Mild OA bilateral on hip X-ray but only 36!! Help!

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Hi, I'm new to this group but hoping anyone can give me some advice and hopefully reassurance. I'm 36 and have been seeing physio for lower back pain radiating around to my right hip since feb this year. They thought it was due to lack of core strength and gave me some ex recuses to correct this. Anyway lower back pain mainly resolved, only a bit stiff at times and it became clear that my hip was now the problem with pain on addiction and abduction in my groin as well as pain in buttock when walking. They though I may have had an impingement so referred me for an X-ray. Results show I have mild OA in both hips! It was a bit of a shock mainly due to my age but also because I had only been getting pain in one. I am a relatively active person, I'm a childrens nurse with two young children and to be honest a bit devastated. I already have ulcerative colitis, diagnosed a few years ago so to now have another in curable potentially degenerative condition is a bit of a blow!

I have to wait to see a doc as they couldn't get me in fri so have spent all weekend panicking and fearing the worst. So I guess my questions will be about if anyone has been diagnosed so young and if so how did it progress? How will they treat me? Just physion? Is surgery ever a viable option and if so in what cases! Any info, advice or reassurance greatly appreciated. 

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  • Posted

    I apologise for appalling spelling I've just finished a 12 hour shift! Ex recuses= excercise! addiction=adduction and physion= physio! 
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  • Posted

    If it's "mild" just manage things with LIGHT exercise, I would not overdo it....sounds like you have a lot you do, but don't overdo more than you do....stretching is good.....walking good.

    I had a hip replacement at 72 and many years of OA bodywide....and I exercised a lot. this hip replacement was not the greatest fo rme. But at this age, I manage but my life has changed a lot so has my age.

    Magnesium, Vit D3 and lower doses of calcijm are vital....I take more magnesium than cal. There are many OA supplements out there and one just has to try and try and try to find one or two that help them....

    Surgeries in my mind are Last REsort unless an emergnecy....

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    • Posted

      Curious to know more of your experience with hip replacement. I have this deep conviction that - for all the positive hype you read at this site - messing about with this surgery is not the answer. 

      Perhaps you'll elaborate. 

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    • Posted

      Fran, I've often said "wish I had my old pain back".....the only pain I don't have NOW is groin pain, the replacement took care of the crumbled bone in my groin which started to bother me at 70 or so and saw the xrays at 72 and thinking back you forget about pain, or I would never have done this....I'm so anti surgery period. Some others have said that too, want their old pain back. But many are improving after hard struggles.

      I came to this forum only for the hip discussions and then found all the other groups, big forum.

      My first impression was SO MANY young people doing these replacements, maybe all due to excessive exercise for years.....can't figure that one in the U.S. it's older people mostly but maybe more young ones too now.

      I had the Anterior surgery which is the newer type and and UK folks mostly do the posterior unless they go out of their health care system for the anterior. I think it generated in France and US docs went to France for training, but you can check that out for sure. If you want.

      The complications I live with are Femoral Nerve Damage, shorter leg outcome and this is so common with all replacements.....which then puts strain on other joints causing more pain, and IT band damage down side of thigh which happens...I also ended up with spinal stenosis which I've worked on for 2 yrs with acupuncture and special exercises, it's improved and I can sit longer but begin to burn.

      Well, that's quite a book I've written and as I said a while back, it's a crapshoot. I certainly hoped for better and got this stuff. Joy

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  • Posted


    I'm sorry you have found out you have OA at a young age. I can imagine it must hve been a shock but a lot of people thinks its "an old persons disease".....its not, lots of children have it.

    Typos  biggrin  Never mind those.....I think most of us can read through them because we all make plenty outselveswink Especially when the site is playing upand skipping letters, sticking and freezing

    Are you in the UK or the US?

    Things tend to be slightly different

    When you say doctor did you mean a GP or a consultant at the hospital?

    What you need is a referral to the hospital to get a definite decision on what it is to start with.....apologies if you already have. Just when you said you had to wait until Mon to see the doctor.....that sounds like a GP not a consultant

    People progress at different say mild OA. It could be years before it bothers can be controlled with exercise, medication and various other self help methods.

    I was in my 50's when I was diagnosed but I do know others on another forum who have had since their 20's or others their 30's.

    I doubt that surgery would be offered......not for a long long time




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  • Posted

    No worries about the spelling fibyvic!!!  At least you have a good reason!!

    I am very sorry to hear of your condition, I know how devastating it is to be told you've got this condition and it will get worse over the years! Not nice.

     I have had OA now since I was about 30 something, can't remember the exact age, mine was caused by my pregnancy, it just got worse as the years rolled by!    I did have exercises to begin with, but, to be quite honest, it didn't help, just made it worse!  I have heard that operations can be done, although, I have't been offered one myself, I guess it does depend on where the OA is?!  I don't know.    Maybe it's worth an 'ask' to  your GP?  I know that sometimes depends on the GP!  

