Information from a patient of FAI (Femoroacetabular impingement)
I had right hip FAI removal (CAM type impingement) / labral tear repair surgery on June 14, 2010
Pre-operation (I was 34 years old - Male - 5' 9" 152 lbs.- 180cm 69kg)
Post operation / Recovery
Weekly recovery updates with lessons learned
Femoroacetabular impingement or FAI is a condition of too much friction in the hip joint. Basically, the ball (femoral head) and socket rub abnormally creating damage to the hip joint.
In my case, there was extra bone on my spherical head of my femur bone (it is called the neck of the femur bone) (larger than the size of a chickpea) that was tearing away at my hip socket. In fact, when my surgeon Dr. Parvizi went
inside, he said my extra bone area was larger than the MRI images projected. Also, if I understand this right, at the time of surgery I had two surgical screws inserted inside me for holding my formerly torn labrum in place that disintegrated with time. I had a large cyst on my cartilage removed as well. Luckily, Dr. Parvizi found no serious cartilage damage - he smoothed out the mild cartridge damage and I have now have a smooth hip acetabulum and femur head region in my right hip. I count my blessings that I found out what was wrong in about 8 months. I have FAI in my left hip too, but I do not feel a thing. Dr. Parvizi hopes my left hip will not become an issue because I have a lot2 of joint space and my left leg is not my dominant one.
I am a 34 year old male that has been running, bicycling, and swing dancing at various levels of intensity for 18 years including competitive. Nevertheless, I believe this condition congenital - (thanks mom - thanks dad) - I was born with it. I guess that my outdoor activity levels were so high that my FAI came out on my early 30's instead of my mid-50's. I suppose a really sedentary person may never be diagnosed with it. I did a lot of roller skating and I played some soccer before I was twelve - I guess I could have done this myself at a young age, but it's more fun to blame mom and dad.
First off, let me say that I never knew how serious my condition was until I got my official diagnosis in May 2010. Signs of my condition started in August 2009 during marathon training. I saw a Penn Sports medicine doctor who told me to take a couple weeks off the training. It made sense to me - more mileage than I ever ran, I've probably tightened my sacroiliac joint. I was given a list of stretches and the symptoms subsided a bit. I continued training for the marathon - I won a 25K road race during the early stages of my condition. It was still just a major irritant at this time. I ran a great marathon four weeks later (2:59:10). I remember saying to myself afterwards that maybe I finally strengthened the weak muscle that was causing the pain because I could barely feel the mysterious pain after the Philadelphia Marathon. One week or so later I tried to ride my bike feeling optimistic that this mysterious pain was abating. I tore my hip open again on the bike (although I did not know what was wrong at the time) while commuting a mile to work. This one event made me give up bike riding. A week or so later, I went to my gym to do some easy miles on the elliptical machine. I tore my hip socket open again. I did not know the pain was coming from tearing inside my hip at this time. I avoided the elliptical machine. Ultimately I checked myself into physical therapy. By time I started physical therapy in January 2010, I had stopped biking and running all together. My physical therapists knew I had a lot of strength, and they could not figure out what was wrong. They thought it could be nerve damage. I found swimming the only sport I could do comfortably with my FAI condition. After a couple of months of what seemed like up and downs my physical therapists sent me to another sports medicine specialist, the British born Dr. Maenpaa. He gave me hope, telling me he seen worse and we would get to the bottom of it. I had some x-rays done. I found out I had leg length discrepancy and Dr. Maenpaa sent me to get orthotics from the Philadelphia Eagles and 76ers professional sports teams specialist. I admit, the orthotics helped a bit with my FAI symptoms. On Easter I did some short dashes chasing my niece making me think my body was getting better. However, that evening my hopes were dashed due to the burning in my hip, groin, and gluteus on my right side. Eventually, my third visit to Dr. Maenpaa led him to request an MRI which revealed the problem. As far as I know, everyone has to get an MRI of their hip to check for tears. Basically, the medical staff put a numbing agent with another type of fluid in my hip that increased its visibility. I told the MRI doctor right at that time that my pain seemed to have stopped, but I could not even believe it myself at that time. He told me there was definitely something wrong with my hip if the numbing agent was removing my pain. A week later, it was confirmed. My MRI report said, "Complex tear of the labrum, symptoms consistent with those of cam type impingement of FAI." Dr. Maenpaa recommended I take cortisone shots and wait as long as possible until the surgery was mature (FAI has only been diagnosed and performed in the past 10 years). After a couple weeks of discussing my options with myself and my various mentors, I decided that I'm young and I don't want to lead a sedentary lifestyle and this is the best chance I have to control my fate.
My pain started in the right side of my lower back. I remember telling a co-worker that it spread to the front, which was my hip and groin. I would say it typically
was 2-3 out of 10 on a pain scale. Eventually, I could flare my pain up to a 8-9 when I rode a bike, but not every time I was on a bike. Sometimes I would have some mild pain.
I tried to run 3 miles near the end of my 2 months of physical therapy. My hip, groin and lower back all burned with pain for several hours after I stopped. My pain was bearable while I ran, but when I stopped, I will never forget it.
I used this list: http://hipuniverse.homestead.com/files/PAOSurg.htm and looked on Yahoo groups at http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group...Femoroacetabular_Impingement/. Dr. Parvizi was my local hip surgeon. I found an
article on FAI about him on the Internet at http://www.orthosupersite.com/view.aspx?rid=38529. Also, Dr. Parvizi was mentioned as a reference in the Blue Cross health insurance requirements at http://blue.regence.com/trgmedpol/surgery/sur160.html.
I had a simple choice: Get busy living or get busy dying. I could try cortisone shots hoping the steroid wouldn't destroy my bones as I tore
more of my hip apart or I could have the relatively new surgery to try my chances at what may be a full recovery. It became simple for me the more my mind coaxed over it: Nothing ventured - nothing gained.
- I don't know how you can stop your muscles from atrophying. My ankles
and (believe it or not) my neck were the worst. In my normal life,
these are two of my weaker areas - prepare for your weaknesses to get
weaker for awhile... You can try to strengthen them beforehand, but
the bottom line is they will get weaker. (edit 12-26-11: my back definitely must have gotten weaker during this time too. If you read this blog carefully, you will see that I complain a lot about my back, but I have no problems with my back in my current life.)
- take the iron supplements - food tasted weird (especially spicy food) for a couple weeks after surgery - someone told me it could have been the lack of iron
- remember that you're probably not going to be your 100% true physical self as you know it now for more than half a year... have patience with your body while it heals ... let pain be your guide for awhile, but after 6 months, start pushing through it - don't give up - I now believe the time I spent recovering was totally worth it
- Do not hesitate to elevate! Elevate your legs off the floor as much as possible your first six weeks of recovery. While sitting in a chair, extend your legs straight out on a chair or footstool as much as you can tolerate. I found this reduced the swelling in my FAI treated leg more than anything besides my eventual return to walking again.
- One of your roughest recovery experiences will probably be getting in and out of the car on the way home from the hospital after surgery. It probably took my wife and I about 10 minutes entering and exiting the vehicle for me to avoid/work through uncomfortable pain. Once I sat in the seat I was fine, it was just bending carefully learning how to work with my new condition to get on it comfortably.
- Your pain is invisible to everyone else. I do not think anyone will truly understand how your body feels inside or what you are going through. You will be frustrated before and after surgery for months. Nevertheless, your payoff is immeasurable. If your surgery and recovery were successful like mine, in the long-term you will be grateful you took care of your FAI condition. After you have surgery, you will feel pains, think you relapsed, wonder if you made the right choice to have surgery months into your recovery. However, after 6 months you will really start to notice your pre-FAI lifestyle returning. 8 months was my magic number.
- [three years later] Unfortunately for me, this surgery was not a cure-all I envisioned, but I am extremely pleased with my outcome. It gave me back my athletic freedom and mental relief from the constant unwelcome pains in the groin and butt. You are introducing voluntary trauma (surgery) to your body for a great payoff. I now believe my hips will be an area of concern for the rest of my life. Your post-op hip(s) will let you know when it is time to back off from one or more types of activity. Nevertheless, the pain is vastly less than it was before surgery. Know that your hips might feel totally "normal" for awhile, but you may eventually come to have good days, okay days, and a few bad ones. That being said, I am probably more aggressive with my body than the average person. In short, I have no regrets. I did my research; it is the best solution out there. Just do it - get your freedom back
I put together this web page to give you meaningful information about my FAI recovery. I felt like I could not find any resources or blogs that truly explained what FAI recovery might be like. FAI was a mystery to me - a condition I never heard of any human being ever having. Being physically healthy means everything to me. Health is wealth! I am an anxious person, so every setback I had was communicated in my weekly thoughts below. When I felt a hip/groin/or back pain, I generally stopped all activity until I was pain-free. Eventually, after seeing Dr. Parvizi for a checkup after 6 1/2 months, he told me to push through the remaining pain and do my lunges. I recovered to be able to run outdoor mileage again much more quickly. Nevertheless, all the physical therapists I saw said, 'let pain be your guide.' If I was not so afraid of hurting my hip, I believe I could have recovered more quickly. Nevertheless, I am back to pre-FAI normal.
I hope your own journey through FAI recovery goes quicker and less stressfully than my own. All the best - Allen!
I felt better than I expected. I spent one night in the hospital, mainly to recover from the anesthesia. My overnight stay in the Bucks County Specialty hospital was a pleasurable experience. I found the staff wonderful and attentive. I felt quite good on the Endromorphine they
treated me with on-site. My pain was 1 or a 2 maybe overall. When you get in the car for the ride home from the hospital, that's when your recovery condition really hits you. Nevertheless, when I came home and went on weaker medicines, the real pain started!
My surgeon performed osteoplasty on my femur bone making it spherical shaped. He said there was more bone that needed to be removed than my MRI showed. He removed a big cyst that had formed
in my right hip joint. Also, he sewed my labrum back together and held it in place with two surgical screws which should disintegrate with time. [edit three years later] I have two metal surgical screws holding my labrum in place. They were detected by security in my airport recently. Also, my MRI doctor in February 2013 told me they were there when an imaging scan had some trouble with pictures in that area.
During the first week or so, I felt burning pain in the center to the right center of my thigh near the right hip. Also, I feel
pain my my left knee, left tricep, and right calf from compensating for keeping weight on my left. My pain continued to change with time. During the third week, most of my pain is in the lumbar section of my back and occasional sharp shooting pain near the incision area of my hip.
I had a mostly arthroscopic procedure. My incision starts about one inch below my underwear line. It is 2 1/2 inches long. My external stitches naturally decayed probably within 2 weeks. (I never examined my external stitches. When I took off the dressing from the hospital after 2 1/2 weeks, my stitches were gone). My internal labrum stitches will naturally deteriorate.
My recovery plan is NOT what my surgeon alluded to before surgery, but I do not mind. I have only one chance to heal right... I have six weeks of complete rest, but I can walk on crutches as much as I can tolerate.
- 10% of my body weight can be on the leg with hip repair the first 2 weeks.
- 50% of my body weight can be on the leg with hip repair during week 3.
- 60%, 70%, 80% of my body weight can be on the leg with hip repair during weeks of 4,5, and 6 respectively.
- After 6 weeks, I return to the surgeon to assess my condition for physical therapy.
Without health insurance, here are the costs of my CAM impingement/labral tear surgery in the Philadelphia, PA metropolitan area below:
- FAI Procedure by itself: $10,633.97
- Price of the whole process with a one night hospital stay: $15,055.02
- Side note: I think the hospital took some creative liberties on the itemized charges on the bill they sent me
- By the way, my Independence Blue Cross health insurance plan paid about $5,500 and (as far as I know), the matter is settled.
- I did not realize how important it is to have someone around to help you - please have someone available that has great patience with you
- Something is cracking in my hip area when I twist it inwards.
- My right leg was swollen and off color - from my thigh all the way down through my foot - I do not think my shoes would fit
- I drop more things than I ever thought - you never know how much you drop till you cannot bend over to pick things up
- Stool softeners and yogurt are helpful
- Acid from the anti-inflammatories make your teeth feel horrible after lemonade or spicy foods. (I need to eat ice cream and milk products to neutralize the acids.)
- Expect to sleep a lot
- Your mind can be pretty useless at times on pain killers
- Barometric pressure changes (significant changes in temperature and/or weather conditions) may make you feel awful temporarily
- Do not skimp on buying the shower chair! Some recovery issues I have written here have resolved themselves with time, but I used the shower chair 6 weeks into recovery.
- The pain – sometimes more pain in the other body parts compensating than your hip area!
- No 'indoor sports'
- Can't bend over to pick up or reach anything
- The hard raised toilet seat for the first two or so weeks
- Feeling like you want to sleep all the time the first several weeks
- Can't carry anything with crutches
- Dry mouth/halitosis/acid reflux from the medicines (while you need them)
- Being hot – it is summer and I don't like sweating at all with this condition
- The concentrated effort it takes to do simple things to keep the weight off your leg: things like getting out of bed, dressing, shaving, or using the toilet
- Sitting in a chair the first couple weeks, trying to keep the weight off your right leg
- Patience - the lack of patience - you want to feel better and resume your normal walking life, but you just cannot for awhile
- I don't have deal with stress at work
- Feeling like I have done everything I could to take control of my FAI condition by keeping my eyes on the prize: running, biking, walking and even sitting again without pain
- I hear more from my friends and family
- I am catching up on sleep – I never knew I could sleep this much
- Ice cream – I never wanted it so much and my guests have been more than happy to provide it
- side extensions (my favorite exercise, with ankle cuffs/elastic band, pull your leg sideways as far as comfortable. Don't let the resistance go. Instead resist the other leg touching your originally extended leg as long as possible
- monster walks (my second favorite exercise - reach forward with your legs as far as possible using the ankle cuffs.
- hackey sack (extend your leg in front of your body as if you are going to dribble a soccer ball or kick a hackey sack 30 times.
- 3 way hip strengthening (using a ankle weight - 1: lie on your 1. back one knee flexed, the other leg extended. Reach your extended leg up to height of your flexed knee on the other leg 20 times. 2. lie and your stomach and lift your legs from your hips times each 3. lie on your side and extend your hip slightly back. Lift your leg 20 times.
- single knee to chest (pull your knee to your chest)
- squats against wall (Put your back against the wall. Squat into a seated position. Hold as long as possible three times.
- pyriformis (cross your leg over your other leg parallel to the knee and hold for 30 seconds
- karate kid crane kick balance (lift your leg you had surgery on up to a 90 degree angle and hold it for 30 seconds - bend at knee
- hamstring strength (position yourself like a crab, extended in the air with your arms and legs, lift each of your legs 20 times)
- core strength (modified pushup)
- back stretch (lay on stomach, push up with arms directly under shoulders)
My body was getting really fed up by my new muscle uses by this time. My foot turned blue once from lack of movement. My hip started hurting more because I assume it was healing. I found week 2 harder than week one. I'm a little bit more flexible than last week. I have been waking up from the pain sometimes at night. I hope it's healing!
I could not imagine going through this without the support of my wife. Please consider temporarily moving in with someone who has a lot of patience with you if you live alone.
- By the end of week 2 my muscles have somewhat adjusted to using alternate muscles. Some days are good and relatively low pain, other days I do not know what I did to trigger pain.
- Occasionally I forget I had this surgery and put weight on both feet causing a shooting pain for a moment as a reminder
- I learned to keep my foot up on a chair to keep it level to reduce the severe swelling in my right leg
- I started eating yogurt which seems to help my constipation problems caused by the pain killers and the acid from the anti-inflammatories.
- I can bend over to pick up some things, but I stop myself and sometimes pay for it with pain when I do it
- I learned to avoid acidic foods - I cannot enjoy spicy foods or foods with citrus acid using the anti-inflammatories. My aunt says it is caused by a lack
of iron, so I started taking my pre-surgery vitamin supplements with iron again.
- I could feel a positive difference in my right leg and its tolerance to impact with the ground
- I need a lot of water, especially when I leave my home.
- I went for walks on my crutches this week and I needed a decent nap after each outing
- My crutches have caused wounds where I press them against my body. My left (weight bearing side) has the biggest cuts.
- I undressed my incision for the first time since I left the hospital. My stitches have totally disappeared!
- It is not a rule, but I seem to have 1 day I feel really good for every 2 bad days
- My back often hurts from laying in bed in the same position all night
- My pre-surgery pain in my lower back came back for several days when I started taking walks with the crutches. Amazingly, it has stopped.
- I have regained a lot of physical strength. I can get out of bed more quickly. I walk on crutches more efficiently. What a relief!
- I still need a nap after walking anywhere substantial on crutches.
- I did not use any pain medications this week, except after a serious back spasm during my sleep.
- I am using only aspirin to thin my blood and keep me from clotting near my hip internally.
- I pushed myself and drove a car at the tail end of the week. It was big mistake - my back hurts from it two days later. It is waking me up at night.
