Can a platelet shot act as a hip labrum surgery alternative? I’ve blogged before about what I call “Hip Labrum Mania“. By this I mean the sudden increase in popularity of hip labrum surgery based on tears or impingement (FAI or CAM) seen on MRI. In our experience, few hip labrum tears or impingements are the cause of the patients pain, while many get operated. We firmly believe that once this runs it’s course, the medical community will categorize hip labral tears much the same way that we now should categorize meniscus tears. In the last several years, research has shown that physicians must be very careful about concluding that a meniscus tear is the cause of the patient’s pain, as many patients without knee pain have meniscus tears on MRI. The same will hold true for tears in the hip labrum and most cases of MRI defined impingement. So if we shouldn’t operate on most of these, what should we do? First, look for another source of the patient’s pain-usually in the low back. However, if there is an issue that can definitely be tied to the hip, we’ve had good success with injection based therapies under both fluoroscopy and ultrasound, targeting the tear and the rest of the hip. We have used Super Concentrated Platelets (SCP is our version of super concentrated PRP), or if the tear is more severe, the patient’s own stem cells. Below is an e-mail from a ballet dancer first seen by Dr. Hanson in May of last year. At that point she had noticed a pop in her hip while dancing about a month prior and still had a painful hip. A good hands on exam including looking at the labrum under ultrasound showed a defect in the labrum that did correlate with her exam as a cause of pain. Dr. Hanson injected her with SCP and here’s her 1.5 year report (that’s her above dancing Swan Lake in Germany after joining the Stadttheater Bremerhaven company):
“Dear Dr. Hanson,
I’m not sure if you remember me, but I had two Regenexx prodedures in May and June of last year (2011). I had a labral tear in my right hip. I remembered you said to email you with an update, and I never did!
I am a contemporary ballet dancer who was dancing professionally in Colorado, and I had a contract to dance in Germany when I found out about my labral tear. I took about 6 weeks off completely dancing after my second injection before starting here in Germany. I began the season dancing and am still dancing strong here in Germany today! I do not feel pain anymore. I do not have as much range of motion in that hip anymore–of course as a dancer we deal with extreme range. Every once in a while I get the very very beginning sensation of what it used to feel like when my hip would “catch”, but it never catches.
Overall, I am extremely happy with my hip and the procedures I had done at your clinic. I would not have been able to take this job in Germany if I had to get surgery and be out of dancing for a year or more. Thank you, and I hope you and the other doctors are doing well with helping other patients and getting more exposure. I tell all my dancer friends who have injuries about your clinic.
NOTE: Regenexx SCP is a medical procedure and like all medical prodcedures has a success and failure rate. Not every Regenexx SCP Hip Labral Tear patient can expect these same results