In many cases, Dr. Bharam will inject a numbing agent into the hip to help diagnose the problem. If the pain is relieved, he knows that the joint is causing the pain. However, if the pain persists, it tells him that the problem is likely located elsewhere.
Corticosteroid injections are also considered in many situations. Steroids can reduce inflammation and stiffness and restore range of motion. These injections also often lower the pain level or eliminate it completely.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is another type of injection that can help many hip conditions. With PRP, a concentration of platelets from the patient’s own blood is injected into the hip. PRP uses the individual’s own growth factors to promote healing and tissue growth. PRP is considered a new, yet natural way to help damaged ligaments, cartilage and tendons recover.
A study of severe hip bursitis patients by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons showed PRP was more effective than cortisone injections. PRP is also an increasingly common treatment for arthritis, as well as for muscle, ligament, tendon and cartilage injuries.
Stem cells are simple, healthy cells that come from living tissue and have the ability to develop into many other kinds of cells when placed in the body. The stem cells found in bone marrow are often used to promote healing of tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bone. While this field is still considered somewhat experimental, stem cell therapy is gaining acceptance when treating:
- Labral tears
- Bone necrosis
Some researchers are even proposing the use of stem cells instead of hip replacement surgery in some cases.