- I do not usually eat much meat. I found eating more meat seems like it might be a good idea during recovery.
- I cannot explain it exactly, but every time I push myself, my body has a way of fighting back.
- My right leg continues to be swollen from hip to toe, but my swelling has subsided a little.
- My most frustrating problem is constipation. I can handle the crutches, but not being stuck.
- I can stand up without the support of crutches! I can stand getting off the toilet. I can stand in the shower! I find this my happiest feeling I had since the surgery. Admittedly, I feel uneasy on my two feet. I cannot walk a step without the aid of my crutches.
- I felt more confident and comfortable moving this week. I had no true bowel troubles this past week. Thank goodness! I think walking around substantial distances (I probably crutch walked 3 miles this week) has helped with constipation problems.
- I still need a nap after using the crutches for walks, but I feel stronger while using them.
- Only 1 of the last 7 nights I slept a full night without waking up to back pain. I called the doctor's office and we mutually decided my pain is not related to the surgery. I think its a combination of laying in a fixed position in bed for too long, my posture while on crutches, and/or mild scoliosis I was diagnosed as having when I was a kid. Ironically, I sit in a chair and my back pain slowly disappears.
- Each week I have gained more flexibility in bending my my right leg and hip without agitation. In part, I think my range of motion has improved due to decreased leg swelling. I believe I have found safe way of bending while sitting to reach objects near the ground.
- I am hesitating less to bend over, it is getting easier, especially in a seated position. I cannot yet reach my toenails (while seated of course!) on my hip repaired leg.
- Careful indoor sports are back!
- I am still having consistent back pain when sleeping, but I think it is from the reasons I mentioned last week
- I still feel the need to keep my right leg up on a chair or stool while sitting for comfort
- I do not feel comfortable in normal sitting position with my foot on the floor. If I leave it on the floor at a right angle, I move it constantly to take the weight off of it.
- My right leg is still swollen and off color red, but I think my foot could now fit in a sneaker.
- I am running out of patience sitting around, but I want this surgery to be successful more than anything! I will sit and rest as long as necessary.
- I see my surgeon for my six week evaluation on July 28, 2010. I will make a special progress update on my site after my visit.
- Some of the other patients were already walking with one crutch, I felt annoyed that I did not get the memo
- I found out I could have been swimming after the second week of recovery, but I learned there's a big difference between the thoughts of the surgeon and the conservative hospital speak that was offered to me over the phone
I went home and walked my first steps in a safe environment- the only way the swelling will go away is using my right leg
- I have 6 millimeters of joint space and my femoral head is nice and round. My sutures are gone and my incision is healing nicely.
- You cannot image how happy (and physically tired) I was to be able to walk again
- I was cleared to swim and bike immediately. I cannot run for at least 6 weeks.
- After I sat down after my first steps, I believe my spine moved back to its "normal" position. I did not wake up from back pain the next morning.
- I can walk again with an antalgic gait - I am using a cane sometimes for support
- I am walking with a gait in part because my right foot hurts when bearing my body weight
- If I take small steps, I have less of a gait problem
- My back seemed to be completely fine for a couple of days, I almost believed it was back to normal. However, after a couple of days the back pain returned. However, I am performing movements that I have not done in almost seven weeks.
- Sometimes I wonder if I will be able to run again, sometimes I am sure I will... pains in my body wax and wane day-to-day.
- I continue to get tired during walks, but I am glad to not have to use crutches!
- Unfortunately, I can walk faster with crutches than I can walk freely.
- Every week I have made some gains and experienced some pains with the new mobility. I can now walk. I think my pain/gain cycle will continue when I bike and eventually run again.
- I am starting to walk with more balance since I completed 2 physical therapy sessions
- I have riden twice on a bicycle - I feel more stable on a bicycle than on my feet walking
- Just once (8/9) I have woken up with severe mid to lower back pain
- I am working on my flexibility at physical therapy - I lost a lot of it
- My ankles seem weak - if I step on an unlevel surface, I know it
- I have rotated between heat (before activity) and ice (after activity)
- I am regularly tired after walking, biking, or physical therapy
- After learning to walk heel toe again at physical therapy, I have become much more stable while walking
- I no longer use any kind of assisted walking device (basically I do not use a cane)
- I have biked once again this week, this time nearly 9 miles in one session with more strength and speed
- I continue to get tired after prolonged walking. I generally do not feel like exercising after a full day of work (this is atypical of me pre-surgery)
- I continue to get an extreme feeling of tiredness as the day wears on, but it's getting better every week
- After stretching and exercising, I feel a burning spot in my lower back where my primary symptom of pain was located pre-surgery. I worry about this, but the pain always goes away with heat.
- I am a fast walker and someday I am sure I will return to my speedy ways. However, since I have returned to work two weeks ago, I have operated in a tired state. I have no qualms about taking my time. I am really surprised how accepting I am of my slowness from my healing state.
- I can
do 85% of a quadriceps stretch (runner's stretch - pull my operated leg up to my lower back)
- I have no doubt about it - I AM GETTING BETTER! Break out the trumpets!
- Friends, family, and my physical therapist see a noticeable difference in my walk and energy levels
- I walked and biked this past week at a good pace moving respectable distances with zero to mild discomfort
- I went for a long walk and I did experience a non-FAI like lower back pain, but it went away after a couple hours
- My balance is almost what it was pre-surgery
- I can feel something is slightly off in my walk, but I believe time will fix it
- I have felt the urge to run twice during my lead up to 10 weeks, a good sign. I trotted across the street a couple of times with no troubles.
- My main complaint is stiffness in my upper leg/hip... I think the stiffness throws off my walking balance after I sit for awhile.
- There were days this week I forgot I had surgery
- I walked, swam, and biked this week mostly trouble free
- My ankles continue to be slightly weak
- I got a common cold late in the week and my hip was a little unhappy
- I am not out of the woods yet - I ran a mile on an elliptical machine and my body told me it was too much
- I performed a new hip strengthening exercise at physical therapy that I believe really hurt me
- All it took was one pain to lose my confidence that my surgery was successful
- Also, I ran a mile again on the elliptical machine this week which could be causing the pain
- By the end of the eleventh week, I adapted to familiar tolerable pain, mostly in my lower back
- I keep reminding myself that every stage of recovery, from bending to sitting feet down to crutch walking to walking with a cane to walking normal I have experienced this lower back pain for awhile
- I walked a half marathon - the further I walked, the better my hip area felt - I guess it warmed up
- I am worried, but I think I will get better
- All my fears from last week are gone - I am running on an elliptical machine for 20 minutes without issues
- I went to the beach in cold ocean water and my hip tensed up while swimming
- Something about unleveled surfaces, such as sand agitate my hip briefly
- I'm coming back
- I managed to gain about 9 pounds after returning to work 8 weeks ago. It was very stressful being on my feet so much and tired. I was eating a lot of comfort food. I am happy to say that I have been active enough to lose 6 of those pounds.
- Sometimes when I feel stressed, my hip area twinges and I feel a bad pain temporarily. After the stress is out of my mind, my hip soon returns to normal.
- Sometimes after I exercise, I feel sore in my hip. My pain in my lower back has been mostly gone - I did something once this week that briefly triggered my pre-surgery back pain. However, my back pain went away very quickly.
- I am biking and swimming about 4 days a week. I have a little bit of pain sometimes, but I am getting used to it and the pain continues to get less intense.
- I am still attending physical therapy. I hope to be discharged within two weeks.
- I can run on the concrete about 10 seconds trouble-free. I am not confident I am ready for more.
- I ran 1.5 miles at a 7:30 mile pace on the elliptical machine with almost no hip pain once this week.
- I started running on treadmills again this week at physical therapy. I read that treadmills could be a bad thing during FAI recovery, but I used them all the time from week 15 to my present FAI free life! I never felt a treadmill did me any harm during recovery, although I generally used them on a grade at first...
- My physical therapists have cleared me to RUN this week starting from 5 minutes up to a maximum of 15. I was scared the first time, but afterwards I iced down and I only had a minor irritation in my hip.
- It suddenly dawned on me that I seem to be able to climb up stairs by double-stepping - the way I used to climb before surgery.
- Sometimes I completely forget about the surgery because I do not feel the pains any more. In reality, I think I have grown used to the small pains that remain.
- Temperatures have dropped in my city as autumn has arrived. I found the temperature and humidity differences have caused little irritation in my hip.
- Sometimes I feel a little awkward about my walking/running gait. I have been getting stiff. Consequently, it may have something to do with autumn.
- I am doing so well that I am losing interest in maintaining this web page
- I have run my first 2 miles outside with no issues
- I ice my hip after every run
- I told my physical therapist that I am about 95%
- I had one run on a treadmill that hurt my hip. I ran 1.25 miles and it hurt me a day later, but the pain in my lower back went away.
- I ran 3.5 miles (5K+) this weekend outside. It was my longest run of 2010. I iced afterwards. I had no direct pain!
- I have not mentioned this before, but my hip has been noticeably tender to the touch for weeks. I think it happened when I started running. Indoor sports cause me irritation when my hip is repeatedly bumped by my wife.
- It is not constant pressure that irritates my hip to the touch, it is the initial contact that causes the temporary irritation
- Sometimes when I am stressed, I get a shooting pain in my hip for a moment
- Sometimes when I look at my scar, I believe it looks like new small bruises appear once in awhile.
- When I run, I am using a shorter stride, but my speed seems to be as fast as it was pre-surgery. In fact, I feel faster sometimes. Time will tell...
- My physical therapist who has worked with FAI patients said it takes about 6 months (24 weeks) to really start to feel 'normal' again
- Unlevel surfaces seem to no longer be an issue for my hip
- I am a little surprised that the bruises on my sides from using the crutches in the first six weeks or so of my recovery have NOT completely healed on my left or right side.
- I ran a few hills this weekend, maybe four miles total in Connecticut. It was not good for me.
- While driving four and a half hours home from Connecticut a couple hours after my run, my hip was stiff and slightly agitated as I kept it mostly firmly on the gas pedal on the drive home.
- When I woke up the next day, my groin, lower hip, and back were in an agitated state. I am icing down everyday.
- We're having a weird warm humid autumn weather system, so this may be part of the pain
- I can function fully, but I am scared - I have been here multiple times. I'm worried about my groin pain.
- Doctor said 4-6 months until I could really run again. I have just crossed the 4 month threshold, so I should not be too hard on myself for this minor setback.
- I was discharged from physical therapy two days before this run. My therapist said I am 'ahead of the curve.' Time will tell if he is right.
- Last week I was worried about my hip agitation. After two days, my symptoms went away. They were my most severe symptoms in a long time.
- I am having doubts I will be the runner I was back when I was healthy.
- I feel like I have great days, good days, and bad days with my hip
- I ran twice last week - a two mile, then a 6 mile day. My 6 mile day was sort of an accident. Ice is my best friend.
- My 6 miles one day were fun like old times. I iced immediately afterwards, but the next day during my my physical therapy hip strengthening exercises, my hip got aggravated.
- I feel like I do things to aggravate my hip, but I never know when it is going to happen
- Currently my lower back is slightly irritated as I sit here and write this post and there is occasionally a shooting pain in my quadriceps.
- I am happy I had the surgery. However, I am not happy about the roller coaster ride of recovery. A part of me says, just stop running for awhile. My surgeon said I could run a long time ago. I am trying to let pain be my guide. Hopefully I can share with you that my hip feels the way I want it to next week.
- My hip is in better shape than last week. My mental state was not good. I feel like I am on the mend again in the roller coaster ride of recovery. I am generally upset about the condition of my hip. I do not know if it was the coldest weather of the year, the sudden change back to warm weather, overuse of my hip, finishing physical therapy or what, but my hip is slightly annoying me. I feel a little bit of groin irritation as I sit here writing today.
- My lower back frequently had a light dull pain on several days of the preceding week
- I have not intentionally gone out running, but I find myself running across street corners, rushing for trains, taking short running dashes... It is almost subconscious ... I really want to run and the more I try to stop myself, the more I seem to trick myself into doing it. I have ZERO immediate pain when I do these little runs and I do not think they are making my current hip irritation any worse...
- I can walk and bike and swim without my hip reminding me a lot that it is healing. Nevertheless, I wish it would heal and let me have my physical life back without serious restraints.
- Over the previous 2-3 weeks I was frustrated, but I am happy to write that I feel "normal" again. I have no regular back or hip pain. If I were to be hypersensitive, I would say my groin is a tiny bit off of normal. My hip is not noticeably bothering me everyday. Actually it is more fair to say that new "normal" for my hip since surgery seems to be when it does not call attention to itself by way of back and hip pain. Some days in the past week I generally have forgot about it. I think the combination of very little running, physical therapy exercises, extra sleep from having a day off from work, and a mild warm air mass that has come back to the area this late autumn is helping my hip tremendously. My hip and back are not the same as they were pre-surgery. My surgeon said I would probably reach 100% recovery. I have not seen that happen for me. At least things looked better in my mind in week 16. Oh well, I must have patience, patience, patience...
- Over the last week, I have biked about 40 miles over three outings and I swam twice - my only change has been no running. Often I ice after my bike rides.
- My hip area is still tender to the touch
- When I get very stressed, I continue to get a shooting hip pain temporarily.
- My hip scar from the incision is still very red and defined. My primary care doctor said it could take years to become dull pink.
- I still have the some of the bruise remaining on both sides on my torso where I used my crutches the first six weeks. If my bruises have not fully healed in 15 weeks, I should not be so hard on myself to believe that my hip should be fully healed by now.
- My current pattern is the same: if I run, I injure my hip - I was volunteering at the Philadelphia Marathon this past weekend. I jogged about a mile to the volunteer check-in station from my home with no problems. Later I was jogging across the grass about 200 meters helping a spectator with directions when I suddenly felt a small spot of pain kind of popping up in my hip. I stopped jogging immediately. My lower back, hip, and groin quickly went into their pain/something's wrong warning state. It is not the same pain I had before surgery. The worst symptoms went away after a couple hours, especially after I sat down for a little while. I cried on Sunday. I am upset. I iced down a couple of times. I am seriously starting to doubt long distance running will be part of my future.
- After a couple of days, the pain reduced, but my hip is not in my 'normal' state again
- I have not given up all hope, but letting pain be my guide, my body is telling me not to run
- biking - no problem - swimming - no problem - walking - no problem - running - problem....
- By the way, my hip area still cracks sometimes. It does not hurt. It is just a new situation I expect to deal with for the rest of my life.
- I was sick this week, so my hip felt better in general because I was performing less physical activities
- I got on my bicycle today and without fail, my hip does not feel as good it did before I worked it out. My hip and lower back are burning a little bit as I sit here and type this post. (Edit next day: my pains are stronger today)
- It does not look like 6 months (24 weeks) is going to be my magic number for recovery as my surgeon suggested
- I believe I am better off than I was before surgery, but all I have left is time and hope for full recovery. It seems far away.
- I read a book, Born to Run, by Chris McDougall and discovered a wonderful food called chia seeds with great natural anti-inflammatory powers. Chia seeds have increased my energy level and helped me comfortably be more active. My hip is far from perfect, but I am doing a lot more pain-free exercise after adding about a teaspoon of chia seeds each day to my morning cereal. I recommend chia seeds to anyone during their FAI recovery once they can walk again.
- I have nagging symptoms with my hip, sometimes concentrated in my lower back, especially when I run any distance outside. I am finding the chia seeds indirectly help make my pain go away faster.
- I spent about 5 or more hours on an elliptical machine (it is a running machine with no impact) this past week. I was not exercising at a hard resistance, but I was able to enjoy myself without hurting my hip. I believe I did over 18 miles (29 kilometers) on the elliptical machine this past week.
- If I run on the sidewalk more than a short distance, my hip flares up. Nevertheless, the duration of the pain seems to be lasting less. I am feeling more optimistic my hip will healthy enough someday to run again.
- Believe it or not, I seem to be able to run about 2 miles on a treadmill on a grade... it seems like the incline is the important part. I ran 2 miles on a 6 percent grade twice in one week.
- Stressful situations continue to cause a temporary stinging pain in my hip
- I still recommend eating chia seeds each day to help with inflammation
- I was on a cruise ship in the Caribbean most of the last two weeks. Needless to say, the warm humid air definitely helped my hip.
- I found I can use a PreCor elliptical machine up to a resistance of 8 out of 20 for up to about 3 miles before my hip starts complaining.
- For a few days of my cruise, I had almost no hip trouble. However, I did one high jump in the air for a photograph and that is all it took to upset my hip. After several hours, my hip started to relax again.
- I swing danced every night for 10 nights. Swing is a pretty hip/knee intensive dance ... I had no pain from dancing.
- I ran about 300 meters around the deck on my last night on the cruise ship. Although I felt no immediate pain in my hip, as the night moved on, I realized I hurt it.
