Undiagnosed Hip Pain

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I am a distance runner on the regional NAVY/Marine Corps team, who has been sidelined for two months with bad hip pain. After the last marathon i ran two months ago, I noticed an odd hip pain. I took two weeks off and then tried a 5 mile run. After about two miles, I began to have pain on the top of my outer hip joint. I managed to finish the run, but could barely walk afterwards. My coach took me to the hospital, where x-rays turned out negative and they said I probably just had a strain. That was two months and many trips to the doctor and therapy since. The pain has moved more towards the inner crease area of my right hip. I am unable to stand or walk with out a limp, and sitting is even more painful than walking. The only comfortable position is laying on my side with pillows propped around my hip. The pain wakes me up several times I week. Being active duty Marine Corps, I can't afford to be 'broke', and am having difficulty with finding military doctors who will do anything more than give me pain killers. Does anyone have any advice? Running is my life!

-- glade fournier (glade.c.fournier@nttc-pen.navy.mil), July 04, 2003


I would seek the advice of a qualified sports medicine specialist. You may have a hip pointer, an abductor strain, a labral tear or something else.

Good Luck

-- Marc Hungerford, M.D. (mhunger@jhmi.edu), July 08, 2003.

Glade, I am an ex Marine, 46 years old and completely healthy until about a year ago. I would run or jog 4-5 miles 3 times a week. Then I started getting pain in my upper left leg, months later the groin area and now hip. Dr, took xrays and said my hips were bone on bone which to this day I cannot except. If they are both bone on bone than why does only my left one bother me. I found streching exercises from a book, Heal Your Hips by Robert Klapper helped me. I still limp sometimes and I cant go back to running yet, but at least I can sleep with no pain. You will see that the pain will get worst especially after sitting a while and then getting up sudden. Good luck to you, and if you find out it turns out to be something else, please let me know. I have searched all over the web. Your problem seems to be like mine in that it may have to do with just the abductor muscle part of the hip. I am sure I dont need a hip replacement. I just want to continue to find a way to beat this. Please keep in touch.

Ben E. abcfire@cox.net

-- Ben E. (abcfire@cox.net), October 07, 2003.

Hi Glade,

If you haven't been to see an orthopedic specialist about your hip pain, that would be my first suggestion. The pain you describe is much more serious and progressive than a strain would suggest. Just because an x-ray is negative for bone changes, it does not mean that you don't have an underlying condition called avascular necrosis which will show up on MRI before bony changes are evident. This condition causes bone death of the femoral head and increasing pain and immobility. The fact that you run ( a definite no-no for wearing out hips, knees, feet and ankles) doesn't help and definitely predisposes you to all types of hip injuries. Don't give up until your pain is diagnosed, as AVN can be treated if it is caught before too much hip damage occurs and a total joint replacement is needed. Good Luck.

-- christina delottinville (seamoregirl@hotmail.com), October 27, 2003.

I would also suggest you get a bone scan. Your xrays may show no problems but a bone scan can indicate loosening or infection. I discovered after two years of hip and thigh pain that my replacement had never bonded to the bone. I lost a tremendous amount of bone during that time so the revision (done in June 2003) was risky and difficult to recover from. Only after seeking a third opinion and a third bone scan and numerous xrays (which showed no loosening), was the diagnosis made.

-- DeAnn Major (WthrngHite@aol.com), November 22, 2003.

I have the exact same symptoms. Can't sleep or sit for any long period. My doctor diagnosed it as hip bursitis. I was a runner for years and now have a job where I stand for hours. Look it up in Google. Rest, ice, anti-inflamatories, and most likey you will need a cortisone shot in the hip if those measures aren't effective. Good luck!

-- steve kosta (skosta@aol.com), December 24, 2003.

I'd go see an Orthopedic surgeon. At 42, I began to have the same symptoms. I thought it was just part of getting older. I also ran daily, and was a full-time fire- paramedic. I had developed Avascular Necrosis, in both hips. I have had both hips replaced, and walk like I'm 70 years old. Get a MRI, ASAP. Don't wait like I did.

-- Joe Schiess (parrthd1@insightbb.com), January 19, 2004.

HI. Sorry to hear that you are in pain. I too am a runner and have been ever since the 9th grade (I loved track!). I was moving furniture about 4 years ago and slammed my hip up against a desk I wanted over about 1/2" more. WRONG MOVE!!!! I went to regular doctors, sports doctors, pain specialist, hip and joint doctors, and you name it!!! No one can find out what is wrong, but I HURT when I sit. I do not have any problem standing, walking, or running (as long as I do not overdo it). I have had three MRI's (one with dye in my veins for contrast), shots deep into the joint, x-ray's, all types of pain medication. Nothing seems to help. Not knowing what is wrong, it is impossible to "fix" it. We thought it had something to do with hamstring and the ischium tuberosity (knot on your butt bone where the hamstring is attached). The last MRI shows this is not so, but I did some research on the Internet and found a procedure called Prolotherapy. Check it out - it may help. Good luck!!!

-- Jackie Powell (jh20dog@hotmail.com), June 18, 2004.

Sit Stand MRI http://www.situpmri.com

-- Beverly (bjcody@webtv.net), August 14, 2004.

Well I just wanted to say that I am having the some of the same problems. I am 17 I became a runner about 1/2 a year ago. About two months ago I have had similar problems with my hip. I have not gone to the doctor(I should have) but my pain is almost gone.I have researched my pain and discovered that I have a hip pointer. Although I can not feel the pain when I run anymore, I can still feel it if I put some pressure on the top of my hip. Today is one of the first days I have been able to run for a while. I recommend if the pain is going away but u can still feel it on the end of you stride(when u walk) , or if u can feel the pain with light pressure applied to your hip do not run! This is the mistake I made about three weeks ago. I love running and I wanted to go so bad. I decided to go because the pain in my hip was not too bad when I walked. I started running and about half way through my 4 mile run I could feel the pain coming back slightly. I should have stopped but I kept going. Well about a half hour after my run it felt like I re-hut my hip. DO NOT make this mistake. I have recently had to stop running and wait another month for my hip to heal. It is not worth it. Ice your hip everyday and relax because thats all you can do. I am glad I found runners with my same problem. Good luck to everyone <(').(')>

-- Brady Sparks (sparkfuzz@cableone.net), September 16, 2004.

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