Is hip arthritis genetic? Meaning are you hard wired to get it no matter what? For those of you who have ever written and published anything online, genes are a bit like HTML code in a webpage. They are there working invisibly in the background, and they often do things you least expect. So, is there a gene lurking unseen in the background in your body that explains why some people of the same age, sex, and state of overall health suffer from severe hip arthritis and some don’t? A recent study tried to answer that question and the results may surprise you.
Hip arthritis is a very limiting disability because your hip is the joint that literally attaches your legs to your body. In addition to simply attaching though, the hip joint gives your legs their range of motion and is crucial in everything that legs do: walking, running, cycling, exercising ,standing, sitting, getting up and getting down, balance, etc. It’s also a joint with less native stem cells than others, which makes it more prone to the catabolic joint stew of bad chemicals present in arthritis, and self-healing more difficult.
The study was a huge study including 2.5 million patients, which focused on Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP’s), which are small snippets of genes which are associated with symptoms of diseases. Men and women with and without Hip Osteoarthritis were selected based on Xray, MRI and prevalence of hip replacement. The research was based on five genetic studies and in vitro (in the lab) research on cartilage and bone forming processes. The results suggested a link between the IGFBP3 gene and Hip Osteoarthritis.
The upshot? Because of the size of this study, the results are promising, as knowing what “coding” is going on in the background gives us more information on how to intervene early in the process and either head the hip arthritis “off at the pass” or maybe one day prevent the expression of the problematic gene. It shouldn’t be far off that routine genetic testing will tell somebody if they have this issue and even before a way to delete or turn off the gene is widely available, the patient’s doctor can know that when they come in complaining of hip pain, rather than a script for a worthless and heart dangerous NSAID drug like Celebrex, an MRI of the hip is needed. Hopefully, those patients will be tagged early for stem cell injections to help prevent serious arthritis from setting in.
About the Author
Christopher J. Centeno, M.D. is an international expert and specialist in regenerative medicine and the clinical use of mesenchymal stem cells in orthopedics. He is board certified in physical medicine as well as rehabilitation and in pain management through The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.…