- Before I left for my cruise, I planned to see Dr. Parvizi. I am concerned that my hip is not healing as planned. I have an appointment for a 6-month checkup on 1/12/2011. New X-rays are going to be taken. This is fairly routine after 6 months post-surgery. I look forward to sharing any details I learn after my visit.
- I visited the talented Dr. Parvizi, my hip surgeon, and his team of young proteges this past week. It was a very productive visit. Dr. Parvizi is a very bright man. I told him my symptoms. He seemed understanding and he gave me advice and remedies.
- I told Dr. Parvizi about my back and hip pain. I explained to him that when I crouched down, even just a little bit, I would feel stiff and sore in an area near the top of my right quadricep. Sometimes when I would attempt to run, this area would be the first to clench up. Dr. Parvizi attributed this pain to my hip adductor muscles. He said it is normal for these muscles to tense up at my stage of recovery. He showed me a couple stretches to help relieve the tense area, one of those being a lunge stretch. I explained that I still get short episodes of pain in my butt, groin, and hip area. He was not worried. However, he was concerned about my back. He believes my back my be spasming from my gait and not necessarily related to my hip surgery. He recommended I call him to get his immediate approval for an MRI on my back if my symptoms do not stop. He told me not to stop exercising with any familiar reasonable hip pains I encounter at this point in the recovery. Basically he suggested I will only lose muscle mass if stop working out my legs. I am having a little bit of knee trouble, and he suggested I take glucosamine tablets. I am working on it. Dr. Parvizi is a good man. I almost felt a brief father-son bond. He cared enough to listen and sift through my hip and running concerns.
- My joint space in my hips looks great. I misunderstood something about my cartilage earlier. Apparently their was a cyst on my cartilage, but it has been removed and smoothed out. My cartridge is in great condition and the damage has been removed. Parvizi showed me the extra bone that exists in my left hip on an X-ray. I am happy it is not an issue. However, despite the small odds, it always will be scary to think I might have to go through all this again for my left hip.
- I have been doing the lunge and adductor stretches that Dr. Parvizi suggested. I have run 2 miles Tuesday, 3.1 miles Wednesday, 3.1 miles Friday and 3.1 Sunday. I ice down afterwards. I am having no serious hip pains. I am very happy! Dr. Parvizi has given me peace of mind. I now know what is going wrong. I still prefer running on a grade for hip comfort. All of my runs were on a treadmill on a 5 percent grade or higher.
- My hip incision scar has been changing colors over the past six weeks or so. I'd say about 40% looks like a pink scar and 60% still appears its post-surgery fleshy color. My scar healing is kind of weird; the incision is turning pink in a straight line, there are spots of pink and spots of fleshy red like a zebra's stripes.
- Special Note: several kind people reading my thoughts have been emailing me (Thank you) about this condition none of us probably never heard of until it happened to us. One man confided that that 6-12 months is what he heard was the time period it took for you to finally start to get your regain your true trouble-free mobility. I believe it may finally be happening for me.
- I ran for 12.5 miles this week, generally three miles at a time at a 6 percent grade on an elliptical machine. I iced afterwards every time. I had no abnormal pains in my hip the next day.
- I ran about half mile to catch a train I was afraid I would miss one night. Like clockwork, my hip tightened up - the adductor muscles, just as Parvizi said. My hip irritated me probably for the next 36 hours. I did some lunge stretching and my pain near the top of my quadricep (adductors?) completely subsided.
- I seem to have two different types of back pain. This week I suffered from the pains reminiscent of those I got when I laid in bed for too long during recovery. (trust me - I have not been sleeping enough) My current pain is all over my lower back. It is completely tolerable, but it wakes me up sometimes at night. I do not know if my running is exclusively the problem, but last week was my highest mileage since I had surgery.
- My hip itself feels surprisingly good. I have a tiny amount of groin irritation, but nothing to complain about. My hip feels no pain at all to the touch. If I smack it with my hand, it is still a little tender. I think the running has motivated me to stretch and do my physical therapy exercises. I wish my lower back would cooperate.
- My bruises from my crutch walking the first few weeks are almost completely gone!
- I ran another 12 mile week on a treadmill. I am running a pace between 8 and 9 minute miles. I did a Stairmaster workout as well (I think the Stairmaster is really good for the muscles surrounding my hip). I was brave enough to put down the treadmill to a level three grade. My hip adductor muscle started to tighten the front of my quadricep, but there was no lasting discomfort after I got off of it.
- I must admit to you, the reader, that I have some secondary pain problems going on: my back and my knees. My back is annoying but the pain usually goes away. My knees are bothering me, but I almost believe my problem is stress induced. Dr. Parvizi recommended glucosamine, but more for my knees than my hip. I do not blame my knee problems on the surgery. My knee and back pains are mostly minor, but they make me feel like an old man sometimes. I wonder if my body is compensating somehow.
- Overall, I am feeling really optimistic I will be performing a little distance running outside this spring.
- A lot is going on at the moment in my life, but I believe a couple days this week I forgot about my hip completely.
Get the surgery if you think you need it - I have no regrets.
- I noticed the muscles in my left thigh were much thicker than my right thigh while I was stretching recently. I guess my right leg has some rebuilding to do. I hope my left leg is still not compensating for my right.
- Sometimes I wonder if the FAI in my left hip is a ticking time bomb. Time will tell....
- On Monday night, right before I usually try to write an update on this site, I went for a run outside. I hoped to brag that my run went really well. It actually did go well - my hip did not react too negatively (a had some of the upper quadricep tightening I mentioned a couple weeks ago - but completely tolerable discomfort) to the stress of impact with the concrete. I guess I ran between 2 or 3 miles total. After the run I noticed a mild pain in my lower back. I had trouble sleeping. My back seemed to be spasming from the bottom up. Today is Thursday and I am mostly better. Maybe I should have started out easier with just a mile. I have called to get an MRI of my back just to be safe.
- I called my surgeon's nurse and she said my gait could be off (I believe it could be true), but I should get an MRI on my lower/lumbar section of my back just to play it safe. Also, I have mild scoliosis, so I could have some secondary problem unrelated to FAI.
- I read a lot of things about my health problems on the Internet. I try to communicate my joys and fears post operation. This is my journey through FAI recovery. Please do not think you will have a similar journey. I have read some reviews on Facebook and other sources that show patients that have recovered more quickly than I have.
- Although I had a mostly perfect week previous to my back trouble before running outside on concrete and asphalt, I continue running on a treadmill, bicycling, and a using Stairmaster. My hip itself has been almost no trouble to me in the last couple of weeks.
- On Monday I had an MRI focusing on the lumbar section of my back. My whole back was scanned once as well. I am happy to say that my lower back pains are not directly related to my hip impingement surgery. In fact, they found almost nothing wrong with my back - my 4/5 disc is a little agitated, but the back specialist told me a healthy 25 year old might have the same condition - "life" is what has irritated the disc in my back. Finally I have some peace of mind. Let me repeat that - FAI did not directly mess up my lower back. I saw a back specialist and he said my back muscles might be causing the pain. Also, he said that if we were to perform many tests with lots of needles, he would only have a 60% chance of finding the exact area that is provoking the pain. I started doing physical therapy stretching exercises and I am already recovering quickly.
- One overwhelming message I have gotten from the doctors and older/wiser people: it takes awhile to recover. I am not 25 anymore and my body will not do whatever I want anymore. I have to start slow and build back up. My back/neck situation could have happened from overdoing it too soon.
- My neck has been stiff and irritated for more than 8 days. It is improving with stretching and heat. It started two days after my run that I performed right at the end of my 31st week. It was worse than the back pain. My neck pain got me to the doctor, not my back pain.
- The back specialist says this pain is probably from running on the cold ground and pushing myself too hard too soon outside. He also told me that scoliosis does not cause back pain, so I can rule that out as a cause of any of these problems.
- I was very unhappy, sleep deprived and my mental state was not good. I was not sleeping well for about 10 days. I decided to throw caution to the wind. I went out and ran a glorious 7 miles on a 66 degree day on 2/17/11. I ran 3 more miles outside in 66 degree February weather on 2/18/11. I am stretching everything: back, quads, hip, neck, gluts, calves, etc. I am doing so much better. My hip acted up a little while running, but I iced and it is less of a problem than ever. I believe my hip is almost fully recovered - it took about 8 months time.
- I noticed how weak I am while running and stretching. I really lost a lot of my athletic ability. I am starting to believe I lost a lot of muscle and flexibility. It makes sense. My muscles in my core and quads are doing that involuntary vibrating contractions when they do something they have not been forced to do for awhile. It is going to take me awhile, but I believe I can build my body back to strength it used to have. My body's performance means a lot to me.
- I got on a Wii balance board to see if I am favoring one leg over the other. Yes, I definitely favor the left (47%/53%) I noticed when I did rapid weight changes with one balance game, my upper quadricep was not happy. The hip irritation stopped a minute or two after I finished the game.
- I got a massage for the first time in my life. I noticed the left side of my body (the non-FAI treated side) had double the amount of muscle tension than my right side.
- When I was running my crazy 7 mile outdoor run, I noticed I was favoring my non-FAI treated leg, the left. I tried to carefully put more effort into using my right leg.
- It could be my imagination, but I feel like I can move my hip/leg that I had surgery on further forward than I could pre-surgery. My hip feels looser.
- I am running from 12-16 miles a week. 8 months was my true mental and physical turning point. I have confidence in my hip. It is not perfect, but I had no sustained pains for almost a month and I am pushing it.
- I was deeply stressed about my back last week. Nevertheless, I saw my great sports medicine doctor, Dr. Maenpaa this week. He worked with me over several visits and originally found my FAI. If you live in the Philadelphia, PA region and need a good sports medicine doctor, call Dr. Maenpaa at (215) 334-5346. I visited Dr. Maenpaa about my back. He analyzed my posture, back and neck, checked my orthotics, tested my body through a series of exercises, demonstrated some exercises on the floor, and basically told me I have severe muscle imbalances. In fact, some of my muscles in my back are now compensating for some muscles I use in my legs. When I had FAI surgery I sat atrophying for about for 8 weeks. I have already been doing rows, lats, and core strength exercises this week to start building back my old body . I was recommended I attend a gym boot camp to build my muscles. I am considering doing it at a gym called Fusion.
- I have not been as confident as I am now that my FAI problems are over since week 16. I ran 4.25 miles tonight, a half a mile at 6:18 pace - my fastest yet by far... I had minor irritation in my hip, but I did not even feel the need to ice. I pulled out the ice as I write to be safe...
- Our air masses have been changing quickly here in Philadelphia over this odd mild, cold, mild February. I had no noticeable trouble with my hip.
- My hip incision scar continues to get less prominent, but it is not a dull pink.
- My hip rarely cracks when I twist it inward. I cannot remember the last time it happened.
- I ran 9.5 miles on the asphalt, rowed 1 hour, swam 1200 meters, and biked 20 miles last week. This week I have already run 13 miles on the asphalt. I can't say my hip was 100% after every workout, but I can say it was 90-95% at worst and almost 100% after some ice and rest.
- I think the song "Don't stop believing" by Journey sums it up - my FAI nightmare is over!
- I have expressed my honest feelings on this page - I really thought my outdoor running future was over at week 22. I cannot believe the difference I see 12 weeks later.
- Dr. Parvizi was right - he told me to push through my hip pains. I pushed through the hip pain/agitation and I do my stretches (especially the lunge stretch) properly. I recommend him for FAI surgery.
- Dr. Maenpaa was right - I have to stretch my back and strengthen my muscle imbalances. I really like these back stretches and they help: http://video.about.com/backandneck/Back-Stretches-for-Back-Pain.htm
- I am eating my omega 3 filled chia seeds and taking my glucosamine. I probably will take both of these supplements for the rest of my life.
- I have signed up for a 5K, and 10 miler, and a half marathon
- Thank you Dr. Javad Parvizi for giving my back my athletic freedom! I ran 21 miles ran in the past week with cross training
- I joined Fusion cross training gym and I have been fighting back against my muscle imbalances to help with my manageable but annoying back pain
- My athletic body is back - my weight is down to 147.8 pounds - less than 2 pounds more than my marathon weight - I never thought I'd get back here again - I briefly went all the way up to 159 during the hardest period of my recovery. When was my hardest part of recovery, you ask? I imagine it was when I was trying to master walking again when I was back at work being up and down on my feet all day (weeks 6 to 10).
- I am not going to lie. I hurt my hip this current week. I am feeling it in my upper quadricep, groin and lower back, but I am not worried. Its an old familiar feeling that I know goes away as I progress in my recovery. I have pushed myself hard this week - for example, I was running at a 6 minute mile pace on a treadmill at a 14 percent grade for sustained bursts of time. I'm doing my lunges, continuing my exercise as normal and I expect to feel 100% again in a couple of days.
- I have nothing new to report... I ran 7.5 miles or so in one outdoor run on asphalt overdoing it a little - it hurt my knees, but not my hip
- I find myself cross-training more. I am not running everyday. I am changing my exercises to be safe. Any hip pain totally demoralizes me.
- My body is functional again. Sometimes my hip feels about 90% of the way it did pre-surgery. Some days I do not think about my hip at all. I consider the 90%+ pre-surgery normal as my new 100% normal. Overall, I hardly notice when my hip is unhappy. Maybe with more time this my surgery recovery will become even more of a happy to be over with memory.
- My hip incision scar is still healing. I think it is great that some of the scar seems to match my skin and not look too pink.
- My advice: get the surgery, expect mental and physical pain at varying degrees for 8 months, and get your athletic freedom back!
- My right hip FAI problem is history thanks to patience during the 8 month roller coaster ride of recovery, Dr. Parvizi, and some cross training and supplement lifestyle changes on my part - I have resumed my 100% pre-surgery active lifestyle. I run less to be safe, but I can do it.
- For all of you math lovers out there, think of your recovery like linear regression. You are generally getting better [less pain/more functionality (X) with time (Y)] however, you have days with pain setbacks that fall below the average of where you should be at that time in recovery. Mentally, these setbacks feel awful and you think the surgery did not work. However, after a few days, you recover back to the mean. Sometimes, you feel great and think the surgery was a complete success and you can conquer the world. Then you have a setback and your mental state deteriorates. Have patience with your body. It will repair itself with time. Non-doctors said I was younger (34 years old) and I should heal faster, but I do not know if that was true. Dr. Parvizi told me I should make a full recovery and he was right.
- I will continue this blog/page only if something interesting comes up. I plan to post my 5K, 10 mile, and 13.1 mile race results as a motivational tool. Google Analytics told me roughly 144 people were following this page over many weeks. Thank you for following my thoughts. I wish you the best of luck and patience with yourself as you recover and get your active lifestyle back! You're totally worth it! Do it!
- I want my information about my recovery to be as real as possible. I hate to dash anyone's hopes, but I am having trouble with my FAI treated hip area again. I have tried to deny it, but my recovery time symptoms have come back.
- My hip is sore. My groin pain comes and goes. My lower back pain is the most annoying part. It comes and goes too.
- I keep asking myself how this happened. I have three guesses:
- 1. I took a functional movement test and agitated something my hip was able to avoid doing until that test
- 2. I got a new mattress. I had a firm Temperpedic mattress and I bought a not-as-firm replacement
- 3. I slept on an air mattress and maybe I agitated it
- On the bright side, I do not feel it is necessary to restrict myself on any activities. I have pain, but it is not stopping me from much physically. Nevertheless, the mental impact is tough. I can run, do yoga, swim. I am struggling with a few strength movements that really use my right hip that I cannot do right now.
Nobody would perform these movements on a normal basis.
- My hip pain still exists. It mentally makes me worry: will I have up and downs for the rest of my life? It is less severe. I am a far healthier than I was before surgery. I think I am back to about weeks 26-30 as far as my progress.
- Although I have restricted myself, I ran about 25 miles last week, did about 14 miles on a Stairmaster and biked about 25 including daily commuting to work
- I am doing all the old tricks: ice, and elevation
- Honestly, I do not rest very much. I like to exercise everyday. I truly think exercise helps me relax and my hip seems to like it too. I spend too much time worrying.
- I do not regret anything I have done and I would not do it differently - get the surgery - I do not take it back. I am functional, but with light burning in my hip. Sometimes I feel the pain in my groin, butt and lower back.
- Please do not give up or get discouraged. I know it gets better.
- I continued maintaining this blog to give all people hope that have experienced FAI. My hip pain still exists, but at a lower intensity than before I believed I was fully recovered. I am living with it. It has not forced me to stop any of my activities.
- I have to admit that I think my left hip (the non-FAI) treated hip may be starting to go. I have been feeling an odd pain in my groin area in my left hip. I went in-line skating at a roller skating rink and I think this might have been a trigger.
- My knees are bothering me. I almost feel like I run differently to protect myself FAI treated leg.
- I noticed my hip is cracking again - especially when I wake up in the morning. I was at a yoga class this afternoon and something in the FAI repaired area cracked again.
