Nexus7 Member Posts: 17
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:11 in Living with arthritis


Just joined the forum and wanted to learn more from the community. I am a 52 year old male with a diagnosis of moderate to severe arthritis of my right hip. I've been living with pain/discomfort for the last few years but up to this point have avoided having surgery despite being pushed towards this by the consultants I have seen. I am hoping I can either live without the surgery or at least push it back until I am closer to 60...




  • CarylW
    CarylW Moderator Posts: 233

    Hello @Nexus7

    Welcome to the online forum. We are a friendly group and will try and help each other out with information and support. I hope you soon get some responses to your message and that you will also find you can respond to others.

    I understand that you have moderate to severe arthritis of the hip, and are hoping to be able to put off surgery for a few more years. I am putting some links to information on our website which I hope will be a helpful start:

    Please do keep posting and let us know how you are.

    Best wishes


    Need more help? Call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,020

    Hi @Nexus7 R. Nice to meet you and also welcome you to the forum.

    I can totally understand you wanting to delay surgery as long as possible. Sometimes though you ahve no choice but to go ahead. My own daughter had to have her shoulder replaced at 19 and a core decompression on her hip at 18.

    The person you need to speak to is @jonr who has done an incredible job of coping with Osteoarthritis like yourself and getting as healthy as possible prior to surgery.

    You might also find this thread:

    Worth reading. Forewarned is forearmed as they say!

    Take care


  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358

    Thanks @frogmorton (Toni) and nice to eMeet you here @Nexus7

    So a bit of background. I'm 56 and was originally diagnosed with moderate OA in both knees 18 months ago.

    Despite my condition worsening (I am going in for the 1st of 2 total knee replacements this Thursday), I've been able to lead a very active life with low background pain which is best described as an ache. To be honest with you, I was originally scheduled for surgery in September but like you I felt I'd try to stave it off until absolutely necessary because I'm coping well.

    Thing is, OA is a degenerative condition, it's only going to get worse and I didn't want to risk putting off the surgery until such a time as I began to backslide, only to find it would be a 1-2 year wait which I'd spend immobile and in pain. I've also been fast-tracked by the NHS via Connect Health to have the surgery carried out Privately by Ramsay Healthcare which would usually cost a cool £12,500 plus fees per knee, so a case of not looking a gift horse in the mouth!

    Anyway - I digress - I'm happy to share anything I've found has worked/not worked/made things worse and coping strategies I've learned on my Arthritis journey so far. Here to help (if I can).

    All the best,


  • Nexus7
    Nexus7 Member Posts: 17

    Thanks Jon. I appreciate your honesty about your situation.

    I do appreciate that I don't think I can put the hip replacement surgery off forever but I have seemed to manage the condition quite well up to now. I keep quite active and usually clock in 10-12,000 steps a day without any major pain. I also go to the gym 3-4 times a week and use the elliptical machine which is a good low impact way of keeping the hip joints moving and I believe keeps things as lubricated as they can considering the loss of cartilage. My sleep is not really affected but I might just have to sleep on my 'good' side. I would say overall my average pain/discomfort level is around a 2/10 on most days and hence I don't think I am quite ready for that replacement surgery. After I described all the above to my consultant surgeon he also said that if I can keep my pain at that level it probably isn't yet time for surgery as that should only really be a last resort when life is unbearable. He did however say that it will most definitely have to happen at some point.

    Last week I had an injection of Hylauronic Acid into the hip joint as I have read that it can work well in some patients to provide some extra lubrication and potentially calm down inflammation in the joint. I don't think it can really do anything to regenerate cartilage but the best case scenario would be it would give me 12-18m of pain/stiffness relief. It's still a bit too early to tell whether it is working as it usually takes 2-4 weeks to really notice any difference.

    The other things I am doing are keeping my weight to a healthy level and I keep around the recommended BMI level for my age/height/weight/etc. In addition I take a number of supplements - Turmeric, Magnesium, Chondroitin/Glucosamine, Fish Oil, Boswella Serrata, Avocado/Soy. Again hard to say if these help as with all supplements but I have read some reports on each of them that do show they helped in some studies on some patients.

