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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board

Knee & Hip Problems Board Index


I reread your original post and can't believe the doctors have not done and MRI or other scan with the obvious external swelling. Bursitis won't show on an Xray and labral tears or damage to hip cartilage won't show much on an X-ray. Did the X-ray show any loss of cartilage space in the hip? Or bone spurs? Or congenital hip structures that would lead to FAI (femoral acetabulum impingement), conditions?

The docs told me 8 years ago (after X-ray and MRI), that I had nothing wrong with my hip and the recent X-ray showed my hip was a total loss and they referred me to a surgeon who agreed but said that my hip alone probably wasn't causing all the nerve pain in my hip, thigh, knee, calf, foot. He also looked at my lumbar MRI from 8 years ago and wondered why they had never sent me to a back specialist. He said I need to get some review and treatment for my back to differentiate what other issues were driving the pain. I didn't want a hip replacement to begin with so I went to a physiatrist for evaluation of my back and new lumbar MRI. The sent me for PT which I couldn't do much of because of the pain. I gave up for a while and used Tramadol and Tylenol to get through the work day and then crashed on the couch each evening and spent hours with my mini iPad researching back and hip and the connections. I stumbled on a great website by some chiropractor who suffered from failed back surgery. He calls himself the chiro geek. I read every single tab in his website menu and printed them all out and studied all the pics and explanations. I couldn't do his exercises at that time but I learned everything about the back that I could until I could actually pop my MRI CD in the computer and start to make sense out of the MRI images of back. I was still miserable at the time but continued my research and stumbled on a website by an Australian physiotherapist by the name of Sarah Keys. I read things on there that contradicted back treatment warnings given by US docs. I kept reading and watched her video of a 3 step plan that is the mainstay of her treatment. She calls it back appeasement. I watched that (from my comfy couch and pillow position), and thought - this woman is crazy (although my thoughts included descriptive words I won't use here). However; being crazy and desperate myself I tried to do the three step back release exercises. I had to improvise a 'back block' for the first step and also make sure what I was using was only about an inch high and very soft under my SI joint.
I could not hold this position for the recommended time and was in pure agony in my hip and all the way down my leg but I managed to hold the first position for 10 seconds and moved onto the 2nd position which felt wonderful as long as I limited the range of motion. Then the third position - again limited in motion. Then I repeated the whole thing and manage to roll myself off the floor and upright again and ! OMG ! I felt a flood of warmth running through the agonized hip and leg. I purchased her book on Amazon - The Back Sufferers Bible and have read it at least 3 times - plus her book 'Body in Motion' which covers other joint systems - HIP also. Once I got my back somewhat better my stenosis issues decreased and I was able to start doing the PT exercises that were impossible before.

Anyway - the story is too long to type but my initial improvement came with her 3 step back appeasement routine every night before bed and sometimes in the morning and also during the work day (but shortened routine at work). The other thing that helped was the purchase of one of those fit balls - 65 centimeter diameter works for me. And every night after the back appeasement I sit on the ball and bounce gently - very small bouncing movements - bottom never leaves the ball on the upward bounce) for minimum of 5 minutes. That was the beginning of improvement until I could start working the hip. There were many more things adds as I progressed. The main thing is that in spite of the pain you have to move the joint for improvement. It doesn't matter if it is arthritis or bursitis, you have to move the back and hip and get the fluid transfer in the vertebral discs and the hip joint. Start with baby steps. I quit the Tramadol after the first week of doing the back appeasement and went to Motrin and ice only. I had some bad days mixed in there but never quit trying. I recommend that you don't use prescription pain meds to attempt the beginning of the program because they mask the pain and you want to be aware of your limits so as not to do damage or set up a later flare of issues.

I will continue more because there is much more once I got my back and hip in motion (limited, but better), again. Later I had to start researching all the muscles that support the hip and also the IT band turned out to be critical to progression and more pain relief. The glute muscles are critical for the hip joint and the TFL and hamstrings and the iliopsoas muscle. Later I concentrated on the multifidus muscle arrangement and discovered how critical it is in regards to spinal stenosis issues. I continue to work at it.

Check out Physical Therapists and Chiropractors for hip bursitis and hip arthritis and lumbar issues. I totally failed the Ober Test I did at home. I think I was also dealing with bursitis that was being irritated by totally tense IT band.

Again - I want to add that I would be concerned about the amount of swelling that your wife has and the fact that ruling out hip bursitis with possible bursitis sac/fluid infection. If the bursa sac is inflamed or infected that would have to be dealt with before you attempt too much on your own. If she can't do certain motions on her own the you gently assist the painful movement and provide support to get through a certain range of motion just to get the joint lubrication fluids moving in there so the joint can do it's self cleaning and repairing it was meant to do.

Why would her doctor want to inject something directly into her hip bone without any diagnosis or other imaging besides and X-ray? Seems to me an MRI and or CT Scan (too much radiation but sometimes you have to do it anyway) would be in order before you start injecting stuff into the bone. Steroids injections should not be routine without complete imaging and some idea of what's going on.

Hope something in this long and rambling of words proves to be helpful.

I'll stop for now


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