- I elevate my legs and ice just about every evening after my workouts. I believe this helps me more than anything.
- I had intense week of workouts in week 61. I ran about 30 miles, biked about 20 and performed cross-training exercises such as lunges and step-ups with 25 pound weights. I feel like there is no direct correlation in how much I exercise and my hip recovery.
- I think I am recovered again - I will update again if I start having troubles. I want to continue as much as a realistic picture of my experiences with life after FAI surgery as I can for you.
Familiar Right Hip Pain 3/30/12 [I recovered, but this event changed my exeresis habits]
- I intend for this blog not to be bull$hit, so I have to write this. I wouldn't admit to myself, but I acknowledged my hip was injured around 3 weeks ago
- I have symptoms similar to pre-FAI surgery, just not as extreme
- I cannot bicycle and (for the most part) not run
- something about the motion of bicycling sets my hip off
- I am not sure what I did. Not sleeping enough, using heavier weights for squats, running hills, I tried partially minimalist shoes for a 2 mile run and one day walking. There was no a-ha moment that I can point to realize when my hip injury began
- I ice my hip almost everyday and I have seen some improvement
- I have an appointment with my FAI surgeon 5/2/12
- 5/5/12 - I was not able to see my surgeon on 5/2 due to an information technology emergency at work. It took me a month to get that appointment.
- I am having trouble looking at my website - I am so upset about my hip... my hip is a lot better, but I always have a 1 or 2 (out of 10) right hip pain everyday at all times. I ran a little last night, and iced immediately. Swimming is still my best friend... I will not even try a bike.
- Crazy enough, I have a 10 mile race tomorrow 5/6 that I never missed in 20 years except the 2010 FAI year - my surgery year. I plan to run walk run tomorrow and ice ice ice and keep my leg elevated all day afterwards.
- [update 11/14/13: I finished the race - I ran all of it - I iced immediately afterwards - I did recover yet again to run many more races, but this injury was the beginning of the end of my regular running. I stopped attending my intense cross-training gym. Basically, I was 36 years old and I started to believe that it was time to back off for the longevity of my hip.]
- [I had tendonitis in my gluteous medius which was treated with prolotherapy. I am oversensitive now to any pain in my hip] Although my wife tells me to wait and not comment until the MRI results come back, I believe I re-tore my labrum on 2/26/13. I did not have an "OUCH!" moment of an activity that created excruciating pain. However, I was carrying some boxes at work, maybe 15 pounds each probably about 300 feet between buildings at work. I was lifting properly, with a squat through my legs.
- I could not sleep most of that night because my lower back was in pain. I notice numbness sometimes in my foot and strangely enough in my hands. (I have carpal tunnel) I have no pain to the touch anywhere on my hip; the injury must be deep internal.
- Back in early February I was out running and I noticed nothing wrong during my training. However, I did notice my right foot was falling asleep / tingling (from no circulation) after my workout. It was a sign that something was wrong, but I ignored it.
- My hip is in constant pain with every step. It is nothing like the pain I felt last year around this time. My sports medicine doctor thought it could have been a stress fracture, but the x-ray did not show any pelvic/pubic stress fracture.
- I got my MRI results - NO LABRAL TEAR or stress fracture! I could not explain my hip pain at the time, but the MRI revealed tendonitis. [update 11/14/13:] My sports medicine doctor administered three treatments of prolotherapy once a month and my tendonitis pain symptoms are 95% gone.
- 4/1 - 4/15: I ran a 5:27 mile this week and regular intervals on treadmills at flat & up to 12 percent grades at 6:00 minute mile pace - no hip pain of course
- I have a full range of motion in my hip and leg - my leg comes all the way up to my chest with ease - no pinching pains - no hip popping noises- just the good old feeling of a free range of motion
- my hip incision scar continues to heal - about 30% of it is not skin pink color - my scar has been the same (30% not pink) for months
- 5/1/11 - I ran a 10 mile race in 59:54 seconds (5:59 mile pace) finishing 161st out of 30,000 runners
- I never mentioned this, but I trained on a treadmill all through winter as I was recovering. I started on the treadmill during week 15. I use a treadmill almost every rainy day in my current life - no hip pain!
- 5/27/11: I ran about 40 miles, biked about 10, and did about 150 lunges in the past 7 days. I am a member of a 10-week boot camp and a cross-training gym doing cardio, strength, training and yoga 4 times a week. I registered for a half marathon (13.1 mile race) once per month through November 2011. Last year at this time I was a mental mess two weeks before the surgery. This year I am working out, eating better, and enjoying my full athletic freedom.
- 6/10/11: I returned from rock climbing and trail hiking in Alaska - no hip problems
- 6/14/11 8:17AM EST: ONE YEAR SINCE SURGERY TODAY! I ran 5 miles with Lemon Hill repeats and did a half hour of yoga this morning before work.
- 7/13/11: I aggravated my hip a little during a FMS movement test in late June. (I have a tiny bit of groin irritation). I have not stopped a single activity. I am not worried - I am rocking and rolling, but I thought I would mention it to you. After you get better, you will probably have short reminders of your FAI recovery: weather and (now I know) abnormal/unusual movements can trigger minor bouts of your old symptoms.
- 9/18/2011: I ran a 1:20:33 half marathon (13.1 miles) today and a 1:21:47 half marathon two weeks ago. I am back in my prime shape. My hips irritated me a little bit in both races, but barely worth mentioning. I am running at my prime. I have not had a half marathon race time this good since 2003. You can regain your full fitness and speed after surgery. Today I cried joyous tears at the finish line because a year ago when I volunteered at this race, I was afraid of the possibility that I would never be running a half marathon again.
- 11/16/2011: I am running the 26.2 mile Philadelphia marathon this weekend. During February 2011 I was finally starting to rebuild my athletic life. Now I believe I have more than a 50% chance for a Boston marathon qualification on Sunday 11/20. NO REGRETS - MY SURGERY WAS TOTALLY WORTH THE 8 MONTHS OF DOUBT and UPS AND DOWNS. If my other hip ever fails, without a doubt, I will go through this recovery all over again.
- 11/22/2011: I ran the Philadelphia Marathon setting a new personal best by 2 minutes and 14 seconds: 2 hours 56 minutes and 56 seconds! Last year at this time I was crying over the shocking hip pains I got after running less than 1 mile while volunteering at the event. This year I was crying at the finish because I kicked a... asphalt! I finished 202nd out of 10,800+ marathon finishers. I have no hip pains at all - not even an inkling of one. Check out my race picture - this could be you!
- A fellow FAI recovery friend has sent me a link to this 11/15/2011 New York Times article spreading doubt about the hip impingement operation: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/16/health/hip-impingement-grows-popular-but-remains-unproven.html I just ran a marathon and 17 months ago I could not run at all and hardly pedal on a bike - even if my pain-free lifestyle lasts a couple years (which I doubt) ... it was worth it! Comment #11 in the article sums up my thoughts.
- 3/13/2012 - It has been three days and I hate to write it, but I have done something to activate my lower back pain and my hip area again. My butt, groin, and lower back are all having symptoms. I do not know what I did. I slept on a mattress at a hotel that might not have been good for me and I was not sleeping well for a couple of weeks. I know I will get back to normal, but it's driving me a little bonkers having these pains after such a long absence.
- 5/16/2012 - I do not want to jinx myself, but I think I am getting better. It's as if I started my recovery period all over again. I still have some hip pain, but it does not get worse with running or bicycling. I am not feeling groin or back pain at all. I have slowly started to run again. I do not think I will need to have surgery. I find these setbacks so mentally challenging. I am recovering back to my full active lifestyle. It took about 7 weeks.
- 5/20/2012 - I can hardly believe it, but I am recovering. If you knew where I was mentally on March 30, you would have seen a scared unhappy athlete. I cannot the difference 8 weeks made in my recovery. If I can recover from the setback I had, I think it's definitely worth the risk having this surgery. I biked 30 miles today - no joke. I cannot say I'm 101% healed and active, but I'm definitely able to enjoy my athletic lifestyle with no additional hip pain after the exercise. I'm cautious about long distance running. Nevertheless, I have to say, if you are active like me, you will have setbacks years after surgery. I've had two setbacks, a mentally devastating event happening once a year, and I seem to be recovering from my second one.
- 10/1/2012 - I ran 4 half-marathons this year (and one more in late October) despite my scary hip injury in March 2012. I have acceptable hip pain from 0-1.5 out of 10 max pain possible at all times. Once in awhile I get my FAI-treated hip unhappy. It goes through stage one that I acknowledge and try to reduce impact activities. Sometimes it gets to stage 2 and I definitely change my activities. Once in awhile i get to stage three where my hip yells at my brain telling it to 'cut it out!'. At this point I stop all heavy impact activities. I rarely get to stages 2 or 3. I let pain be my guide. As I'm writing this, my hip has about a 0.5 pain (out of 10). It doesn't stop me from anything and I basically ignore it.
- 1/28/2013 - I had no serious trouble for awhile now - I have occasional periods where my hip acts up - it is like a see-saw - I sometimes get in trouble for a little while, nothing that stops me from exercising, then it stabilizes again. I am sure I built up a natural tolerance to my slight hip pain. After all, it has been through trauma and my body rebuilt it with scar tissue. I am building up my base mileage again for the running season. 3 to 4 miles a day, 5 days a week, no lasting hip pain to report.
- 2/16/2013 - Musician Lady Gaga, 26 years old, was diagnosed with a labrum tear and cancelled her whole North American tour. She tweeted: "I've been hiding a show injury and chronic pain for sometime now,over the past month it has worsened. I've been praying it would heal I hid it from my staff, I didn't want to disappoint my amazing fans. However after last nights performance I could not walk and still can't"... too bad for her... I ran 26 miles so far this week - she'll get her groove back in due time. Also, Alexander Rodriguez's left hip failed him 3 years after right hip surgery.
- 3/9/2013 - Thankfully my MRI on my hip checking for a new labral tear was negative. Instead, I have cartilage damage "degeneration and undersurface fraying of the superior acetabulum remnant" from the original bone before my 2010 surgery. Also, I now have mild "insertional gluteus medius teninosis" near my right hip. (I have tendonitis near my butt at the rear of the hip. I am considering prolotherapy.) I am on a strong anti-inflammatory which is helping me walk better. I have been unable to run for about 3(?) weeks now. I'm doing okay, but I am not doing my normal activities.
- 3/19/2013 - I cannot believe it, but I am getting better. I feel the tendonitis in the rear and the arthritis pains in the front of my right hip (if that is what caused all the groin pain). I am walking with my normal gait and speed. I can see myself running again in the future - however, this event in my life is going to make me change my outdoor running habits. I never want this to happen again. I went away to Salt Lake City, Utah for work where it was nice and warm for 4 days straight - I think it helped my hip heal.
- 3/26/2013 - I felt confident enough in my recovering right hip to go for a bike ride. I biked about 4 miles. I felt some moderate pain, mostly afterward. It was nice to do some cardio work. I'm also moving to a bigger apartment right now where I am carrying a lot of objects. This is causing me no hip distress. I cannot wait until we get some warmer weather here in a prolonged winter weather pattern in Philadelphia. I am sure it will help.
- 4/7/2013 - My right FAI treated hip does not feel 'normal.' I have the lower back pains I mentioned so many times in my early recovery, especially when sleeping. I can walk without any limp or regular gait. I can run across the street without a problem. However, I am not sure I am ready for high impact activities.
- 4/14/2013 - I am biking again unlimitedly. I never thought I would make it back this far. I ran 2 miles and ICED immediately afterwards. My hip is not "normal," but I am headed back in the right direction. I am so happy I am healing again. Bills are coming in for the MRI, contrast dye, x-rays - annoying! I plan on starting brief physical therapy next week for my hip. I think I need it to build up my hip area.
- 4/24/2013 - I ran 2 miles yesterday. YES! I have been attending physical therapy and they are trying to help me break down the scar tissue in my right hip flexor. My physical therapist thinks the scar tissue has built up from years of impingement. I am not perfect yet, but I am becoming optimistic I will recover yet again. I was in a lot of pain in late February that made me get a MRI. Nobody could tell me what was causing the pain, tingling in my foot (pinched nerve) or my odd gait. However, I think I will live to run outside again.
- 5/2/2013 - I have run about 7 miles this week over three outings. I have biked about 10 miles. I cannot believe how much better I am getting after 6 visits to physical therapy. Sunday I am running a 10 mile race. I cannot believe it myself. I really believed I was done in February 2013.
- 5/13/2013 - I ran a 10-mile race on 5/6 in under 1 hour. I iced afterwards - mostly the tendonitis was bothering my - not my groin. I am able to run again, but I do it with care. I have a new "normal" for my hip which does not inspire my confidence in regular running.
- 7/17/2013 - I have cut back on running due to the craziness in life (I have moved and I am moving an elder parent this summer). I participated in a 4 mile obstacle race called the Spartan Sprint and did quite well again for the second year - no hip pain - also, I received my third prolotherapy treatment for my hip tendinitis and I believe it is working. I do not know if its just summer warmth ... time will tell...
- 8/13/2013 - I changed my mattress and I hurt my lower back. I believe it is related to the surgery. I never had lower back problems before surgery. I increased my running as well. I have some constant mild right groin pain. I am still doing most of the activities I want.
- 9/9/2013 - I ran a half marathon (92 minutes) with almost no training on 9/1. My hip held up fine. However, I went for a 3 mile run a few days later and I got some groin pain. I am considering blood platelet therapy. Check out this article: http://www.drmagaziner.com/does-your-young-athlete-need-hip-surgery/ I read a number of other people with FAI blogs saying that blood platelet therapy did not work for FAI, but I still might try it someday. I want to run for life. You may be interested to know that it costs about $1,100 for one treatment. It is not covered by USA health insurance plans. Edit 11/17/13: I talked to my sports medicine doctor and he agreed this was too expensive. He is having me try a cortisone shot. However, now that I know I have FAI in one hip, it may indirectly be the true source of my troubles.
- 9/19/2013 - I ran a second half marathon (87 minutes) with no training and my hip continues to be doing okay. I have not trained this summer due to other events going on in my life. My right hip, treated for FAI, is usually noticeable to me, but it has not hindered any activities. It's my lower back at the bottom of my spine that has been causing me all the problems. I blame this familiar mild pain on the hip surgery. I have been doing a lot of quadricep stretching while laying down on my belly on the floor that seems to help.
- 10/19/2013 - I pretty much have backed away from regular running. I still run a few miles several times a month, but I have been avoiding impact exercises whenever possible. Currently the lowest part of my back has been the trouble the last couple of months. I found it interesting that my wife sat on my lap and it irritated my hip for a full day. Right groin pain (level 3 out of 10), pain in the middle of my upper right quadricep (2 out of 10), butt pain (1 out of 10)... they all happen sometimes, but go away within a day or so. Piriformis stretching usually helps me get temporary immediate groin pain relief. I do not believe I have said this before, but I have been getting spells of groin pain in my left side, my non-treated FAI hip. Sometimes I think I change my gait to compensate for trouble with my FAI treated side. As usual, no regrets about the surgery. I would take my present lifestyle any day to the inactive one I experienced 3-6 months before surgery.
- 11/5/2013 - I ran 5k race for brain tumor research in Philadelphia this past weekend. It was our true first taste of fall weather here in Philadelphia. I do not know if it was the cold, but I now accept my left hip, the good one I did not have surgery on may have FAI. I went to my sports medicine doctor, Dr. Maenpaa yesterday and he did some him testing. I could feel some popping, grinding, and pain when he pushed down on my leg. Also, I was unable to hop up and down on my left foot without a severe shooting pain for awhile after his test. I am having an MRI with contrast dye on Friday on my left hip. I am completely bummed out. I am not looking forward to 8 months of rehabilitation to get back to where I want to be with my body. Hopefully things are going to be better than they seem at the present. This year I bought a new mattress, cut down on my running dramatically, went back to my "safe" brands of shoes. I experiencing mysterious lower back pain for about 5 months. I've ignored these signs. I cannot wait to have the MRI to validate or debunk my fears.
- 11/12/2013 - I received my left hip MRI results from 11/8/13 faxed to me hours ago. My report reads: "Findings of cam type and pincer type left femoral acetabular impingement anatomy, notable for a bump at the anterior femoral head neck junction and acetabular retroversion. A left hip labral tear results in labral detachment of the anterior/superior labrum." Want to know how much I believe in the surgery? Tomorrow morning at 9:00am I have a consultation with my original surgeon, Dr. Parvizi at the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia. Also, I will soon be starting a second web page now relaying my experiences with my left hip. In some ways, I am having noticeably different pain than last time around.
- 11/14/2013 - My left hip FAI surgery is scheduled for 1/13/14 - I am frustrated I have to go through this whole healing process again. I asked and the procedure has changed in a couple of ways since 2010. 1. I will have sutures to hold the labrum in place that will biodegrade with time as my hip heals. 2. I will be weight bearing on my newly treated left hip (off crutches) in 7-10 days.
