Overcoming Hip Osteoarthritis

Hip replacement is not always needed

Spent the last two weekends taking Ankle/Hip injury and rehab courses. I thought I would talk about my hip injury and recovery.

At 30 years of Martial Arts training, after a particular day of ‘jump turning kicks’ I had prolonged hip pain. After x-rays I received a diagnosis of extremely advanced osteoarthritis (OA) with bone spurs. The Doctor recommended a specialist, the specialist said hip replacement surgery.

*Note: For sure I did not get the OA and spurs from one day of jumping kicks. I was completely stunned by the diagnosis but until those jumps, I did not recognize the disaster that was happening in my hip joint.

Understanding the Diagnosis and Beginning the Journey

The initial x-ray report revealed advanced interosseous narrowing, subchondral sclerosis, and marginal spurs in my left hip, indicative of advanced OA. The gravity of the situation seemed overwhelming. Seeking a second opinion of the scans, I discovered that I had 10-12 bone spurs around my hip socket, painting a bleak picture. I know that healing is possible, drawing from my experiences treating similar conditions at work I set out on the road to recovery.

Commitment to Recovery and Progress

Motivated by the understanding people can heal, I embarked on a dedicated journey to restore my hip joint. With consistent effort to rehabilitate I enlisted support of my rehab team and we went to work. I did something likely everyday. Normally I saw 2 practitioners a week and it was not always fun. Most therapy sessions for bone spurs are actually terrible, but considering the options I persisted.

A year later, I mustered the courage to undergo a follow-up x-ray. The results brought relief as they indicated moderate OA within the left hip joint, with no other abnormalities. The improvement from advanced to moderate OA and the removal of numerous bone spurs marked a significant improvement.

Looking Ahead: Hope for Full Recovery

With the progress made thus far, I am optimistic about the future of my joint health. The journey of recovery, although demanding, has instilled in me the understanding that my hip can eventually return to a state of normalcy. This journey serves as an example to the power of good rehab, good therapists and likely a bit of luck. The initial diagnosis was 2010 and as of today I still feel the left hip more than the right and under extreme load and end range it have less range of motion than the right. But I do everything and really have no pain.

Encouraging Others to Pursue Healing

If you are interested in learning more about my recovery process or seeking guidance for your own healing journey, I invite you to reach out. My experiences have shown that remarkable improvements can be achieved with the right approach and a steadfast commitment to doing the rehab. Not just for joint health but many many ailments.


Through my personal account of overcoming hip osteoarthritis, I hope to inspire others facing similar challenges. Despite the initial diagnosis of advanced OA, my unwavering (well a few days I wavered) determination and collaboration with others led to significant progress and a renewed sense of hope. Remember, it is possible to rebuild and recover if we remain dedicated to our own well-being. Let this story serve as a reminder that healing is within reach for those who are willing to put in the effort.

If my rehab efforts had not succeeded I would have gladly gone for a hip-replacement surgery. While not my first choice I am grateful for Western Medicine’s miracles of joint replacement. I do not see getting surgery or taking prescription medications as a failure but as a solution if that is the situation a person finds themselves in.

I encourage people at work all the time, “never take anything off the table of options”. They may not be the desired option or outcome but we are fortunate to have a lot of options living in Canada.

Be Well,
Ward Willison R.Ac.
Kelowna Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

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