Hip Labral Tear Recovery Without Surgery: The Bright Shiny Object Syndrome

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Orthopedic surgery suffers from what I call the “bright shiny object” syndrome. What is this? It’s the cause of countless unneeded and invasive surgeries and treatments that cause more damage than good. This morning I’d like to introduce you to a patient from Canada who traveled to Colorado seeking hip labral tear recovery without surgery. She’s also featured in a video on Canadian local TV. What she learned is that her hip labral tear was the “bright shiny object,” but the real cause of her pain was more complex than her doctors understood.

The Bright Shiny Object

MRI is a two-edged sword. Meaning, it can show us that something looks abnormal, but it contains little wisdom about what might be causing your pain. In fact, oftentimes what’s causing the patient’s pain doesn’t show up on an MRI. This is what I call the “bright shiny object syndrome.”

Hence, if you’re looking for hip labral tear recovery without surgery, you need to avoid the orthopedic surgery “bright shiny object.” Meaning, an orthopedic surgeon will get all excited about and likely want to operate on the labral tear seen on MRI, when, in fact, the cause of the patient’s pain and problems lie elsewhere. They simply get distracted by the bright shiny object and can’t see the big picture.

Learn about Regenexx procedures for hip conditions.

Hip Labral Tears Are Like Wrinkles

You would think that since millions of surgeries have been performed on hip labrum tears after just an MRI and a cursory exam that we have great evidence that this finding is, in fact, associated with hip pain. You would be wrong. We now have many studies that show that hip labrum tears are found in many patients who have no pain. Basically, degenerative hip labrum tears happen all the time and seem to be about as important as wrinkles. Let me show you how one patient was able to experience hip labral tear recovery without surgery or destructive treatments by getting properly diagnosed.

Suman’s Journey

“A compass, I learnt when I was surveying, it’ll…it’ll point you True North from where you’re standing, but it’s got no advice about the swamps and desert and chasm that you’ll encounter along the way. If in pursuit of your destination, you plunge ahead, heedless of obstacles, and achieve nothing more than to sink in a swamp…What’s the use of knowing True North?” —Abraham Lincoln

Suman’s journey begins like so many who have a hip labral tear. She had pain in the hip area and then eventually got an MRI. Most patients are frustrated at that point as the pain is preventing them from doing what they want to do. In the absence of other information on what to do, they opt for surgery or cortisone injections to treat a labral tear that usually isn’t the cause of hip pain. This is all one grand placebo that through downtime and rehab either helps the original problem or it remains and they move on to the next surgery. Hence, the MRI is like the compass. It points you in a direction.

Suman was seen by Dr. Pitts in 2016 at our Colorado HQ. She suffered a hip labral tear due to a car accident, and that tear was the bright shiny object on her hip MRI. The usual treatment would be cortisone injections, and if those failed, then surgery. She didn’t want to go down that road, and when her doctor suggested cortisone injections, she opted for prolo injections in her low back, which somewhat relieved the pain in her hip, but she was still in a great deal of pain there and in her low back, neck, and other parts of her body.

She felt helpless and hopeless, but she did her homework online and soon realized that this was unlikely to be the whole story and that there was something, other than cortisone and surgery, called stem cell therapy. Dr. Pitts diagnosed her with not only the labral tear, but he also looked at the big picture and noted problems in her SI joint and a pinched nerve in her low back, among other things. Dr. Pitts used stem cells and platelets with precise image-guided injections to treat these issues. Her results are described in the video above.

The upshot? Suman’s story is one of the bright shiny objects. She read our website and soon realized that embarking down a road which had no ability to fix the problem and could ultimately lead to surgery on something that may, or may not be, causing her pain wasn’t a good idea. She knew that there was more to her story. Hence, she chose Regenexx, where we look at the big picture. In addition, unlike chiropractic amnio scams, she found an expert physician who knew exactly what to inject and where.

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Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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NOTE: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

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