- 1/1/2014 - I have been walking around with an odd limp for more than 1 month. I am protecting my left hip from normal weight bearing while walking. I believe my right hip hurts because I have been compensating for the problems with the untreated FAI in my left hip. I am nervous about having surgery again on my left hip in 1/13/14. Actually, I am more nervous about the recovery. It was a long process that required a lot of emotional and physical resilience. I am 37 years old now, but I have little doubt of a full recovery. It's just my fear of the the LONG road ahead to getting back to "normal." Thank you for all of the support from your comments; I wish you well in your own FAI recovery paths.
- 1/12/2014 - It is less than 24 hours before my right hip FAI surgery. I have been using chlorhexidine solution on my hips as requested. It does not matter I have been through this before. I am scared of the future and I am going to live today as if it was on purpose. My right repaired hip has been hurting. I believe its mainly because I have been favoring it for more than 2 months now. I keep asking my wife if I really have to go through with this recovery again. She says "Do you really want to walk around with a limp being unable to dance, run, or even walk the way you want for the rest of your life?"
- Despite anything I say here that may discourage you, you're better off with the surgery. Unfortunately, it seems to me that your surgically treated hip will always be an issue of varying degrees of annoyance for the rest of your life. Nevertheless, time is your friend always post-op - reclaim your pain-free active lifestyle... just do it!
- One year after surgery I am feeling great. When our atmosphere outside is unstable (thunderstorms, changing air masses), I sometimes feel my original lower back pain at a low level temporarily. It does not prevent me from any activities - I see it as my body's gentle reminder that it went through trauma.
- I am 35 years old now - I was 34 when I had right hip FAI surgery. My operation made me appreciate my health and fitness more than ever. On the advice of my sports medicine doctor Dr. Maenpaa, I had a functional movement screening test done to look for other weaknesses in my movement patterns to help me avoid future injury. I scored 13 out of 21 possible points. I think I developed poor movement patterns to compensate for my right hip instability over my lifetime. I scored very poorly with hip rotations and I actually irritated my hip a little (mild groin and lower back pain) during the FMS test for the first time in months. Nevertheless, it's nothing serious and I have performed a respectable load of heavy running, yoga, and bicycling since it happened.
- All of the PTs, sports medicine doctors, and even Dr. Parvizi (my FAI surgeon) hinted that I need to strengthen more than just my muscles used for running. By working out my whole body at a cross-training gym as I have been doing the past 5 months, I feel securer than ever about my running future.
- I never mentioned this, but I no longer ice or perform any intentional PT exercises or stretching for my hip. I stopped icing after runs around 8 months. I belong to a gym and I do plenty of strengthening exercises.
- I don't know why anyone would limit themselves by not having their FAI condition treated, but be prepared for a lot of work to get yourself back to pre-FAI strength and flexibility.
- If you look at my photo, you will see my scar has healed better than I expected
- If you're at home healing reading this blog, worried like I was that you would never recover, keep doing what the surgeon or your PT's told you to do. I experienced new pains after surgery while I was healing, but they went away too. Try not to do anything crazy. I know it's hard to resist. If you can't hold on - hold on - I believe with rest, time, and hard work you will probably get back the lifestyle you want. All the best! Allen
My FAI related photos
Please feel free to leave a comment, ask me a question and/or share your experiences with your fellow FAI site visitors. Thank you! (I am sorry you cannot post hyperlinks in your comments because comment spammers often attack my site.)
submitted 2/27/14 10:19pm from Austin
Denver, Colorado go see Dr. White (Western Orthopedics). He performed left and right hip fai surgery on my teenage daughter over a 3 year period. The recovery was long for her right hip that had been injured for 2-3 years. The left hip seems to be healing much quicker with less pain but we expect it is because the injury only occurred recently. We followed this blog three years ago and her journey is very similar in the recovery. At 5 months you think the surgery failed but then it slowly gets better. It took her 11 months before she felt really good but she did return to sports around 7 months. (Running at 5 months).
submitted 2/27/14 9:17am from South Carolina
I recently underwent osteoplasty for FAI and a labral repair. Though I am happy that after 3 years of pain, the problem is finally "fixed", I admit that the recovery process is tough. This blog is definitely encouraging and am happy to see my recovery time is not far off.
One thing I have noted as one of the worst Symptoms post-surgery, is the insane amount of muscular guarding. This guarding has a tendency to make you hurt all over. I highly suggest getting a muscle roller for anyone in FAI/labral repair rehab!
submitted 2/26/14 8:34pm from Ohio
Many thanks for this information! My daughter is 17, very athletic and an ex-gymnast for 7 years. She is currently diagnosed with possible FAI - going for MRI next week to confirm any Labrum tears, but definitely has extra bone density in rt hip. She initially was diagnosed with Snapping Hip Syndrome & went through 7 wks of PT and anti-inflammatory with limited pain relief... Our last visit to hip specialist we have now come to the MRI and possible FAI. Time will tell!
submitted 2/26/14 12:53pm from Upstate
I kind of just stumbled across this and all I can think of is "Where has this been?!" When I was 15 my right hip began to throb. I went to countless doctors to try and find the reason behind my pain. After 9 months I finally had an answer (FAI)! I found a surgeon in NYC at the Hospital for Special Surgery. And in late April of 2011 I had surgery on my Right hip. I was finally off crutches in the beginning of August! But then we found out that i needed the same thing done on my left hip. So in late September I had my second surgery. I had a hard time dealing with the wait that is the recovery time for the open surgery. In late January I fell on my left hip on the black ice, back on crutches and PT. But after that I worked my ass off to be able to play field hockey during my senior game. Eventually I recovered enough to be able to do almost everything, I still had issues with running. It wasn't until the past three months I have been able to run 1-2 miles three times a week. But because crutches love me so much, I fell again about a week ago and found out that I actually cracked my hip. So I'm on crutches again for 6-8 weeks with low weight bearing, and starting PT again in a week or two. I agree with you when you said the recovery time is all worth it, because that first intial step without pain is probably one of the best feeling in the world. So if anyone is reading this and you are wondering why you should even bother with this surgery, think of where you are right now. Sitting like a duck, waiting for the pain to leave, stuck in the world of limited to no activites, and the life of wondering if it will ever get better. This is everything that went through my mind as I was bedridden for a few months pre-surgery. Do what you believe is best for you and dob't let fear get in the way of your health and happiness.
submitted 2/26/14 9:34am from Denver
@Dan - who are you going to have do the surgery? I am looking at options in the Denver area. Thanks.
submitted 2/25/14 9:00pm from Castle Rock, CO
Thanks for the detail. I have been putting this off for 18 months, but can't take not skiing or running any longer. The two activities I enjoy the most have been taken away from me because of this condition. I was questioning how bad I wanted to do this, decided to do it, and just found this site. A little positive feedback helped me know i am heading down the right path. Hopefully, I will be back at Winter Park next ski season.
submitted 2/24/14 5:09pm from Denver
Sorry, just realized you answered my questions already in your blog. I read a lot of the posts from the first surgery and just scanned the second surgery blog before posting my questions. Thanks.
submitted 2/24/14 4:31pm from Denver
I'm a 33 year old former professional rugby player turned attorney, who needs this surgery on both hips. I've been having problems for almost 10 years, but did not get properly diagnosed until 2010 and was told by a hip replacement doctor to wait as long as possible. I saw an orthopedic surgeon who deals with athletes recently and was told I should not wait, and that I should have the surgery now. I've always been an explosive athlete with great quickness and a high vertical. I'm nervous to have the surgery because I do not know if I will ever be able to regain that explosiveness that has been a personal signature/identifier for me, but am tired of the constant discomfort and the additional problems that are starting to pop up that are evidently tied to my hips. Two quick questions after the long introduction:
1. How long did you have to be off work with the second surgery?
2. How long before you were able to drive? (I will have surgery on the right hip first.)
Thank you for your time and effort creating the blog and answering questions.
submitted 2/22/14 10:19am from Athens, GA
Oh, one more question.....my PT has an exercise that has me standing, holding a broomstick pole and rotating/twisting my hips/shoulders to right and left. Rotating to the left (unoperated) side is fine, but going toward the right is not happening (I get sharp hip pain that radiates to the knee). The only way I get close to twisting to the right is if I "cheat" and let my right foot roll to the outside. Does this loosen up or is this the range we have to work with?
submitted 2/22/14 10:01am from Athens, Ga
Approaching four weeks post op and had my first "real" outing (beyond going to PT and back home again). Who knew crutches could be such a pain on the hands (do they make gel handle covers?)? Felt great to be up right! Felt awesome to sit up right, in something other than PJs/yoga pants at a table with other adults talking about anything other than my hip (honestly, it gets tiring trying to explain to folks who've had total hip replacements why my healing takes longer than theirs- hello, you got new parts, I did not). Then felt great to get home and stretch out. I seem to be right on track with Allen's first FAI surgery in that I'll have a good day followed by a couple of bad ones. "Bad" being hip tightness and low back pain (across lower back- feels like tight muscles). Right about now I'd love to have my soft-sided waterbed back. :-). All-in-all a good week. Except for USA hockey- but that's another blog entirely.......
I'm an Immunologist and spoke to my surgeon about going on low dosage testoterone (androgens have been shown to accelerate healing). Has anyone gone down this path- if so did it help?
submitted 2/20/14 7:26pm from Philadelphia, PA
Charlie, I tried posting to your blog but there is a 300 character limit. I'm really sorry to read about all your troubles. I agree this hip operation is no cure-all, but I really think it's the only route to go. Your story really scared me... sports hernia, repeat operation, cortisone shot... I think it's awful that you have to give up martial arts. I have had two physical therapy sessions and my back is hurting and seemingly near the joint areas of both of my hips. I do not know what to say to you except good luck brother... Honestly, the functional movement screening pointed out a weakness in my hips that I kind of blocked out of my mind. I hurt myself pretty bad that day and I did not even want to practice what the physical therapist showed me. If you follow through with FMS testing, please be careful. Allen
submitted 2/20/14 8:09am from Philadelphia
# 134 Tammy
Tammy how are you doing ? Thanks to and all who commented! Tammy Im not sure as what do to now either but Id suggested from reading and researched over the past year is to pic the best surgeon you can and also chooses the type of procedure diligently as now I'm finding out from Dr. Salvo of the Rothman institute ( who is my second opinion ) that open and arthoscope are different. From what Ive gathered is during open procedure the femora is NOT!!! in full retraction there for the scoope can not go fully around the head as in Athro procedure its in FULL retraction ( aka the full head is visible and labrum there for it easier to see that the real problem is. My next step is Prolotherapy and or cortisone. Has anyone here gotten cortisone?
submitted 2/20/14 7:53am from Philadelphia
I read your blog and happy that your recovery has been great I see. I also had Dr parvizzi of the rothman institute do my surgery but not with the outcome like yourself. Any and all comments are welcomed here at my FAI blog 1bushidolife.blogspot. com I may have to do another surgery but not guaranteed to help the pain. How did you functional movement screening help you? and where was it located ?
submitted 2/18/14 10:40am from New York
Thanks to Christine (and other) for your valuable info. It does make me feel better to read all your inputs. I have been doing PT 3x per week and I must say that I feel better after ea. session. I have been doing various isometric excercises, bridge, pillow btwn thighs, squeezing buttocks, and cycling with no resistance, etc. They definitely have helped me to move; Now I can stand on the treadmill for 5 min. 3x per day without feeling shaky. I am beginning to think I can do more, and when I bend down I quickly remember that I will feel the aches soon enough. I am 60 yrs old and led an active lifestyle, I was a skier, bicycler for a few years..Most recently, I was walking/hiking about 4-5 miles per day before my setback. I enjoy reading everyone's personal challenges, and as you said about the Olympics , when I hear the stories of the challenges that the Olympians have overcome, I feel so motivated to keep moving on. Well take care and hopefully, everyone of us will come out stronger after this experience. I feel so grateful that we have been given the opportunity to have the surgery because of it's relatitve newness.
submitted 2/17/14 1:19pm from Athens, Ga
We seem to be close on the surgery timeline so I thought I'd try to answer your question. My surgeon had me on crutches with light toe touch for 17 days and in a CPM (continuous passive movement) for 7hr/day so I was pretty much on bed rest until a couple of days ago. I, too, feel shakey when I'm up and try to walk without crutches. It's been a little disappointing to still have a slight hitch when I walk (can't fully extend at the hip yet) and yes, I kind of wobble when I'm at the sink brushing my teeth/washing my face. My husband tells me I'm expecting too much so soon, so I am trying to adjust my inner time clock on expected results. I have PT twice a week (well last week was a wash bc of the snow in our area closing the roads/businesses down) but the most we've done are theraband exercises and isometrics for core strength with light recumbent cycling (10 min. no resistance). Hoping to get to more walking type movements so that my therapist can see my gait and tell me if it's normal for now (or not). Did your doctor tell you much about swelling in the joint itself? I was wondering if maybe there is still swelling that affects my movement. Enjoy the Olympics- I know I am. Wishing you a speedy recovery!
submitted 2/16/14 8:20pm from new york
Well, I did it! I went ahead and had my surgery. I must say, this is the best time to have done it as I am watching the Olympics and snow outside my window every day. I am 17 days post op. Surgery was not bad at all, I had hardly any pain, just soreness. The ice machine is a must!! It is my best friend. What I am finding rather scary right now is trying to walk without the aid of crutches. When I wash my face and I go to grab my crutches I am afraid to put any weight on my operated side. Is this normal? My pt has tried to put me on a treadmill and I am so tense when I go on it that I am told I am going to create back probs.
submitted 2/16/14 11:12am from Athens, GA
Thank for posting such a detailed account. I am on day 19 post-FAI surgery for my right hip and visit your blog every day. I am 44 and have been active all my life (martial arts, soccer, running, ballet). My surgeon thinks I may have had an injury when I was in growth phase and my athletic lifestyle sped things up. I found your posts when researching recovery time when I was first told I would need this surgery. My husband and I really appreciate the helpful suggestions from your first hip procedure (especially the shower stool and stool softener (!!!)). The weekly updates have been so helpful and inspiring. When I get frustrated at how tired I feel! or discouraged when I have a set back, my husband hands me my iPad with your page loaded. It's just nice to have cyber-commiserating from your posts and comments from others who have been down this road. We've had some "ah-ha" moments with respect to what to expect with pain and rebound from everyone's contributions.
I was told my labrum was so shredded that debridement and osteoplasty were to buy me some time before a hip replacement. And the surgeon says I can't run anymore (that I can type that without bursting into tears is miraculous) and it was suggested I try swimming (fortunately, my husband stepped in and responded to the suggestion bc the response going through my mind was full of f-bombs- nothing against swimming but my rush comes from cross country trails). Like you, I'm watching a lot of Sochi Olympic coverage and am finding these athletes so inspiring that it's helping my mood and attitude. Please keep us posted on how you are doing- hoping speedy recovery for all of us.
submitted 2/15/14 6:16pm from Missouri
Thanks for this blog! I have been in severe pain since 2004, had disc fusion surgery in 2010, was better until 2012 & did not get any answers from any doctors until November, 2013 , when I was finally diagnosed with cam & pincer impingement bilaterally. I was told surgery wouldn't help due to my weight. He told me to try to lose weight & come back in April, but my pain is so severe I am seeing him Monday. I sincerely hope something can be done soon because I am to the point that I avoid activity of any kind due to so much pain. I'm happy to see some people are getting treatment & able to get their lives back!
submitted 2/10/14 5:27pm from San Francisco
Thank you for your blog and all the details. I am having Left hip arthroscopy for labral repair, acetabular pincer resection and trochanteric bursitis repair next week, and it is helping to prepare my environment post surgery. I have also ensured I enjoyed time out with friends and family in these last weeks before surgery day.
Not looking forward to the sit at home recovery process, but happy to hopefully say good-bye to the pain.
submitted 2/8/14 8:43am from Columbia MO
Thank you for your blog and your honesty!!! My hubby had surgery on his right hip 12/31/13 so we are almost 6 weeks postop now. The recovery process is such an ordeal and of course every ache and pain makes one worry. It is so reassuring to read your week by week description and realize that he is on track.
submitted 2/4/14 7:50pm from Des Moines, Iowa
#124 Charlie - my doctor told me the same thing, though I knew going into surgery there was a 40% (or some number like that) failure rate.
