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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2010

    Default Avascular Necrosis-both hips

    I had a scan done a few months ago of my hip because I had fallen on it. The scan showed no breaks but they saw that I had AVN in both hips. I've finally gone to an orthopedist to talk about that and he said I need to stop playing sports.

    I currently kickbox, play rugby, ice hockey, ride and run 1/2 marathons. He said I need to stop all of these activities and should start swimming.

    I currently have no pain in my hips, and I don't see why I should stop doing what I love. I'm in my twenties.

    Could anyone tell me ways to improve my hip health without stopping the impact sports?? How soon will I be looking at problems? He suggested that I would need surgery within a couple of years.

    Any tips or thoughts are appreciated!
    Trakehner breeder and eventer!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2009


    No pain and Doc tells you to stop playing sports??
    I would get a second opinion!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Baltimore, MD


    Ok I may be over simplifying things but the way I translate that diagnosis is dead bone from no blood supply. If that is correct I can't fathom how that could be something left untreated not that I have any idea what that treatment would be aside from removing the dead part.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2006


    My 2 second internet search suggests that this would most likely be caused by an accident or certain long-term medication use. While it's possible that you could actually have this in your 20s without any prior trauma, I think I'd definitely want a second opinion! I'd want to know specifically what they are seeing in the scan and what it means.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2010


    Thanks for the responses. I had two orthopedists view the films, my primary doc agrees. It's definitely AVN. Likely caused by a combination of high impact professional sports from 18-25, combined with a few medications I've used for years. It's also a good precautionary tale for teens looking to supplement with certain things to reach higher levels of sports. Not worth it.

    I'm hoping someone with experience can give me an idea of the timeline before I need my hips replaced or at least what to watch for in terms of pain.

    Thank you.
    Trakehner breeder and eventer!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Spotsylvania, VA


    FWIW, MrP and his sister have each had to have a hip replaced, he because of OA, she due to AVN after an injury. In her case it was 4.5 years from injury to surgery.

    The good news is that hip replacement surgery is generally successful. Most patients are walking (sorta) within a few hours after surgery. He plays golf and was swinging a golf club within 4 weeks. She rides, and was back to riding about the same time.

    Once upon a time people were told to wait till they absolutely couldn't stand it any longer to have the surgery but now they seem to be thinking that people will recover better if their muscles haven't tightened and atrophied due to pain.
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2001
    Cullowhere?, NC


    Quote Originally Posted by carolprudm View Post
    Once upon a time people were told to wait till they absolutely couldn't stand it any longer to have the surgery but now they seem to be thinking that people will recover better if their muscles haven't tightened and atrophied due to pain.
    Also, the surgeries and prostheses they use now last longer, and revisions are less invasive, so Drs are more willing to do hip replacements on younger people.

    My orthopedist said that riding (NOT falling off, of course) is one of the better activities as it is not weight bearing, there is little wearing movement of the hip joint, and the angle of the hip joint in the saddle is about the best for avoiding dislocation, which is the big long-term issue.

    I had a hip replacement at 52 (six years ago), twenty years after the injury that precipitated the arthritis, and have gone on to riding "normally" since. I do not jump, my choice, but I do long-ish trail rides, all day horsemanship clinics, cow-working, and such. I am careful what I get on, and will bail in a situation that makes me feel insecure.

    You may have to give up the running, twisting, quick, hard turning sports, but should not have to give up horses entirely.
    "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

    Spay and neuter. Please.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2003

    Default AVN Hips

    Hip resurfacing is a good option here rather than total hip replacement. Your docs haven't said so probably because they aren't trained in the new methods and devices. They haven't suggested replacement because you are younger. But waiting can limit your options. I suggest emailing digital exrays to Dr. Mont at the The Rubin Institute for Joint Preservation at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. He resurfaced my hip 5 years ago. See the Yahoo group SurfaceHippy for lots of info. Do not wait. PM for his email. A free email consult is worth it!
    Touchstone Acres Lipizzans, Standing N. Samira VI (Gray), N. XXIX-18(Black), more in 2014

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2011

    Default Important to treat early AVN!

    This is an old thread, but in case anyone stumbles on it...

    There are effective treatments of AVN that work especially well early.

    -stem cell treatment, which is done with stem cells from your own bone marrow. See Dr. Einhorn at Boston Medical Center, there are others treating it and international treatment may be an option.

    -Hyperbaric oxygen- a study done in Israel, with a control group, showed reversal in most cases after 100 daily 90 min treatments at 2-2.5 ata

    -Traditional Chinese Medicine. This one can be ordered and has excellent research behind it.

    -Alternatively, see a TCM Dr. I would reccomend one trained in China with MD degree from China. There is also a hospital in China treating AVN specifically (and perhaps other hip issues?)

    -Exercise (but low impact). Water based physical therapy. My Dr. said this was actually originally adapted from the horse world--stem cell treatment is also done in horses, yet still rarely in people.

    Glad to hear riding is low impact!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009

    Default JUST JINGLES ``

    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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