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  Severe Hip Pain Treated with Anthroposophical Medicines
  

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By: Markus Sommer, M.D.
Early in December 1996, Mrs A. M., retired farmer's wife, came to see me because of severe pain in the left hip. She said it had been so bad for the last three years that the orthopedic surgeon had to give her injections all the time. She was on continuous anti-inflammatory medication but the pain was so severe that walking was difficult. It was "like toothache". According to her, the orthopedic surgeon said it came "from a disk".

The patient was only able to walk with difficulty, limping and using a stick. Examination showed no paresis or abnormalities of sensation indicative of radicular syndrome. Individual muscle reflexes equal and medium active bilaterally, Lasegue's sign negative. Pelvis at a slight angle, moderate convex scoliosis to the left in the lower thoracic spine, lordosis and a marked rotation and abduction deficit in the left hip joint. X-ray showed moderate degenerative changes in the right hip joint and almost complete loss of articular cartilage, with some erosion of bone on the left, together with considerable sclerosis and cysts. These major changes are clearly in evidence in the X-ray pictures shown below.

In view of the seriousness of the changes and the long period of previous treatment, which had shown little success, I strongly advised hip replacement surgery. The patient refused this. Without too much hope of seeing improvement I suggested the following treatment.

5 pilules of Cartilago/Mandragora comp. (Wala) 3 times daily; 1 ampule of Articulatio coxae Gl 6x (Wala) by mouth twice a week, and a good pinch of Stannum met. 6x trit. (Weleda) at night.

Mandragora (5x), a member of the deadly nightshade family with a tremendous root, similar to Bryonia, was given above all to reduce the inflammatory activation of the chronic arthritis. Its analgesic actions were known in ancient Egypt, for a painting found in the tomb of Tutankhamen shows the ruler with his diseased hip supporting himself with a stick in the garden, his wife handing him a mandrake root.

Like tin, silver (8x) has a relationship to cartilage, a water-based tissue, but shows greater efficacy in counteracting excessive decay due to inflammatory processes. Antimony (6x) also has a structuring effect in the treatment of inflammatory conditions that threaten further destruction where degenerative changes have caused the original damage. Betiila e fol. (5x) finally stimulates the internal kidney process to encourage elimination of metabolic products in the periarticular region, products mainly due to inadequate protein degradation.

The above substances will primarily counteract the painful inflammatory reaction which, however, should only be seen as a secondary effect of the disease. The other two medicaments address a deeper level. Stannum is a substance relating to embrittlement as much as to fluidity and plasticity. The alpha modification of tin which develops at low temperatures (tin pest) is a powder showing none of the properties of a metal. Tin also goes through a brittle phase before it melts if heated, which actually makes it possible to triturate the metal in a mortar. The fluid state which follows is wide-ranging, however, for the metal has both a remarkably low melting point (232°C) and a high boiling point (2602°C). This gives us an idea of the universal effect tin may have on cartilage, a tissue which is between the solid and fluid states of aggregation. Probably the earliest and most widely metal to be used in alloys, it changes the properties of its metal partners to a remarkable degree. Adding just 3% of tin to copper will appreciably increase resistance to wear, at the same time keeping the alloy ductile. 30-40% of added tin give a relatively brittle but highly lustrous alloy that was used for mirrors in antiquity. Between these two extremes, the bronze used for casting bells contains about 20% of tin, which makes it a solid metal with good resonance and only minimal deadening of sound. These positive tin qualities can often be utilized by giving low potencies in the treatment of arthritis. Giving a low potency of the organ preparation, in this case Articulatio coxae, has frequently proved most valuable in vitalizing the etheric, stimulating regeneration or at least delaying the degenerative process.

Although this treatment regimen had given good results in my experience, Mrs M's condition was so severe that I had little hope of any improvement. I therefore was not looking forward to her next appointment 3 months later. But to my surprise I was told by the patient that the pain had improved greatly within 3 weeks and she was now practically symptom free. She said she had not needed any further injections and had also discontinued the NSAID. She was able to sleep without pain, turn over during the night without waking, and also to walk without pain. Objectively, there was little change, but there can be no doubt that the patient's life saw a great change with the treatment. Her decision not to have a hip replacement had obviously been right. The case also shows that even pathological changes resulting in severe physical deformation can be made to "swing back" to some degree if treatment is given to address the etheric.

Markns Sommer, MD, Parkstr. 16a, D-82194 Groebenzell, Germany





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