I am 37 years old and had FAI surgery, cam and pincer type, with a torn labrum just about 10 months ago on my left hip. I returned to my surgeon yesterday with left hip pain almost as severe as it was before my surgery and also with right hip pain, which I did not have before. My surgeon told me there was nothing that could be done for my left hip. My surgery was perfect down to the millimeter. My pain is due to the arthritis, which they found in my hip area during surgery, and it will only get worse. As for my right hip, after taking x-rays, I was told my right hip looks exactly as my left hip did before my surgery. I now have to make a decision; do I want to have surgery on my right hip? Does anyone have any thoughts on this? My surgeon also told me that I will definitely need double hip replacement in the future (it could be in 2 years, it could be in 20, it just depends on how fast my arthritis moves, I have a feeling it's moving pretty quick in the left hip if I am already in this much pain 10 months after surgery). I am leaning towards not having FAI surgery on the right hip since I will just have to completely replace it eventually anyway. Just not sure what to do.
submitted 2/3/14 8:21am from Philadelphia, PA
Thanks so much for this website. I was just diagnosed and am preparing to go through the pre-surgery PT and Injection before meeting with the surgeon (it is a requirement to try these before they will discuss surgery). This was very informative.
submitted 1/27/14 10:58pm from Flagstaff, AZ
Glad to see you made another blog about your left hip experience! Sounds like things are going as well as can be reasonably expected for you. Left hip isn't as bad -- you can still drive!
I am not a doctor, but would bet good money that the back pain that you experience is due to your hip and not a separate issue with your back. I most often experience my post surgery pain (now 8 weeks post op) in my low back, and before surgery I also often experienced pain there. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?
My recovery parallels your somewhat, but is taking longer than what you describe. I had a torn labrum and the surgeon performed micro-fracturing to stimulate cartilage growth. The surgeon described the condition of my hip as the worst he had ever seen for someone my age (32). The labral tear and microfacturing meant that I had to be on crutches for 8 weeks, toe-touch weight bearing only, So the past couple of days have been my first (crutch-assisted) steps, and it feels great to have my left leg take some of the stress off the rest of my body.
Good luck on your continuing recovery. I know you'll keep us posted.
submitted 1/24/14 9:03pm from Phoenix, AZ
Hello everyone. i recently had FAI surgery to fix a torn labrum and huge bone impingemen in my left hip. I was amazed at how long it is taking people to recover. I am 9 days post op, walking completely fine. I did NOT use crutches once since surgery, and I have not needed a single pain killer since the operation. I had my appt today to remove stitches and doc has already cleared me to start swimming and using an eliptical. I will be 100% cleared to return to activity in 6 more weeks, about 8 weeks from surgery. I participate in basketball and football leagues, but my main source of activity is training and competing in MMA cage fights, so its not like ill be doing light activity. Most people it takes to recover 4-6 months back to full activity. My doc will do it in 8 weeks. I asked him why online it says so long when hes claiming 8 weeks. He said its simply because of this relatively new injury, many physicians simply dont crank out as many of these surgeries as him. I could not believe how good i felt immediately after. Like i said, I didnt use ANY crutches and was walking out of the hospital.. More of a strong limp but still. Crazy.
submitted 1/19/14 4:03pm from Texas
Thanks for sharing. I was diagnosed with bilateral cam-type hip impingement in 2008 after 35 years of cycling and 25 years of military service. Now at 54 years old and after completing a 30-year Army career, I am delaying my only option -- hip replacements -- as long as I can stand. I can relate to your posts and your frustration, especially your desire to exercise (ride in my case) and your description of the burning pain that goes to the bone! Best of luck to you and keep us posted.
submitted 1/13/14 9:17pm from Milwaukee, WI
I'm so grateful for your blog. I'm 4 days post op and have referred to this blog when I have questions and you always have an Asher. Thank you for being so specific. If it weren't for your blog, there's a good chance I'd call my ortho 10 times a day.
submitted 1/12/14 10:05am from Philadelphia, PA
Hello Charlie, Rob, and Susan. It is less than 24 hours before my surgery on my other hip and I am nervous. Who wants pain? Just because surgeons fix our x-rays, does not mean we no longer have any pain. ROB_BOR5, most times when you visit your FAI doctors and/or physical therapists, they check your range of motion. You should get your full range of motion back when the impingement is removed through surgery. I learned on 12/30/13 that I can only lift my left leg comfortably to height about 15 inches (37cm) lower than my right leg. I guess my active labral tear and FAI in my left hip are preventing it from rising higher. I truly wish you all a full recovery to return to doing what you love whether it is playing with children, kick boxing, or breakdancing. In my case, I want to walk normally again without hobbling. Gosh, I am sorry for your pain.
submitted 1/11/14 8:10pm from SPOKANE
Thank you for sharing such a candid inside view of your FAI repair recovery. It is daunting but I can't stand the pain anymore. Will see ortho in 10 days. I hope I can make it that long. Couch potato due to pain. Miss crawling on the floor with my granddaughter. Have bookmarked your blog for future reference. God bless.
submitted 1/11/14 7:45am from London, GB
Hey guys, thanks for the article and your comments! I also have FAI, which really affects my hip flexibility and range of motion (as you all may know). Have those of you who have undergone the surgery noticed any difference in flexibility, post-surgery and after fully healed? I'm starting to get frustrated that I can't participate in many of the activities I would like to participate in (ie kick-boxing, breakdancing, etc.). Please let me know. Feel free to get in contact with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best regards to all!
submitted 1/8/14 4:19pm from New York
qB8S5B Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic article.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.
submitted 1/5/14 12:13am from New Jersey
I had fai surgery done 8 months ago with labrum repair and haven't gotten pain relief. I also had my surgery done by dr. Parvizzi when visiting withi him a couple days ago and I expressed my issues he said there was nothing he could do!? This wasn't what I was told before surgery or even after surgery but now I know you need to choose wisley. Not to mention I'm in extremely good shape before the procedure so I had a a lot to work with muscle wise.
submitted 1/1/14 12:27pm from Qatar
Thank you so much for writing this blog. I've had hip pain since March 2010 (I was 15) and had to go through 5 doctors before the 6th one finally gave me the right diagnosis (FAI cam effect, labral tear, cartilage delamination) in September 2013 (I'm 19 now) . It started off with the right side hurting me when I walk or run for too long, and now both sides are in extreme pain (painkillers such as Voltaren, ibuprofen and celebrix have stopped working with me and I havent been prescribed stronger medication). I'm not sure if people perform arthroscopy on both hips as, I've read, it's one hell of a journey. But i believe that this is the case for me. I've done everything from rest, painkillers, hot packs, cold packs, ultrasound, acupuncture, shockwave therapy and physiotherapy and surgery is the only option left. My follow up appointment (post physiotherapy) is this coming tuesday and hopefully I will be having surgery ASAP (really can't deal with the pain anymore).
This blog makes me happy to know that I'm not alone because my friends and parents sure as hell dont understand the pain im going through PRE SURGERY. So thank you for sharing that! and Good luck with your second surgery!
submitted 12/25/13 8:50pm from Flagstaff, AZ
Thanks so much for writing this blog! I had surgery to fix FAI in my left hip 3 weeks ago. Reading what you wrote gives me comfort that someone else who has had the procedure has experienced many of the same things.
Good luck with the upcoming surgery on your other hip!
submitted 12/18/13 3:05am from New Zealand
As my comment was month 3 this year had the surgery by the best FAI surgeon in NZ, June. Able to walk well both legs stairs (still groin pain right side) left is amazing. His comment was "I was a mission". Can bike without any strapping now across the hip. It has been massive hard work the rehabilitation and very complicated. I also had stem cell injection into the worst hip which who really knows may help. Still on recovery - rehab may be 12 months plus. Dominant pincer, bilateral operation. All the best for your surgery Allen and others do your home work! Cheers
submitted 11/21/13 7:37pm from scotland
Great support hearing your stories. 5 weeks post op cams on left hip but unfortunately surgeon found the hip was unrepairable. Already arthritic with little cartilage left. As a keen sportsperson and single Handicap golfer aged 35 it was the worst news. Had to quit pro sports 5 years ago with hip/groin problems which was diagnosed wrongly as osteitis pubis. Now struggle with spinal stenosis and pelic stress fractures which I believe are related to years of sport with cams impingement.facing an ucertain future of hip preservation and pain/activity management. Its rough but there are always people worse off.post up I was off crutches 16 days and have been walking short distances and biking 50min per day for last week. This is in addition to stretching/rehab. Plan to take up aqua biking and do some triathlons without run section! Heating/icing helps but only take mild nsaids. I feel telltale pangs in right hip also so I guess both hips will go at sometime. Really hope I can golf and surgeon reckons should b possible 10_12weeks ? I figure when I hand this body back it should have a few dents in it! My pt buddy gave me best advice ever.......he reckons use it or lose it!!! Good luck guys and if anyone has any experience of golfing after surgery please post I would love to hear how it works!!! @
submitted 11/19/13 7:29am from Liverpool, UK
A few people have been asking about pain that feels like it radiates from deep in the buttock. I'm 4 nearly 5 months post op now and I was panicking thinking they had missed something, spoke to my physio (who is amazing) and he said it's highly likely it's a condition called trochanteric bursitis. Basically a sack of fluid that helps muscles around the hip move can become inflamed due to the FAI and also the op itself can aggravate it. The physio you do post op from FAI treatment is meant to target that aswell but might be worth double checking with your physio.
submitted 11/15/13 12:07pm from Miami
Your blog is great. I had my right hip done in jan-11 for fai/labral tear. The left done nov-12. My right was never perfect after surgery, I have had issues with my hip flexor since two months after the surgery. My left feels great.
Like two weeks ago I threw in some wall squats into my workout. Not deep and with the big ball against my back. Since then my adductors, groin and even some pain has been radiating into the pelvis. Doesn't feel like 100 percent like my pre surgery pains, but similar. Very scary as I am super uncomfortable sitting at work. I think you make a good point of you will probably never have a normal hip.
I am staying off my feet all weekend, and taking dose of prednisone. Let's see if it improves
submitted 11/11/13 7:28pm from West Chester PA
Allen, I just finished reading your blog and it has inspired me to write one of my own. I am going under the knife on 11/13/13 for FAI surgery. I wanted to thank you so much for all of the information you posted about it. Made me feel a lot better about what I have in store for the next 6 months!
submitted 11/9/13 2:03pm from GB-West Midlands
Well just over 3 weeks post op and I find myself reading your blog and all the posts again- feeling a little down the last few days. Depending on people is hard for me, I am usually the one people depend on being a Manager and I am struggling with this in a big way.
If they had performed my operation in the close months after my MRI I would still have my cartilage!
Last December I only had a smell labral tear and was told that continuing working on my feet all day should not harm it further. How wrong they were. Have had micro-fracture surgery on left hip and recovery, so I am told, is now going to take up to 3 times longer.
Having more pain in my right hip now due to taking all my weight- not good when I have no hip joint at all and have to wait until my left hip has healed and the new cartilage set.
I will mention that since my operation my pain levels have been drastically reduced to a 0 to 1 out of 10 and would highly recommend to anyone undecided about having the surgery to JUST DO IT!!!!
submitted 11/4/13 11:29pm from New Mexico
To Runner Girl #110
Yes, I have had the deep burning pain in my lower buttocks for years, esp after running. 1.5 years ago went to orthopod, said I would need surgery. Just had my left one done in March 2013. It looked the worst on xray. Everything went well with my surgery. Starting running at 5 months. Got the terrible burning in the right hip but not the left one that I had fixed. I have continued to increase exercise and the left one feels awesome. The one I haven't had fixed is not good. Going to have the same surgery on my right in about 3 weeks. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com
submitted 10/30/13 7:04pm from New York
Thanks for posting this site. I was diagnosed with a Femoral Acetabular Impingement, torn labrum of my right hip just last week. I had an MRI which confirmed the tear, and also received a cortisone shot and anti-inflammatories to help with the horrible pain that I was feeling (about a 9-1/2 on pain scale). I am a walker/hiker about 5-6 miles every day until last month. My pain started mostly in my back and gradually moved to my groin. Now it is in my hip. The groin pain came on suddenly after overexerting myself on a hike. I came home to rest and found that I could not walk more than 3 steps without a horrible pain in my groin; I tried to lie down in a comfortable spot but could not find such a spot; I could hardly stand up or sit down as that was painful as well. I went to an orthopedic surgeon and was sent for an MRI. After the MRI confirmed the tear, my dr. referred me to another orthopedic dr. who was more experienced in this surgery. I think the explanation of my pain, as to the location of it was extremely important in helping the dr. recognize this as an FAI condition. He told me that when I mentioned that I could not walk on inclines and the fact that I had groin pain that it was most likely a hip problem. I am in my 60's and am afraid to undergo the hip arthroscopy. I would like to know if anyone has been in this situation, and when do you decide to just do it??? I am out of the pain that I had just 2 weeks ago. If you asked me then I would have said YES to an operation, but now that I have had a cortisone injection and been given anti-nflammatories the pain is 3/10. I am wondering how long should I wait. Any suggestions are welcomed. Thanks
submitted 10/29/13 10:51pm from wisconsin
8 weeks post surgery for fai. Cam, pincher and torn labrum. Had it for 30 years with diagnosis of tendinitis.
I have poping, clicking and other when taking a big step or any karate kick. Also get sharp pain when pushing off and turning.
Did you have any of those issues?
Also IT band and hamstrings have shrunk.
submitted 10/25/13 11:33pm from Duluth MN.
To #111 Yes, you are young but, keep in mind this is not an older person's injury. If you have been dealing with it for a long time that is good, it's not like you only had the symptoms for a few weeks and then decide to go get surgery. The longer you have the symptoms the more it confirms it. I urge you - urge go get opinion #2 from another orthopedic OR find a surgeon who has done more than 1000 of the FAI surgeries and have him confirm it. My surgeon has done over 3,500 of the surgeries and confirmed it for me before I decided. There are only 2 surgeons in MN. So, there may not be many in Seattle either, whoever they are find them and ask questions and make darn sure you have FAI. It is a scope surgery so, make they explain that. Ask them about getting pregnant not people on here who are not doctors. I imagine it wouldn't affect having a baby that would be crazy it seems. If you need the surgery then it's inevitable go take care of it. Are you active? Most people who have this issue are very active.
submitted 10/19/13 9:12pm from Seattle, wa
I just found out 4 days ago I have fai, my doctor was able to confirm it by X-rays and I'm getting referred to orthopedics for a consult on treatment. I'm 29, and feel I'm too young for hip/bone issues, but most of all I'm scared. I've never broken a bone or had a surgery. Every website I've looked at about fai all says surgery, and depending on the damage leads to a total hip replacement. I've been in pain for quite a while now, it aches laying down, sitting, walking, bending down. I never told anyone because I didn't think it was important, I only mentioned it to my doctor because I thought sometime when I was running or exercises my hip/ leg would temporary dislocate and the pain I have all the time was just the results of exercise. I'm glad you made this blog, I've been searching for information from a patient who has fai to see what's going to happen, how long I can wait for surgery, if it gets worse...after surgery will life be normal? Your a guy and I doubt you would know but maybe if any other females reading this with fai could answer.. Will fai effect having or not having children? Thanks for sharing your story, it means a lot.
submitted 10/18/13 8:09pm from Duluth MN.
BUTT PAIN BUTT PAIN does anyone else besides me have deep buttock pain? I had FAI surg. May 2013 so, I am 5 months into my recovery. I had deep buttock pain for 4 years that really was my worst pain in addition to pain and stiffness in my groin. I also had a torn labrum. Had my surgery in Stillwater MN by a very excellent surgeon. PLEASE someone tell me if you had or have the deep pain in your BUTTOCK? It is a symptom of FAI impingement but, not a common one. IF you have butt pain and had surgery did it go away? My butt pain did go away for 3 months and just recently returned hopefully, it will go away again. Thank you so much for posting your experience here it is impressive that you put so much work into it and very helpful and encouraging for us who are still recovering wondering if we can ever run again or return to "our normal". I just wish the doctors wouldn't tell us we will be running in 3-4 months after surgery. I don't agree, I got up to 4miles and had a setback. This surgery is more complicated than a hip "replacement". Thank you for all your work in writing and sharing. I know I am in for a lot "more" work. I miss running it's tough but, want to do the right thing. Good to know what I am experiencing is in the ballpark even after 5 months. Looks like 5-6 months more to go.
submitted 9/8/13 1:22pm from GB- West Midlands
Hi,In a word- Great!
I am a 44 year old female and have bi-lateral FAI. I have recently joined a clinical trial to determine the benefits of physiotherapy against invasive surgery for FAI sufferers.
(Thankfully I was selected for key hole surgery)and go under the knife for my first operation in October. I honestly don't think Doctor's/ Surgeons actually appreciate the pain levels sufferers go through and all the information on the subject is the same, that is, until I stumbled across your blog. I have now saved this in my search history so I can hopefully plan my own recovery and keep me positive that all will be well again in the not too distant future.
