Alternatives to Hip Replacement -- Published studies? On-going trials

Posted by gpsmith @gpsmith, Oct 17, 2021

Hi. I'm 61 years old, male, and generally healthy. I've been told that I should have my left hip replaced due to loss of cartilage.

I'd appreciate leads to any solid studies of the short and long-term efficacy of alternatives to hip replacement, including but not limited to stem cell therapy.

I'd also appreciate leads to on-going or upcoming trials.

If you've tried any such alternatives, please share any info you feel comfortable sharing.

Many thanks.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Bones, Joints & Muscles group.

Hello @gpsmith, Welcome to Connect. Thank you for starting this important discussion. I'm 78 and have had one knee replacement due to degenerative arthritis and have tried to focus on alternatives and changes that I can do to avoid major surgery. I use Google scholar ( to search for medical research information that has been published. Unfortunately a lot of the articles are not free so I just glean information from the abstract and use that to search of other available information. I think it's wise to look for ways to improve your health and avoid unnecessary surgery or possibly seek a second opinion if you are in doubt.

@sueinmn and others may also have some suggestions to share with you. Currently I am trying to lose some extra weight and strengthen my hip, leg and back muscles with home exercises to hopefully avoid hip replacement or at least make recovery easier if replacement is required. Here are a few articles I found that may be of interest.

— New strategy of home exercise to prevent surgery for patient with hip osteoarthritis and a Harris hip score below 60 points:
— Appropriateness of hip osteoarthritis management in clinical practice compared with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) criteria:
— Stem Cells Get Hip – Mayo Clinic:
— Exploring views of orthopaedic surgeons, rheumatologists and general practitioners about osteoarthritis management:

Also, you might find the following exercise information helpful from McMaster Optimal Aging Portal.
— Osteoarthritis and Exercise – Learn how to best manage osteoarthritis of the hip and knee with exercise. Reduce your symptoms and improve your mobility.:

Have you looked into any kind of therapy or exercises to help strengthen your hips?


As John mentioned, I am sort of a research geek – and wishing some of these options would have been available 15 years ago, when I had hip replacement surgery in my 50's. There are now entire clinical practices whose goal is to preserve the original joints for as long as possible. It seems that the major criteria for participation are generally that you be active and willing to do ongoing exercise to maintain strength and flexibility, that there be some cartilage left in the joint, and that bone damage be minimal or non-existent. If you meet these, you might consider consulting with a practice that specializes in more conservative treatments? Mayo has one such group: and Cleveland Clinic has another:

There is also a stem cell trial at Mayo that is enrolling participants:
You contact them via the link to see if you qualify.

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