    Right!  I haven't really answered you question have I?  Sorry!  I'll try to,   As I said, I have had this condition now for 30 odd years, I am now 63, I must say, it has only now got so bad that I need a walking stick......sometimes!  my right hip is very painful now, along with mainly my right side of my back, but, of course, it is, or certainly feels as's everywhere!  

    I do hope I haven't made you feel worse?   Just thougth I'd say how my OA is...and of course, we're not all the same.

    I do wish you well, and I hope you can find someone who can help you out, as we know, any help is good.


    May I ask Do you live in Filby, Norfolk?  Sorry if I'm 'out of order' asking that, It's just that I visit Caister -on-sea very often, and travel through Filby, and as the sign says, Filby, A Lovely Place To Be!!  And it is!!

    Bye for now..

    Best wishes.


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  • Posted

    Hi Filbyvic

    So sorry to hear you've had OA diagnosed so young.  One thing I would point out right at the start is that oa isn't always the 'end of life as we know it'. I developed it following a major accident which destroyed the cartilege in my ankle joint.  Although it was diagnosed pretty soon after the injuries healed, it's not an instant issue, it progresses very slowly and even at nearly 60 and many years after the accident, although I have low grade continuous pain, most days I am pretty mobile and the only thing it has stopped me from doing is playing badminton as I used to.  I walk, can do a little jog (eg for the bus or similar but not long distance), I swim and I even manage medium high heels for a night out - something I surprised even myself with.  The pain I can live with - it's there all the time but it's only bad enough to seep into my consciousness on days when I've over used the joint or (like today) it's cold and damp weather.  I've recently developed oa in both thumb joints and they are more painful than the ankle at times but one anti inflammatory in the morning and usually I can get through the day without it stopping me in my tracks.  It really does become something that co-exists with you and it's no worse than a low grade toothache, which we've all coped with at some time or another I'm sure.  My one big recommendation, after trying every remedy know to man, is glucosamine with chondroitin and MSM.  My hands were so bad I couldnt even open the milk bottle top; since taking this regularly the inflammation has reduced by half at least and I'm actually typing this using all fingers and both thumbs, somethingthat was beyond my capability before I started taking it.  The only other thing I'd say is that swimming has been a life saver.  Low impact and because it's good cardio exercise, the improved oxygen in the blood as benefitted to OA to a huge extent.  Good luck with your endeavours and just remember not to overdo anything physical.

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    • Posted

      Lower back OA started in my body at 18.... I'm 76. I would Never do a back surgery, I've seen those stories. I got thru life very well knowing my back was an issue but it didn't stop me.....

      I am back on glucosomine, take higher doses of MSM powder and Omega 3's fish oil and now Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) which helps with inflammation too....also balances out's anb Omega 6.

      I've done years of chiro work, gym workouts and exercises at home....keep moving but not fanatic...I was never a runner and a good thing I know now.

      The hip replacement at 72 was not my greatest achievement in my life.....J

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  • Posted

    Hi guys thanks for your responses. Im in the uk so yes it was a gp I saw today-very scary stuff! He obviously mentioned hip replacement not for now but said possibly in 10-15 years which only makes me barely 50- that's scared me! He mainly focused on ways I could preserve the hip joint namely losing weight (my bmi is only about 26 so haven't got much to lose but every little helps), see a physio, avoid high impact sports and avoid carrying heavy loads. I have been referred to an orthopaedic consultant because of my age and he is not sure why I have it. No hip problems on childhood, nothing that runs in the family and no trauma. 

    Re surgery don't get me wrong I'm not keen on the idea but would like to discuss my options. Surely given my age there's a case for surgical procedures to preserve te joint, rather than just wait for the inevitable? I'm aware there are many problems with some of the procedures but would be interested to hear from anyone that has undergone resurfacing on bone reshaping? As I say I'm not willing to rush into any sort of surgery I may regret and am aware I may not even be offered anything of that type yet anyway but would like to know my options. 

    It is very reassuring to me that some of you have lived with this for years and conservative management has worked well.

    catsmother-  no I don't, filby was my maiden name so I expect my ancestors loved there. I have however visited Filby whilst on holiday in the Norfolk Broads and as you say it's a beautiful place 😊

    loxie, thank you the supplements you recommended are on order.

    wow Im starting to come to terms with this now, I wish I could see into the future and see how this will progress, it would certainly make some decisions now easier!

    thanks again all 😊


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    • Posted

      I listen to a Prolotherapy MD on the radio every weekend, he started out to be a surgeon and when he had a failed shoulder surgery, he changed and when into MORE holistic healing Prolo being one of them.... I've had some Prolo on my shoulder and got 3 yrs of help.

      Now I'm reading up on Prolozone which I believe is out of Germany and these injections contain oxygen and vitamins and our own blood.....

      Both these are to prevent surgery.;....anyway tis MD says "stay away from doctors".....I think one can go too often and we open up more pandora boxes......I've done my share but work on doing my own healing and staying away from the drugs and more cutting of the body.

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  • Posted


    I'm in the North East and they tend not to like giving replacements early because you will need another replacement afterwards.

    You need a definite diagnosis from a consultant at the hospital.

    Even then if its OA......... well the GP deals with most of it.....keeping pain under control. Then there are always self management things to help you.

