Author Topic: Osteophytes - Left Femoral Head  (Read 2384 times)

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Brad Coutts

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Osteophytes - Left Femoral Head
« on: October 02, 2013, 08:14:18 PM »
Hey Folks,

This is my first post on the forum.  If this is the wrong post in the wrong part of the forum my apologies.

I am 36 years old and athletic.  I lift weights, squat heavy, have done brazilian jiu jitsu for over a decade and like to lead an active lifestyle.

I have been suffering from pain in my left lower back/left hip/left leg for the past couple of years. 

At first my doctor thought it was disc problems.  X-Rays and an MRI on my lower back showed that everything was fine there.  SI joint xrays also showed that to be normal.

However a recent set of pelvis xrays shows that I have small osteophytes on the head of my left femur.  Xrays also indicate that the joint spaces are otherwise preserved.

My doctor told me that arthroscopy is not done for the hips and as such I may eventually need to have my hip resurfaced or replaced.  He told me that it is unlikely that either of these will be done until I am over fifty.

In the meantime he suggested NSAIDs (which suck for me because I get hearburn easily at the best of times - these will give me ulcers for sure), cortisone shots and physiotherapy.  I am willing to do the physio and cortisone if I need to, but I felt like my doctor didn't really have much of a grasp on how much the chronic pain is affecting quality of life for me.

I have been doing some reading subsequent to my visit to my GP.  Apparently arthroscopy IS done on the hips.  I am wondering if anyone knows if arthroscopy can be used to treat the osteophytes or if I instead have to just do physio and "deal with the pain" until resurfacing/replacement become necessary?

Thanks in advance

John C

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Re: Osteophytes - Left Femoral Head
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2013, 12:01:31 AM »
Welcome to the site. Many of us, including myself, have been in similar situations to where you are now.Please remember that most of us are not medically trained or qualified to give medical advice, but sometimes we can offer to speak from our experience.
As you already discovered, the first doctor was wrong; arthroscopy is done on hips, and has become much more common and refined over the past decade. The osteophytes that you describe would be a common target of arthroscopy of the hip. I had my hip scoped about five years before I finally had a resurfacing. With your background in martial arts, you might explore whether you might also have a torn or damaged labrum in your hip, which might also be addressed with arthroscopy. Damaged labrums and osteophytes often go together from my own experience.
I would do some serious research before allowing a cortisone injection into your hip. It may or may not  help for awhile, but many hip specialist feel that it may cause damage requiring moving on to a resurfacing or replacement sooner.
The best advice that I think you will find is to get more than one opinion, and to only work with the top specialists in the field you are exploring.
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18

luann again

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Re: Osteophytes - Left Femoral Head
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2013, 11:31:59 PM »
Hi Brad,

I started having pain in my right hip ( it would "catch" and be very painful for a moment) off and on at about age 38. At age 40 it became more constant, so I finally went to the Dr. I had a good cartilage cushion, and no tear in the labrum ( this was suspected) BUT there where very large and numerous osteophytes all over the femoral head and acetabulum. One looked to be about half an inch long ( I referred to them as shark teeth) I was first referred to an arthroscopic surgeon. After the consultation, I was very discouraged. The Dr said the pain  from this type of procedure was high, recovery time long, and the chances of the bone spurs coming back great. I got several other orthopedic opinions, and decided to just wait until I needed a hip replacement. One Dr referred me to a HR Dr. That seemed like the best option. I had hope again!
I did try a steroid injection once in the hip. It did absolutely nothing for me.
At 45 I had had enough. That's when I went in for the HR. You do NOT have to wait until 50! You will know when it is time. It sounds like you are near there already. Quality of life is more important than age. I always tell people here that, when the thought of what will happen to your life if you DON'T have the HR done is more disturbing than the thought of the surgery/procedure itself... it's time!
I had a Wright Conserve + done on my right hip three + years ago now. I don't have any regrets. I am very active, and feel I could participate in most any activity I choose.
Get a few opinions, but be sure to include are least one (two would be better) Dr's who actually do A LOT of HR's.
And, don't wait too long. Don't sacrifice your quality of life  because - you don't have too!!!
Good luck. Follow Pat's Dr choosing guidelines on this website.
Dr. Sparling WA Wright C+ 2010 right hip, petite female done at age 45


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Re: Osteophytes - Left Femoral Head
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2013, 07:21:39 AM »
Hello Brad
I'm waiting for surgery.At 38 Stopped running due to back knee pain.
At 39 bicycling became my substitute for long distance running.
Over the next 11 years my weight has fluctuated along with my cycling .
. I am now waiting for surgery in 5 weeks struggling to walk,work and the pain impacts on all I do.
A cortisone shot helped somewhat, however here I am at 50 knowing pretty well that if I had this procedure done a number of years ago I would be far more active and pain free.get the bear Dr you can -get as much info as you can here and elsewhere and go for it. You have one crack at life and you don't want to wait till 50 to get it done. All the best for the future
RBHR 11/11/13 by Stephen McMahon @
The Avenue Hospital Melbourne Australia



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