The hip joint is a major weightbearing joint that is susceptible to osteoarthritis, which is characterized by wear and tear of the slippery cartilage tissue that facilitates smooth joint movement. Loss of cartilage results in pain, swelling, and inflammation of the hip joint. The condition tends to gradually worsen over time and is one of primary causes of disability in the US. According to research statistics, about half the US population above the age of 65 years suffers from some form of arthritis.
In the later stages of hip arthritis, joint replacement is considered the best medical intervention with patients usually reporting significant improvement in hip joint function and quality of life. But understandably, most individuals are quite anxious about undergoing major surgery.
If hip arthritis is diagnosed early and there is not evidence of advanced arthritis, regenerative medicine treatments may bean option in the right patients. Some of the latest non-operative treatment options for hip arthritis include:
- Regenerative Medicine: Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the unique ability to transform into specialized cells such as cartilage cells or bone. For the orthopedic purposes, stem cells are usually obtained by needle aspiration from the pelvic bone. The aspirate is placed in the centrifuge machine for about 10-15 minutes and then injected into the hip joint.It is generally believed to work by improving the internal environment of the joint and may improve pain and function.
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): Platelets play a very important role in the healing process. They contain clotting factors that stop bleeding from wounds and growth factors that boost the natural healing capacity of the body. The platelets are obtained by drawing a small quantity of blood from a vein in your elbow. The blood is centrifuged to obtain a platelet-rich plasma which is then injected into the hip to stimulate healing and repair.
These advanced treatments are potential alternatives that could provide lasting relief compared to other types of noninvasive treatments. They produce hardly any adverse effects because they are obtained from your own body, and can be performed in the comfort of the office setting within 1-2 hours allowing quick return to routine activities. Book your appointment today to find out if you might be a candidate for these procedures.
It should be noted that stem cells and PRP are not indicated for advanced arthritis and only in rare circumstances would they be recommended if you have advanced degenerative changes.
Dr. Frisch is a specialist orthopedic surgeon focusing on minimally invasive hip and knee joint replacement as well as regenerative treatments for enhanced healing. He believes in creating a very personalized experience with the highest level of service. For all appointments & inquiries, please contact our offices located in Rochester, River District, and Tawas City, MI.