    Take one day at a time......dont think far into the future....everyone is different and my OA progressed very was many years before it affected me much at all except for an underlying pain.

    Love Eileen

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    • Posted

      I'm in agreement with you Eileen, since living with it I've realised it's not the end of the world and like you mine has progressed slowly but surely.  I've only had minor procedures, ie an arthroscopy, to scrape away a spur of bone to improve dorsa flex in the ankle joint.  There is no major replacement procedure presently for ankles so I don't even have to think of that option.  I gave up on NSAIDs as there were far too many bad effects and I've also shied away from opiates such as tramadol as theyre way too addictive.  The glucosamine was recommended to me by one of the consultants I saw during the years of repeat visits to the orthopaedic department at the hospital and it's been my 'miracle cure' - relieves the pain far better than anti-inflamms with no side effects either. As you say there are far better alternatives to prescription drugs or invasive surgery.  Interestingly one of the hospital doctors said that following my accident I'd suffered "two injuries" - the first in the accident, the second being the surgery - so for me I'm avoiding further 'injury' ie surgery.  There's a lot one can do to help the condition from hindering daily life, mild non impact exercise, interspersed with comfortable rest and healthy lifestyle - all of which have helped mine stay at uncomfortable but not unbearable.
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    • Posted

      Hi Loxie

      I have tried glucosamine before but dont think I was patient enough and gave it up before it did any might have said before is it glucosamine on its own or with chrontidine and MSN?

      At the moment I'm not sure that it would help me.....wait for thisbiggrin

      I have OA in both hips 2 THR's, ankle, neck and lower back. I alo have kypho scolosis {C shape curve in your back and slight bend at your shoulders} then they discovered osteoporosiseek

      That was discovered when i was doing an NHS exercise four weeks post THR and my hip cracked, leg gave way. Back into hospital and they said you have fractured your greater trochantor bone??{at the femur} nothing we can do about it, it will heal by itself but take a long long time. I'm still on 2 crutches nearly 9 months later.

      I dont really blame the THR {although I wish I hadnt had the 2nd one} it was the ostoporosis to blame.

      I still wont let it get me down. {well not too much LOL I have my days when I wallow in self pity but not for too long}wink

      I wont try any opiates either because of the addiction.

      Paracetamol and Naproxen but wish I could get rid of some of them.

      There are others as well but those are the "painkillers"

      I drive, put the crutches in the back and go so I'm reasonably independent. I go to yoga but it is a class for "older ladies" LOL Most of the exercises are stretching and done standing, when the others lie on their yoga mats I sit on a chair and she adapts the exercises.

      I'm a volunteer for Arthritis Care......"Arthritis Campion" that keeps me busy LOL I use heat if I need it for pain. All exercise is non impact but not swimming because I hate the water  LOL

      Oh yes....just last week the GP referred me to the leisure on  2 crutches doing exercisescheesygrin but what they have me doing is, 10 mins on the bicycle where your arms and legs go at the same time.

      Then 10 mins on the walker, then 10 mins on a different bike to cool dow and then some stretches. Doesnt sound much to anyone who is not in pain but its enough for me.

      Glad you are coping with your pain and have found ways.

      You've started me thinking about glucosamine again.....I have more pain now with this fracture as well so dont know that it would help me but am tempted to try



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    • Posted

      Hi Eileen.  You really have been through the wars eh.  I'm very impressed by your determination to keep smiling through it all.  I did take glucosamine on its own many years ago after I was diagnosed with tenosynitivitis in my thumb joints, a work contact recommended it and it worked great back then but when I tried it again following my accident, it didnt seem to make much difference.  This time round I'm taking the one with chondroitin and MSM and it really has done some good.  I still get pain but the fiery burning agony which I woke up to every morning has subsided and this low grade pain is totally bearable.  I'm trying to keep my diet in order and not to eat foods which I know cause inflammation plus non impact exercise, so to be honest not sure which element is helping most.  I have managed to reduce anti inflamms to just one naproxen if I'm in agony late at night due to over doing it in some way during the day.  Sometimes I'm not sure however how much  is down to just getting used to the pain so that it doesn't register in my conciousness so much anymore.  When it's there all the time and I'm not focussing on it, I forget it and that helps enormously.
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    • Posted

      Hi Loxie

      Sorry I did try to reply earlier but this site would not play ballbiggrin

      You are so right about distraction is a great way of making the pain less.

      Not as easy {for me anyway} at night.

      Like I say I might go back to trying glucosamine MSM and chondroitin.

      I take 2 Naproxen a day.....12 hours apart.....dont know if I could try to stop one of those. Or whether to try and stop {or reduce } the paracetamol....I never expect to be pain free but ffor the pain to be less is a result. Before my 2nd THR the NHS offered acupuncture.....I thought why not....give it a try. It was once a week for 6 week. I found that for the 5 days after getting it the pain eased {not pain free but a lot less} then the last 2 days before the next lot was due it was back to normal.....for me that was a result!!!!! All my exercise is low ....not so sure aboutquestion



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