While I am not looking forward to the long road to recovery I am keeping my mind focussed on getting back to work and playing with my grand daughter again.
submitted 9/2/13 1:14pm from Minnesota
Thank you so much for posting about your experience. My daughter is fifteen years old, and had hinge impingement. She had it for ten months before a Dr. found the problem. The fourth specialist we went to found the problem. She was diagnosed with femoral impingement, pincer type and a labral tear. Her surgery was August 22,2013. I will continue to read about your experiences. thank you so much for sharing
submitted 8/27/13 2:23pm from Pennsylvania
This blog is beyond valuable!! I am 3 weeks post op and trying to hang in there. Way harder than I thought! Crazy to say but I am envious of the people I know who recently had full hip replacements and are up and moving. To anyone having the surgery I have found the following invaluable : ice therapy system(mandatory for pain and swelling management t to the point where I only use pain meds at night), raised chair with handles for bathrroom(covered by most insurance), stool with handles for shower, grippers for everything you drop, and not to be too personal but take the advice about keeping regular with either the miralax ,etc. I wish I had been more prepared from my doctors for this recovery. I am very grateful for the staff at Dresher Physical Therapy for all there help. I would recommend them to everyone.
submitted 8/27/13 2:23pm from Pennsylvania
This blog is beyond valuable!! I am 3 weeks post op and trying to hang in there. Way harder than I thought! Crazy to say but I am envious of the people I know who recently had full hip replacements and are up and moving. To anyone having the surgery I have found the following invaluable : ice therapy system(mandatory for pain and swelling management t to the point where I only use pain meds at night), raised chair with handles for bathrroom(covered by most insurance), stool with handles for shower, grippers for everything you drop, and not to be too personal but take the advice about keeping regular with either the miralax ,etc. I wish I had been more prepared from my doctors for this recovery. I am very grateful for the staff at Dresher Physical Therapy for all there help. I would recommend them to everyone.
submitted 8/23/13 2:42pm from Albuquerque
I just found your blog, thank you!! I have had right hip pain since since I was 16. I always thought it was from a hard fall I took at that age jamming my right femur into my hip socket. I have never had it looked at medically as I thought was residual pain from the fall. I started having extreme pain in the hip 3.5 years ago and finally had an MRI showing a labral tear. I was told surgery wasn't really an option and with Aleeve, the pain subsided to a point I wasn't bothered by it anymore. Recently, the last two months, my hip has started hurting alot again, but I notice the pain was different, istead of sharp pain, it was a mix of sharp pain with a constant ache and feels like I have tremedous pressure in the joint. I got a new MRI with contrast and found out I also have FAI (CAM)along with the labral tearing. I'm shocked and feel guilty that I did not address my hip pain years ago!! I am looking for a surgeon on my area that can do the arthroscopic surgery I need. Has anyone here had the surgery under a nerve block rather than anesthesia? I have had surgery once and did not like the anesthesia. I have known a person who had an ACL graft done with a nerve block only, she was awake during the procedure and I'd much prefer to not be put under. Thanks for the blog, it really helps me understand what I may experience. I was worried and driving, sitting, sleeping and your blog helps!
submitted 8/15/13 11:47pm from florida
#97,98,99 from Colorado. I would love to connect with you privately as I'm also just behind you in recovery and want to get some reassurance here. I'm still partially on crutches at 9 weeks out and still having quite a bit of pain in my thigh, can't tolerate the amount of exercise doctor has recommended (and I was very active prior) and I feel like a big blob....seems like I was "golden" around week 8 and then went downhill. I'm discouraged and need to talk ?
submitted 8/13/13 2:56pm from Finland
Are you here, LL!?
As I am from Finland, too, would you be willing to exchange some private e-mails with me? Have had the first MRI, without the dye, no FAI diagnosis yet, going to the second MRI soon with the dye. Symptoms so similar to those of people with FAI so I fear the worst. Am 43, female, have been running pretty much all my life, have played floorball, now play ice-hockey. I participated in a 33 km run last October, which was when these hip symptoms began. I would love to ask who is you doctor and a lot of other things. You can contact me at my hotmail.com account. The part before the at sign is elina29.
And thank you, Allen, for this blog! I have spent most of my work day today reading it.
submitted 8/12/13 7:32pm from Liverpool, UK
I am 20 years old and as of today I am three weeks post op from my hip arthroscopy. I have a few different health problems, however, what brought me into the same boat as many of you was a nasty injury. Frustratingly, I wasn't doing anything extravagant to cause it, I was walking in a straight line on tarmac with mountain boots on, then bam! Shooting pain down my right leg and I just assumed I'd trapped a nerve. A few hours later, however, I couldn't move. Went down to accident and emergency and they agreed with me, however, 4 days later when if anything it had gotten worse I ended up in emergency room again, long story short it took two weeks in hospital and many perplexed doctors to initially diagnose grade two tears to the obturator externus and internus. They then sent me home as they had never seen it before and had no idea what to do with it. I went to see roughly 10 different surgeons between January and May, none of whom knew what to suggest and during this time I saw no improvement in the pain and remained stuck on crutches. Then miraculously a surgeon was suggested to me who might be able to help, further scans were done and it appeared that the muscles I'd initially damaged were on the way to healing, however, I now had a labral tear and impingement cyst aswell. So it was decided an operation was in order. When that was finally completed two and a half months later (my surgeon was unlucky enough to break his foot-hence the delay)it was slightly worse than initially thought. The labral tear was bigger than expected, but now corrected, there was a badly scarred ligament that was debrided and then the impingement cyst had a bony overgrowth on it also. He managed to correct all of these issues and I stayed for two nights in hospital due to issues with pain management as I have tolerances for a wide spectrum of painkillers, not fun! :(. I guess my main question to you all is...anyone who wasn't particularly physically fit at the time of surgery... how long did it take you to recover? Although I'm a geology student who was mountaineering and hill walking regularly my athletic days are back when I was a child. I was forced to stop the majority of sports at around age 12 due to increasing joint problems- essentially arthritis. I'm just so lost at the moment as I'm a Geology student who is already suspended temporarily from University due to all of this and because of the delay in getting the surgery I'm trying to work out whether I need to suspend again :/ Please can anyone who has any advice from the patient's side of the coin please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org I could really do with some tips. From a rather lost student, Rebecca
submitted 8/7/13 11:34pm from jupiter, fl
This has been sooo helpful ! I am 8 weeks out from arthroscopic repair of FAI,capsule tightening of loose ligaments, very large labral tear. I'm almost off the crutches but I can tell you, it has been much more difficult than I ever expected to recover. I'm 40 years old and have 3 small children... 2 year history of pain in my leg with sitting and have been scanned/injected/examined by 5 orthos before accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Tips: get the shower chair, you need help for at least 2 weeks (you can't put on your shoes/socks alone !, use the "GAME READY" ice machine and pay for it out of pocket- it's the BEST, take Miralax for prevention of constipation starting day #1 post surgery, find a surgeon who does a minimum of 3 hip scopes per week, expect stretches of good days and then a few bad (2 steps forward and one step back). Follow ALL insstructions from doctor and PT. TAKE A NAP EVERY DAY !
submitted 8/1/13 4:34pm from Houston
Thank you for such a detailed pro/con recovery site. I just had ACL replacement surgery 7 weeks ago from a skiing accident in Feb(also tore MCL). My surgeon noticed my limp on the opposite side before surgery so took an x-ray to find extensive arthritis and most probably FAI from my complaints. In 6 weeks he will send me to a hip specialist to talk over my options. I now know how strong my knee has to get before my next surgery, and hopefully a full nights sleep. lib
submitted 7/21/13 6:13am from Colorado
MY female PT has had labral repair of both of her hips. She also has ligamentus laxity (Most common in females)which causes hypermobility which I also have and helped cause the labral tears along with the FAI. She said that a lot of her patients that have longer recovery times are those with this condition. She herself said that the KEY to recovery from this is make sure that you DO NOT aggravate the hip joint too much in the early postop period to about the 6 month period.
She herself had difficulty with her first hip repair-took about 9-12 months to get better and learned that by taking it easy with the next hip, the second hip got better faster. She said that most ortho docs that do this procedure do not know that much about ligamentus laxity and the NEED to keep from aggravating the hip joint.
Anyway, FYI she also told me that any female having hormonal changes (from menses to menopause) can expect to have the hip hurt more during those times and she was SOO right. I am guessing that it gets worse in pregnancy too due to hormonal changes and also found studies on it too.
submitted 7/21/13 5:59am from Colorado
A swivel seat- fairly cheap, you can buy them at walgreens, walmart, etc. Best thing to put in the car for on the way home, for driving anywhere, for when you first get to drive f you have a rt hip done, etc. Can use in your chairs at home. BEST thing I ever bought for recovery with this surgery! I am gifting it to my dad after I have my other hip done.
submitted 7/21/13 5:54am from Colorado
I am 50 yrs old, 12 weeks out from surgery (ligamentous laxity, FAI-> I had a femoral osteoplasty and 6 anchors for labral repair of right hip- doc said this was the worst hip he ever saw and his record is 7 anchors on one pt). Doc says that now he wishes he would have done a hip replacement- No way I say!- with people living to at least 100 yrs on both sides of my family, I am too young!)
I am walking by myself-sometimes with a cane or hanging onto my husband if I go for kind of long walks. REALLY stiff when I get up from sitting and walk with a lurching limp when I get tired.
What bothers me the most is I used to have SO MUCH ENERGY just like the energizer bunny- but cannot believe how the energy has evaporated after this surgery! I am always exhausted! Does it get better?? Will the energy come back?? if so, when?? (I forgot to mention that I also had an L3-L4 hemi-laminectomy on my back for a herniated disc about 4 and 1/2 months prior to this surgery and was on my back for 6 weeks- so maybe too many surgeries in such a short time is affecting me energy wise as well? I get the low back pain too.)
I also cannot sit cross legged on the floor like I used to prior to surgery. I need to have the surgery done on my left hip but doc won't do it right now. I know my left hip is at least as bad as my right hip. Anyway, thank you for writing this as it has helped me to see that maybe I am not as bad off as I thought.
Tell me about your energy levels anyone- when does it get batter?
Thanks in advance!
submitted 7/17/13 8:46am from Warrenton, VA
Well after 2 years of dealing with this (aka denying how much pain I was REALLY in) I decided to tackle my problem.
2 years ago it started with my hip flexor, thought I had strained it. Tried all the usual rest, ice, stretching, it got the point where sitting was unbearable! And after a 3 hour plane ride and tears I went and saw an Ortho. I was told it was hip tendinitis and that I needed to take a month off from the gym. ( Yeah, say that to an avid Crossfitter). Ok, so I did take one partial month off and felt better. And over the next 2-3 months worked back into it slowly. Then it started again. I thought it was my piriformis and used to release that ALL the time, and said well it's tendinitis I am just going to have to deal with it. Plus I could still do EVERYTHING.
Ok, so fast forward several months....and here I was,still at the gym nut could no longer ride my bike. Then one night I went to deadlift I couldn't pick up 65lbs w/o excruciating hip pain. It was my ahhhh haaa moment. Somethings not right...so I did what any good athlete would do, modified, rested a few days and ignored it and began to WebMD myself to death. Several months earlier my coach had said I may have a labrum tear but nope, couldn't be, the Dr. said it was tendinitis.
Then came the day I fell off my bike and onto my right hip....Memorial Day! OWWWW!!! It was such a weird feeling in my hip I wanted to vomit. So off to bed with ice and pain meds I went. After that the pain started keeping me up at nights. And I was missing more than a couple of days at the gym a week. That's when I did more research on Labrum tears I was convinced, so back to the Ortho I went.
The PA at the Ortho was amazing. She was in room with me less than 30 secs and said Labrum tear. And then said we don't handle them but you need to go see this Dr. I am so glad that she was honest with me. She then set me up for the MRA. We were on the same page!
So a week later MRA was done, and the silly hospital gave me a copy of the CD. So 2 hours of searching google images I found a hip that was identical to mine and I now had my radiology degree thanks to Google!
A week later I met with the surgeon. I knew where the conversation was going to go until he started looking at the MRA, FAI, CAM, Stress Fracture and tear....4-6 weeks of downtime....long recovery....but I've done 1500 of these....it was one big blur once reality sunk in.
I did do the cortisone shot, last maybe a day or two but my hip is back to the point of tears in my eyes on most days. And I count the minutes until I can take the next hit of aleve.
However, I can still go to the gym :) I modify a lot of my workouts and my coaches have dealt with Labrum hip tears before. I want to keep fit before surgery and work on core muscles, stretching, and arm strength. B/c I know in the long run it will help me!
September 13th is surgery. And it's a Friday! Go big or go home right. I have helped lined up for the first 4 weeks (thank you bloggers for your tips). Have a shower seat lined up. And want to find out the ice thing and continuous motion machine.... I'll be calling the Dr's office today.
And just like the rest of you, there is very little info on this and I am hoping that on vacation next week I will start my blog on my long road to recovery. But as nervous as I am, I can't wait to get this fixed and really find out what my body is made of!
submitted 7/14/13 8:25pm from Pennsylvania
I am 4 weeks post surgery....starting to have doubts that I did the right thing. I am 52 years old. I now went from groin pain to severe bone on bone pain. However, I got rid of the walker after 2 weeks and the cane after week 3. After reading your blog, I was so inspired and then I realized we actually have the same doctor. Maybe I am just expecting to be perfectly fine asap. However, Dr Parvizi told me I would be back in the gym in 10 days. Jokingly, my husband said...maybe he meant just standing there.
submitted 7/8/13 4:28am from South Lake Tahoe, CA.
I'm 51 and a construction worker.just got preliminary diagnosis of FAI in right hip 7/5/2013 and seeing surgeon on7/10/2013 to discuss situation.Seriously concerned about potential for recovery at my age. Dealt with and worked through pain for almost 2 years.Cost of surgery and income loss during rehab and recovery not major concern due to excellent union insurance plan and disability combined with CAL SDI, but live alone, uncomfortable with imposing on family or friends and wonder if at my age pain management and PT a better way to go especially if hip replacement and permanent disability is inevitable. Looking for input and advice/ experiences from someone in situation similar to mine before making a decision on surgery or not.
submitted 7/2/13 5:12pm from California
Thanks so much for keeping this info updated. Even though our surgeries were different, this has been a wonderful thing to find, and you're really helping people out with the detailed info.
I had bilateral arthroscopic surgery for FAI, labral damage, and acetabular cartilage delamination in mid-May, and I doubt it could have gone better - and it's still rough! I'm in my late 30's, with a long history, and am hopeful at the moment :). I won't share all the details here, but if anyone has questions, particularly in northern California, I'll do my best to answer them or commiserate :). My email is the name/alias above at gmail.com.
submitted 6/28/13 7:54pm from Wildomar, Ca
In January 2013 I had FAI surgery on my right hip. My amazing surgeon found more damage when he got in there than he had expected. I felt very little pain after the surgery during my recovery. I spent 4 weeks using a walker (not talented enough for crutches) adding gradual weight as tolerable. Then I used a cane for the next 4 weeks. Five months later I had the same surgery on my left hip. Surgery took 4 hours because of all of the damage. There was also a tear that had to be repaired. The surgeon had to take so much bone that I ended up with a fractured femur. This means 4 weeks of no weight baring at all. I still do not have nearly the amount of pain that I had prior to surgery. Recovery takes a long time, but I believe it is all going to be worth it.
submitted 6/24/13 10:49pm from Richmond, VA
Thank you so much for this blog. I was diagnosed with FAI in both hips recently, both Cam & Pincer. Mine came on quite suddenly, although I have had pain on and off for years, which I thought was muscular. But, in May 2013, it started and got worse by the day. I am to the point where I need a walker 2-3 days a week, crutches other days, and if I'm lucky, just a cane. I had my arthrogram and MRI today. I go back to the surgeon on Thursday for the final results and to schedule surgery.
I have been searching for information about recovery, and was thrilled to find your blog. Most of the "medical" sites just say 3-6 months. But, I wanted the real story, and I feel I got it from you.
submitted 6/18/13 12:45pm from Philadelphia, PA-Surgeon:Javad Parvizi
Thank you for posting this very detailed recovery blog. I have worked myself into a frenzy over remaining pain im feeling at 32 weeks post-FAI surgery and this has helped to put my mind a little more at ease.
