Alternatives to hip replacement

Hi - I am likely to require a hip replacement operation later this year. Before I do I have started researching alternative treatments. These include laser treatment, stem cell therapy, platelet rich plasma therapy. I know many people who have undergone hip replacements but know no one that has used these less invasive techniques ( I guess because they are only available privately). Personally I am cynical about whether any of these would be worth exploring but if there is anyone out there who has insight I would be pleased to hear about it. Thanks Martin


  • janey4
    janey4 Administrator Posts: 37

    Hi @MP2022 and welcome to the Online Community. We are a great friendly bunch, so please continue to post here and reach out to others for a chat and advice. Great to have you on board.

    You may require a hip replacement later this year and have been researching alternative treatments but not sure if they would be worth exploring. It is always best to speak to an orthopaedic specialist in the first instance about what are the best options for you. Your GP should be able to refer you to see one.

    Some of the alternative treatments do not tend to be helpful unless the osteoarthritis is mild and at an early stage and often if surgery is required, then it will now be at a more severe stage. Often these treatments are not available on the NHS due to their limited effectiveness but please do continue to post about this to find out more from others who may have undergone these treatments.

    Best wishes


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  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,733

    I suspect the reason these alternative therapies are not offered on the NHS is because they are expensive relative to the outcome. I haven't come across anyone in the two years I've been on this forum who mentioned these therapies. As Janey says, they are probably only helpful in the early stages, and by the time GPs take our pain seriously, we are well beyond that point. If you are already at the stage of being offered replacement surgery, it is highly likely that alternatives are going to be helpful, given that hip replacement is only offered as a last resort when all other methods of pain management have failed (joint replacement effectively being an extreme form of pain management). The NHS generally doesn't offer half way house surgeries, eg resurfacing the joint etc, as this is just putting off replacing the joint eventually anyway (I've heard resurfacing doesn't last that long), and they try to minimise the number of such invasive surgeries we have to go through.

    We all wish there was a less invasive method of fixing our worn out bones, but sometimes we just have to bite the bullet. My hip replacement didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped, but I'm still a hundred times better than I was pre-op.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,599

    I tend to agree with @Lilymary . I remèmber some years back @sturge spent a lot of money flying to USA twice for stem cell treatment for either a hip, knee or ankle. It did nothing for him. If you want to see what's what with any one try googling eg 'pubmed stem cell treatment for hip OA' The pubmed stuff is genuine research which is peer reviewed. But do check that the sample numbers are significant.

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  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,733

    Sorry, that should have read " it is highly UNlikely that alternatives are going to be helpful"!