Each year, a rising number of patients around the world are undergoing hip replacement surgery. A heightened focus on physical activity, as well as improved treatment technologies, mean patients have a need — and doctors, the instruments and skills — for surgically treating hip joint damage. The result: more surgical hip replacements.
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Most people choose hip replacement surgery following an injury or prolonged pain due to arthritis. Indeed, arthritis is the number one reason for undergoing a hip replacement procedure. After years of struggling with debilitating pain that restricts their daily living, many believe a total hip replacement is the only option. Although hip replacement surgery can be a highly effective treatment for some patients, the procedure can come along with some complications that make it less than ideal for others. Some reasons a patient could want an alternative to hip replacement surgery include:
- A patient can outlive a hip replacement and need it to be redone at a later, older, more frail time of life
- Debris can leak out from the replacement parts
- Chronic pain after a replacement is still possible
- Patients who undergo hip surgery risk having a suboptimal quality of life post-surgery
- Complications are fairly common
- Non-surgical methods have high success rates in the right patients
- A patient may be interested in holistic or all natural medicine and want to avoid traditional surgery or foreign parts in their bodies
If you have hip pain due to degenerative arthritis, there are alternatives to hip replacement surgery that extend beyond physical therapy, pain relievers, and surgery: stem cell therapy. Read on for more information on a proven, state of the art, minimally invasive alternative to hip replacement surgery.
Nonsurgical Treatment Options
Arthritis causes inflammation and damage to joint surfaces and other body systems. When it settles in the hip, it erodes cartilage and bone, limiting mobility, and making it difficult for the afflicted person to walk and even sleep. Many believe that the removal of the joint is the only way to alleviate the associated pain. In fact, however, there are several non-surgical options that can help treat arthritic symptoms:
- Pain Medication – including over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen and prescribed opioids/narcotics; muscle relaxants, topical creams, steroid injections and even antidepressants
- Rest – which can help alleviate inflammation and reduce pain sensation and depression (that often heightens pain sensitivity)
- Physical Therapy – which can strengthen surrounding soft tissues and provide stability to the hip and flexibility to the surrounding muscles and tendons
There is also one minimally invasive technique that has the capacity to promote tissue repair:
Regenerative Medicine – including PRP and stem cell therapy
Regenerative Medicine as an Alternative to Hip Replacement Surgery
Regenerative medicine is the science of repairing damaged joint tissue by delivering healthy stem cells and growth factors to the targeted area, stimulating the body’s own immune system to regenerate healthy tissue itself. Minimally invasive and with the potential to restore normal function to damaged tissue, regenerative treatments such as PRP (platelet rich plasma) therapy and stem cell therapy are excellent options for many patients not wanting to experience possible surgical complications and/or face a lengthy recovery period. PRP therapy is used primarily to treat acute injuries, but stem cell therapy, in particular, is especially well-suited for treating chronic degenerative conditions like arthritis of the hip.
Stem Cell Therapy is an Excellent Alternative to Hip Replacement Surgery
Stem cells are like nature’s building blocks; they allow for the differentiation of the body’s cells and form the foundation on which all tissues and organs develop. Many stem cells only exist in embryos, but some remain in adult bodies and can be harvested and used for regenerative purposes. As an alternative treatment for hip replacement surgery, adult stem cells are collected from a patient’s own body — usually adipose stem cells from the fatty tissues and bone marrow stem cells from the iliac crest. These stem cells are combined with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) made from the patient’s own blood to create an autologous injectate that is then injected into the patient’s hip joint under live x-ray guidance. Research shows that the introduction of stem cells in this way can facilitate the repair of damaged joint tissue, alleviating inflammation and pain and restoring the joint to more normal function (including improvements in range of motion). PRP or BMC can then be administered 1-2 months later as a follow-up to boost continued joint health.
ThriveMD is One of the Nation’s Top Stem Cell Clinics for Hip Pain
Hip replacement surgery is not the only option for hip arthritis sufferers; there are many alternatives to hip replacement surgery. To find out if you or a loved one could benefit from minimally invasive stem cell therapy, please contact a member of our staff here at ThriveMD. Our director, Dr. Scott Brandt is a renowned physician with nearly 20 years of experience in pain management and regenerative medicine; he fully assesses all patient histories, symptoms, and relevant imaging and can recommend the best procedure for optimal results.