    I'd be happy to hear if you have any other recommendations on what things worked or made things worse. The more information the better! I hope it all goes well with your operation!



  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358

    Hi @Nexus7 and thanks for coming back to me.

    I wasn't expecting to be at the laptop today due to my surgery but it was cancelled at the last minute due to staff shortages.

    I'm in a very similar position to you - doing a lot of gymwork and sport, clocking up around 5-6 hours of hard physio per week. Be interesting to hear how you get on with the Hyarullonic Acid injections as I took capsules and they made me nauseous but if you do get some benefit then it will have been worth it. You're right - it won't do anything to help regenerate cartilage, just provide lubrication to ease stiffness, crunching and grinding. I use FlexiSeq gel for the same purpose, works a treat but expensive. Before I take any supplements or try anything new I like to read up as much as I can about their efficacy. Products which claim to regenerate cartilage can't really work as it has no blood supply, this would apply to Type 2 Collagen, Glucosamine and Choindratin so once its gone, its gone. Best they can do is to provide some protection against wear and tear. For me they seemed to make my symptoms worse plus I started to get tendon "pings" and locks. Once I stopped them, life returned to normal.

    The active anti-inflammatory agent in Turmeric is Curcumin and it's a proven anti-inflammatory. Thing is, Turmeric contains very little of it so I buy pure Curcumin in capsule form blended with Peperine to help the body absorb it more easily. I also take Boswellia too and Montmerency Cherry, both in capsules and these also have proven AI effects. Alternative to prescribed and over the counter pain killers are thin on the ground. I've found full spectrum CBD capsules to work (I like a brand called Hempura) and if I've overdone it then I turn to my TENS machine which seems to provide relief for several hours after just 30 minutes of use. Another gadget I like is my deep tissue massaging gun which I use to soothe sore muscles and tendons. The best thing for me has been Acupuncture. It took 8 weekly treatments to kick in but it's given me predictability - no more wondering what my knees will be like when I get up in the morning. I go monthly now for top-ups but it's really been a game-changer.

    If I look back to when first diagnosed 18 months ago, there were some mornings I could barely make it down the stairs of a morning to make a cuppa. Fast forward to 3 weeks ago, I hiked 18 miles up and down Mount Snowdon with little ill-effect, it wasn't easy but given I'm bone-on-bone in both knees I think it's a testament to the physio, exercise and pain management.

    Hope some of these might give you food for thought, it sounds like you're coping admirably though!

    All the best,


  • Nexus7
    Nexus7 Member Posts: 17

    Thanks for the advice @frogmorton ! Will tap into @jonr's wealth of experience on this :-)

  • Nexus7
    Nexus7 Member Posts: 17

    Hi @jonr ,

    Thanks for your message. Sorry to hear your op was cancelled... hopefully they can reschedule it soon!

    I'll take your points one by one:

    1) Regarding gymwork/physio - I've tried a number of physiotherapists and to be honest I never felt they really 'got' my condition. It just felt like they pulled out the same old playsheet each time - Do these 5 exercises each week - glute bridges, side lying clamshells, etc. I would start doing these but invariably I would 'fall off the wagon' as it is so easy to do with these things. I only have myself to blame for not sticking with them... I know you might not have the exact same diagnosis as me but if you have any particular exercises that you swear by please feel free to share!

    2) Hylauronic Acid - Yes, I'm really kind of praying this will work as well as some of the best case outcomes I have read about although at the moment I can't say the pain level has gone done although occassionally I might be walking around and I'll have zero pain. Most of my discomfort arises when I am stationary and usually sitting at a desk or in the car which is when my hip is more in flexion which is I assuming is because my bone is rubbing on bone at the front of the hip. Will report back on how the HA injection feels in a couple of weeks.

    3) Yes, I did try Flexiseq for a bit. Again as with all these things is really hard to say whether it is working as I haven't found anything which has a really 'dramatic' effect. But I might go back on it and see how it works.

