The Durolane Diaries

The website says: "An active lifestyle free from the discomfort of osteoarthritis (OA) is a single injection away with DUROLANE Joint Fluid Therapy." My arthritic hip and I intend to find out...

I am a distance runner and former rugby and hockey player. I’ve been injured a lot in my forty-plus years and in that time I’ve put up with a lot of pain. After about a year with lingering pain in and around my right hip that often made running longer distances very uncomfortable, I limped down to see my doctor. He sent me for x-rays, which showed that I have a “mildly degenerative” right hip.

“Mildly degenerative,” I asked, “is that like arthritis?”

He smiled at me like an adult might at a curious child and said, “That IS arthritis.” I had mild OA, or osteoarthritis, in my right hip.

One of the things I like about my doctor is that he’s a former Olympic gymnast so I know his body has taken enough of a pounding that he can speak from personal experience about nearly every injury I’ve ever taken to him (he’s also run a few marathons in his day). He told me about hyaluronic acid injections he had recently had in his arthritic knee and how his only regret was not having them ten years ago. So away he sent me with a prescription for Durolane — a single-injection hyaluronic acid derived from natural sources — and an appointment to have the injection done at VGH. He could do the injection himself if it was in my knee, he said with a wink, but hips require ‘professional help’ (ie. fluoroscopy — a procedure in which dye is injected into the body and the physician follows the path of the dye to the targeted area with the help of an x-ray).

I must admit that I wasn’t initially sold on the idea of the injection and Durolane’s hefty price tag of nearly $400, and with my initial appointment scheduled for the day after returning from running the Royal Victoria Marathon, postponing it a month gave me a little more time to recover and to consider my options. My hip has been pretty sore since the race so today I decided to go ahead with it. My new appointment is Thursday and I had the prescription filled today. My fingers are crossed.

The company’s website claims: “An active lifestyle free from the discomfort of osteoarthritis (OA) is a single injection away with DUROLANE Joint Fluid Therapy.” My arthritic hip and I intend to find out. Stay tuned…

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