic into the body and bloodstream. What you really would want to have instead is a titanium with plastic total hip prosthetic which is apparently, according to the research, less likely to cause this "leaching" problem.
Question your surgeon at length BEFORE YOU AGREE TO GO UNDER THE KNIFE for the hip resurfacing procedure! Make sure he explains the risks of metal on metal hip joint replacement! (I'm not sure it was the Birmingham make that had the recall. I believe I saw a commercial recently that said it was the DuPuy manufacturer with that recall. Check with the FDA just to be sure!
As I understand hip resurfacing or total hip replacement surgery, both are designed to help athletes get back to the sports that they enjoyed before their hip problems. Recovery can take up to a year, but each patient heals at their own body's rate, so you might be back to your soccer sooner than later post surgery if you do EVERYTHING in physical therapy that's asked of you immediately following surgery.
Hope this info helps you make your decision on surgery.
Last edited by ldy12; 05-28-2012 at 08:39 PM.
Reason: more info
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Re: Can prolotherapy prevent hip resurfacing?
I have a good family friend who is a biophysicist. He recommends avoiding any type of implanted metal or plastic in the body, for as long as possible, because of the possibility of these substances leaching into the body.
Be aware that prolotherapy is not covered by most insurance programs. You might also look into whether an artificial synovial fluid injection (like Synvisc) may extend the life of your hip. I had Synvisc injected when the surgeon was aspirating the joint to look for signs of infection. I found that the injection lessened my symptoms for several weeks. By the time I had the injection, I had had a labral tear for almost 20 years and two hip scopes, so others might have longer lasting relief.
Depending on whether you still have good joint space, you could be a candidate for a hip scope. I had small holes in my acetabular cartilage, and had a microfracture performed with the goal of my body creating scar tissue cartilage.
I would certainly consult with several hip surgeons, including those that specialize in procedures other than replacement, before going through with a major surgery.