    4) I haven't had any tendon pings/locks so probably with continue with all my supplements. My current plan is when one of the bottles runs out I'll see if things worsen at all for the 2-3 weeks afterwards. If they do I'll go back on that supplement. If pain level stays the same I'll probably save the money and stop buying that one.

    5) Supplements - Yes, I should have mentioned I am also taking Turmeric in the form of Curcumin/Piperine tablets so we are on the same page there. Just started using the Boswella but I read some promising things about it. I haven't heard of the Montmerency Cherry so you've started me down that rabbit hole :-)

    6) CBD - I tried this a year or two ago and couldn't say I noticed any benefits but I'll willing to give your brand a go so also adding Hempura to the shopping basket :-)

    7) I don't have a TENS machine but might look into that. Do you have any recommendations? I do have a soft massage gun which I use on and off and that does seem to provide some benefit.

    8) Acupuncture - So I do have a very good soft tissue massage therapist who I see about once a month. She is very good and getting deep into trigger points and I believe a lot of the pain/discomfort that I (and probably others) experience is a result of muscular issues rather than the joints themselves. She did try dry needling on me once and I can say it was literally 'a pain in the ****' :-) ... Maybe I should try a specialist acupuncturist. If you happen to be in London by any chance and have a recommendation I'd be happy to know!

    9) Yes, I think I am doing ok for now. And my consultant has been quite amazed after looking at my imaging that I am not limping into his office with excruciating pain. But as I have read quite often the imaging is not necessarily causing the symptoms and so we should treat the latter and not the former. Some people have imaging which indicates super severe OA and have zero symptoms. And some people actually have the opposite. The moral of the story being not to focus too much on the imaging and let that lead the treatment... That's my 2 cents anyway :-)

    Thanks again for your help. It's nice to know there are others like me! It can be quite depressing otherwise...


  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358

    Hello again @Nexus7,

    Very interesting observations and points in your post. First off, I use a TENS machine called EasyTens+ made by Bodyclock. They sell online and was recommended by a lady I spoke to on the Helpline here. I'd call them because they'll give a discount for a new customer. Think I paid £40ish amd I use it in the "HANS" setting, so a mixture of 2 different pulses.

    Here's an interesting thing. Ahead of my cancelled operation I had to stop all supplements 2 weeks beforehand and all meds 1 week before and I suffered no ill-effects, no inflammation, nothing - weird and that was with keeping up my gymwork and Spin classes, might be down to the Acupuncture, or magic!

    Regarding diagnosis, I take them with a pinch of salt. My original XRays showed heavily worn cartilage in my left knee and the one on the right had bits like shrapnel in it, the Consultant said "so it's your right knee which is the worse", I said " no, my left hurts more". "Maybe so", he said "but it's your right that's in worse condition". A chat with another consultant comfirmed that xrays and MRIs only give a clinical interpretation and are no guide for pain levels.

    I live in the Cotswolds and see an Acupuncturist who lives near Blenheim Palace, I dare say there are many you could choose from in London. I did a yell.com search and chose my one because she has umpteen qualifications and blends eastern and western types to create a blended approach which works for me. Not cheap but so worth it. I take a monthly 45 minute session now but started out weekly for 2 months which was when it was making a noticeable difference.

    Good to swap tips and ideas, thanks for taking the time to write back.


  • Nexus7
    Nexus7 Member Posts: 17

    Thanks @jonr

    I'll take a look into the TENS machine you recommended.

    Regarding supplements maybe 2 weeks without them is not long enough to ascertain whether they had any benefits? I have a feeling with supplements that a) they take a long time, probably months, before you might see the small benefits and b) vice versa, it might take a while before stopping them has any reduction in benefits they may have provided. But again I am no expert in this area so take my advice with a pinch of salt :-) ... It will be interesting to see how you feel in a month or so...

    I totally agree on the XRay diagnosis and head shaking that happens in the consultants office as they tell you that the end of the world is nigh with respect to your joints... In a way I wish I never had any X-Rays and the medical professionals just focussed on my symptoms without being prejudiced by my imaging...

    I'm also going to take a look into acupuncture as another possible modality to help managing my symptoms so thanks for that advice too!