Early degeneration of my hips - how can I minimise progression?

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I am 36 and have had clicky and painful hips since I was about 12.  I have 2 children now and after having each child my hip symptoms seemed to become more significant.  My youngest is now two.  I decided to revisit the doctor - I have been told for many years that it is just because I am tall (at 5'11'').  My GP referred me to physio and i managed to see an extended scope practitioner who found i have a leg length discrepancy (2.5 cm lying down but 5cm standing up) but my range of movement and power is very good.  I had an xray which I have just been told shows early degenerative changes of noth hips but a healthy pelvis.  Is this as bad as it sounds or have we all probably got these if we had an xray?  The physio reported that my acetabulum has a roughened surface (which should be smooth) and there is evidence of some underlying wear in the form of white patches on the xray????  A joint space is still apparent.

I get discomfort all day with my left (shorter) side but my right side seems to flare up and then get better.

Exercise like pilates helps but long walks when its cold or a day out tending the garden seems to aggravate it.

I am keen to learn about how i can best manage the degenration and if there is anything I can do to slow things down.  I eat a balanced diet, am not overweight and have an active job and family life.

Any advice much appreciated

cheesygrin

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Leg lengths are determined by bone which is neither compressible nor distensible.

    What is difficult is to measure leg lengths accurately.

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    • Posted

      Thanks. It is the overall measurement of the combined boned though - hip to ankle. It may be that my pelvis twists or tilts more on the one side perhaps so when standing the hip prominence sits lower on the one side ???
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  • Posted

    I would have thought that lying down your legs are their natural length as they are supported. Once you stand you have gravity taking force plus the influence of the pelvis tilting and pulling altering how the hip joint sits. Measuring hip to ankle there is a difference when I am lying vs standing.

    Either that or my leg knows magic! ?!

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  • Posted

    Anyway - that wasn't what I was seeking advice about but thank you for the contribution.
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  • Posted

    If pelvic movement is incorporated then the legs can appear to change length, because of the parallogram geometry. This is an old trick to have a lower limb appear to grow or shrink. But leg lengths cannot change.
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    • Posted

      I will ask the physio to ammend her notes then so that she clearly states hip to ankle length rather than leg length.
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  • Posted

    Supposing your legs are the same length, the apparently short leg might be demonstrating “adductor spasm” which might relate to your hip problem.

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