I am now 30 years old and was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my right femur following an olympic distance triathlon (May 2011). Following an entire summer on crutches, my orthopedist informed me that my stress fracture was due to the presence of a tumor in the marrow of my femur. This 6cm tumor was removed 8/24/11 and found to be benign (benign cartilagenous enchondroma), but left me with a 10in titanium implant in the neck and uppermost portion of my right femur. The following January 2012, i resumed training (running, biking, swimming) but the second week of February i woke to an excruciating pain in my right femur. After several trips to my local orthopedist and the oncological surgeon who did my first surgery, I moved back to Philadelphia and visited the Rothman Institute (8 months post-onset of pain). There I finally got a diagnosis of FAI and had the surgery with Javad Parvizi on 11/13/12. I was back to my old self (running and swimming, i also had/have a fear of biking which is what set off the FAI the most so i havent gone back to that yet) in February. Now here we are in June and im in a considerable amount of pain (5-6 out of 10) and discomfort. In addition to the hip/groin pain i associate with FAI, ive also been experiencing pain in my femur that radiates the whole length of the long bone. I have been fearful that the tumor has grown back (i was told there is a 5% chance of this happening) which is putting pressure on the titanium implant and causing the radiating pain in my leg/hip. I go to see the oncologist at Rothman again tomorrow (6/19/13). I have an appointment with Parvizi on July 10 as the oncologist is not a 'hip guy'. Im keeping my fingers crossed that this is just similar to some of the setbacks you encountered during your recover. I appreciate your willingness to share your story with all of us. Its encouraging to know that other people have gone through something similar and regained (most) of their athletic ability.
submitted 6/15/13 3:22pm from Manchester
I had serious groin pain for years i couldn't step over anything without pain ( motorcycle shows were hilarious to my brothers ) . I struggled to compete at sport due to the fact my change of direction was slower ( smaller gate I guess ) and wondering why my flexibility was so poor compared to everyone else's yet I was still a good athlete I could run fine in straight lines stop and start quickly no probs so my complaints fell on deaf ears .
Eventually it became ridiculous and my father agreed to send me private because I could find no similar symptoms on the Internet and the constant stretching that I was doing was just making it worse. I knew if I went to physio or gp I would just get fobbed off because my symptoms were just unheard of and I needed to be taken seriously .
I was diagnosed with fai in both hips after an MRI scan which was causing the overwhelming groin pain and flexibility of a corpse ....
This was 3 years ago . I had keyhole surgery on the right hip only because that was the worse and I can't afford the other yet
The operation went great and I have made significant improvement
But to be honest it's still painful at times some more than others and I'm afraid I think that's the way it's always going to be ...
I think it's about time athletes were finally told especially in amateur sports that high impact training six times a week at 15 years old can have serious consequences in years to come . There are many things out there now I know are just physically impossible to me and it sucks guys ( I'll never be able to do some yoga or martial arts kicks that I once could )
To all u fellow fai er's I feel your pain ..... Good luck!!
submitted 6/2/13 8:04pm from Kimberley South Africa
I am 40 years old and had my op on the 17 May 2013 so I am just over 2 weeks post op! I had cam and pincer debridement and a laberal repair. I have been fortunate that most of my swelling has gone down in my left leg. I have been suffering from a severe burning in my left thigh since 1 week post op. Apparently this is quite common. My knees are achy too. It may be common but it sure is unpleasant. I have to echo your sentiments about having someone around who is patient that can help look after you. I may have been naïve but I just didn't quite get how big this op was until I woke up after surgery. My Dr has had to remind me that although I have two small incisions it is major hip surgery. I was on the bike 1 week post op and it was painful in the extreme! At the moment I have a Dori mentality - just keep swimming, just keep swimming.........
Thank you so much for your site and sharing your experiences. It has helped me immensely.
submitted 5/31/13 1:43am from
Thanks for all the info. Can you comment how you hip is doing now, as of May 2013? I think some people reading this should understand however, that you are not the average specimen. You are a super active (or are at least trying to be in lieu of the pain) that most of us will never even attempt. I'm not a doctor but I would have to say that some of the reoccuring pain could be from your long list of physically demanding activities. Maybe others who are less active after the recovery phase may do better, but then again unless everyone documents it like you have here, we may never know.
submitted 5/29/13 6:03pm from Ireland
Just been reading comments from the bottom upwards and see I gave almost the exact same greeting as #17. Sorry Dave Oz!
submitted 5/29/13 3:01pm from Ireland
What a great resource to stumble upon (pardon the pun) for those of us with FAI. Like many others I have found it difficult to read anything as detailed and as realistic as your blog.
I had no idea what FAI was until the results of my scan were sent to my GP. What followed was a 5 week wait to see a consultant surgeon who informed me I had FAI of both hips. My left at an "advanced stage" and I am now near the end of a 7 week wait for my first surgery. At this time I just want to get the first surgery done and know the full extent of the damage. Then get on the rehab road to surgery number 2 and try and stave off hip replacement (which the surgeon mentioned is a very strong possibility for my left hip) as long as possible.
I'm 38 and have not played contact sport for many years and have done no haevy impact exercise since developing sciatica 5 years ago. The physio I attended back then had no idea what could be wrong with my hips. This really is a condition that not much is known about. Reading reports from all the comments has given me a very realistic idea of what to expect post op and more importantly may help my wife to be what is in store for her!
So thanks for the blog and to all who contributed comments. I'll be sure to keep checking back and also to add my experiences in recovery.
submitted 5/28/13 10:54am from Nevada
Thank you so much for this post. It gives me a personnel idea of what to expect. My 16 year old son, who plays elite junior tennis is going to have this surgery in a week. He is very nervous because of what his goals are. The doctors, which I believe we have great ones, say his prognosis is great as long as he follows all orders. He is extremely active everyday so the worst part will be the mental part of laying around a lot. But at least with your post I can guide him when I see any of this happening.
submitted 5/14/13 8:44am from Ohio
Thank you for writing this blog. I am in the beginning stages of being diagnosed with FAI. I am 37 years old, extremely active, and have had symptoms off and on for a few years. The pain has recently gotten really bad while training for a Warrior Dash. Surgery is not an option for me as I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 9 month old baby. Reading your blog solidified that. I can't just take that much time off from being a mom to very young children who need me. I am hoping upon further testing that I, either don't have it, or there are other treatment options that can control the pain for a few years until I can potentially consider surgery. You are right about your hip never being the same. I had foot surgery 4 years ago and it has not been the same- less pain, but not the same functionality. Best of luck to you and any words of wisdom on other treatment options would be greatly appreciated!
submitted 5/13/13 6:06am from Scotland
Your blog is an amazing achievement in itself. Thank you! I had my right hip arthroscopic osteochondroplasty on 7th May, 2013. I can compare this to the open osteochondroplasty of my left side that I had in December 2007. There is NO comparison on the level of pain I experienced with the open operation, not to mention the recovery period I will have. However, that said, I know that I must follow orders and not jeopardize the good that my surgeon has achieved. Sadly my left hip eventually caved last year. I had my grade 4 arthritic hip replaced in July 2012, so I don't expect the right one to last forever. My hip problems come from a childhood developmental disorder called Slipped Capital Femoral Ephiphysis. This caused a large anterior bump on the femoral head on both sides. As the condition is still relatively new in terms of awareness, many doctors still don't believe you can be suffering such pain. I am so grateful to my surgeon for believing me after being told my hips looked normal. Sorry, there is nothing normal about my hips! SCFE does not encourage normal growth. It's an awful feeling when you hear "Well, your joint space looks normal. So, I don't understand why you can't run a marathon!" So, to those surgeons who don't understand our FAI pain, up yours and I hope that you have symptomatic FAI in the near future!
submitted 5/8/13 4:18am from Mooresville, NC
Thank you SO MUCH for writing this blog and updating it. I am a runner as well and so I sense the same frustration. I am eager to run a half marathon but am NOT looking forward to this surgery. I have been so afraid and upset and crying I will not be able to run again but your blog has given me hope. Thank you :)
submitted 5/6/13 5:01pm from Richmond, VA
Very informative blog! Thank you to the author. I'm currently one week post-surgery, and things are going really well so far. There are a lot of negative experiences out there, so I wanted to share what has been, through 6 days at least, better than I anticipated.
Some of the things written on this blog, I can relate to - difficulty getting around on crutches, using the raised toilet seat, etc., but others I cannot. Fortunately, I haven't experienced any swelling through 6 days, and I feel more stiffness and soreness than actual pain (probably from all the Percocet, but even so...). Time will tell regarding getting back to my prior activity level.
Anyway, you can read my experience at anotherfaiblog.wordpress.com. I read a lot of blogs about this condition and outcomes prior to having the surgery myself, and I am really hoping to be able to provide a positive experience for anyone who will do that same. It's still early for me, but so far, so good.
submitted 4/29/13 7:11pm from California
Thanks for the feedback. I sure hope it recovers. it's only been 3 weeks and still no sensation. I'll keep in mind that maybe I should measure progress in months. I don't know how many palms worth of numbness, but it's pretty much all my girly bits :) I appreciate you writing back.
submitted 4/29/13 11:53am from Finland
I had numbness/hypetsensitivity in my right lateral upper thigh/pelvis. The Dr said the same thing about traction. The area was the size of maybe two palms to start with - now 5 mths after operation it is less than one palm (of hand) and not as numb or hypersensitive. So it is getting better but seems to take a lot of time - I wouldn't worry about it if it gets better per each month...
The second hip I experienced no such a thing, so it may noy only traction but also how the scopes have pressed the nerve(s).
submitted 4/28/13 8:47am from UK
Good day to all of you, hope this finds you well.
I have just found out that after 5 years of what I thought was chronic lower back pain, is actually CAM impingement in both my hips. The right is worse and I think the doc said I only had 95 degrees hip flexion where it should be 130 degrees.
I'm 31 years of age, used to enjoy weight lifting and some social sport, but mainly my jobs (gardening and working in a theatre) have kept me physically fit. I've struggled these past 5 years and am glad that I finally know what is causing all my problems, but very frustrated that medical practioners and gurus failed to diagnose this earlier. 2 NHS doctors asked me whether I thought my problems could be psychosomatic! I have been mentioning hip restriction for the last 2 years, but my pains have mainly been lower back and a lot of tightness in my hamstrings and achilles tendons, particularly on the right side (which now makes sense).
I'm waiting for an MRI so the hip specialist can determine the amount of damage and then we will discuss my options.
I feel for everyone who suffers with this condition and it has been a dark cloud over the last 5 years of my life. I really hope it doesn't now ruin it and that the damage is manageable. I will continue to update my progress on this blog and my best wishes to all of you.
submitted 4/24/13 2:18pm from California
I am 38 years old and 2 weeks post-op. I underwent surgery for both Cam and Pincer type FAI, chondroplasty with microfracture, and labrum repair with sutures/anchors. Everything seems to be going okay in terms of pain management and ROM. My concern and question is in regards to the complete numbness I have in my pelvic area. I have no return of sensation in that area at all. Going into my 3rd week, I'm a little worried. The surgeon said perhaps it is due from the extensive time period I was in traction, but is unsure. Has anyone experienced this problem and did it resolve?
submitted 4/18/13 4:07am from Finland
Matt: good to hear, my situation is very similar and in my Dr's view more common than having issues during the recovery. Was able to drive a car in day 3 no problem, now day 7 no pain, can workout selectively (upper body, leg curl/extension in machine etc.) in gym,, also I have close to full range of motion already now. So I think overall in the web there is a bias towards the more complicated processes, usually this is not a big deal to recover from. The main challenge is to cope with crutches for 6 weeks with two small kids even with my wife helping, alone I would manage easily.
Question to you Matt: I have the same reason for crutches as you, to let the cartilage heal itself after the microfracturing. What instructions did you got? I can put some weight on immediately and was promised to be able to start walking short indoor distances in week 4 onwards. No restrictions to range of motion, allowed to use stationary bicycle with no resistance immediately. Basically only weight and impacts to hip joint limited. 3 months restriction to heavy sports and extreme sports for 6 months.
submitted 4/15/13 8:42pm from Chicago
Wow Matt thanks for making me feel a little better. Oh Maria I also live alone . I assume he had someone to help him get out the car and it still took 10 min. I might be 1/2 hour cause I'm alone and live on the third floor. I can do it I'm wonder woman. Oh yea I'm 35 already and kinda fat. So wish me luck. I wish you guys luck.
submitted 4/15/13 8:35pm from Chicago
This is to Maria in New York. I have the same problem but it is only in my right hip. I
Let me first say thanks a million for the great lay out of your healing. I'm still sort of nervous. Maria I understan exactly what your talking about. I will not have any income if I opt to have the surgery. I go on May 7 for the injections to see exactly where the pain is coming from. I'm going to get fired from my job to be able to pay some bills and use up every dime in my savings. I am also trying to apply for temp disability. They told me if I'm not off of work for atleast a year they can not help me. I think that sucks seeing as thought I get this letter every year letting me know how much I would get if I became disable. I think he say he went back to work after 6 weeks, so I'm going to start early looking for a new job.I'm going to take his advice on accepting the operation and dealing with the healing. I want you to know i understand your finicial burden. I don't know how I'm going to deal with this because I will not have a job to go back to. Plus I hope I get approved for the unemployment.
submitted 4/15/13 8:35pm from Chicago
This is to Maria in New York. I have the same problem but it is only in my right hip. I
Let me first say thanks a million for the great lay out of your healing. I'm still sort of nervous. Maria I understan exactly what your talking about. I will not have any income if I opt to have the surgery. I go on May 7 for the injections to see exactly where the pain is coming from. I'm going to get fired from my job to be able to pay some bills and use up every dime in my savings. I am also trying to apply for temp disability. They told me if I'm not off of work for atleast a year they can not help me. I think that sucks seeing as thought I get this letter every year letting me know how much I would get if I became disable. I think he say he went back to work after 6 weeks, so I'm going to start early looking for a new job.I'm going to take his advice on accepting the operation and dealing with the healing. I want you to know i understand your finicial burden. I don't know how I'm going to deal with this because I will not have a job to go back to. Plus I hope I get approved for the unemployment.
submitted 4/15/13 1:56am from Nebraska
So I read this blog before going into surgery and I must admit it had me a little worried. I was constantly told by my doctors that they did not expect complications but would not commit to any sort of recovery timeframe because every patient is different.
I was worried I'd be home-ridden for weeks, unable to work, etc. In truth it hasn't been as bad as all that.
I have to stay on the crutches for 6 weeks in order to allow my healing cartilage to re-grow and all that. but i can put weight on with no pain. Full range of motion isn't quite there yet, but I could definitely have been getting around without crutches since about day 4 if not for doctor's orders.
submitted 4/12/13 6:35pm from New York
Hello and first off thanx a million for your info about FAI. Unfortunately i was told just today that i have it in both hips w/ labrum tears :( OMG I live alone and dont know how i would even consider to have the surgery if i wanted to. Even if i could get around enough to get food etc being alone how would i pull this off financially? I do currently have medicaid so they might cover the surgery if i opt for it but im talking about my rent/car payment/bills I would be out of work w/ no income right? Would i automatically be covered somehow under temp disability or something do u know?
Thanks so much - hope to hear from u soon.
submitted 4/11/13 4:58pm from Finland
Reading many of these comments I must repeat what someone already said below. You must understand that the operation may not fix you to be as good as new. You may not be able to come back to a life where you can freely choose your sport and level of exercise. That is even likely. But you can prevent or at least slow down early severe arthritis and lead a normal life. And still have a lot and lot of choices to pick your cup of tea. Serious long distance running is not unfortunately among the list but you do not need to stop running, you just have to limit the amount and distances. In my opinion the most important gain is and has to be prevention of premature need for prothesis. Everyone makes their own choice but it is good to think a bit further than a few years. These are often the facts, depending on the severity of FAI condition of course and without being rude or offensive it is accept or be miserable. Or continue as before and pay the price later, to be a bit dramatic. So look at the upside, it may help. FAI sucks I fully agree but think 10-15 years back - the FAIs then walk (and only walk) with steel hips today. That is why I consider FAIs today being the lucky ones.
Now that being said to the update: 4,5 mths after my first hip scopia. From Jan 1st done cross-country and downhill skiing, played ice hockey, dead lifts etc. in the gym, cycling a few times. 10 - 30 km runs depending on sport. No problems during the actual sporting, later sometimes felt slight pain, no need for painkillers. I suspect it may take easily a year before there is no pain, I am not in my twenties anymore. So very good recovery in my opinion. My Dr recommended to limit running, I figured to play it safe and choose other sports totally. After 20 years of pause it has been a blast to play ice hockey again - and I am only as young as Teemu Selanne and from same city so the choice was obvious! I am glad the decision to retire from mc racing was done shortly before my FAI was discovered but now I am experiencing some withdrawal symptoms, the season will start in few weeks. That's why I bought myself a killer cool carbon framed MTB a week ago :D. The superficial nerve issue is still slowly recovering, now maybe 1/3 of the original area.
So my second hip was done this morning. Pretty same thing as the first what comes to pain and all. Labrum was better than in the first one but unfortunately there was parts of cartilage torn from the bone. So they removed the torn off pieces, microfratured the bone below and now it is 6 weeks with crutches to give a new cartilage/scar cartilage development a chance. Not very nice but it would be relatively short sighted to ruin the potential result not following the instructions. So I will take it easy for sure, need to leave the MTB alone for more than anticipated 2-3 weeks. No nerve problems now, strange...?
Now it is 12 hrs from surgery and lying down no pain with mild codein based pill. Going to bathroom causes some movement apin which is totally manageable. Very similar with first one so I will close on my behalf my FAI experience here.
Good luck for all and concentrate on the upsides, there will be some pain for this gain but in the long run it will be worth it for sure.
submitted 4/10/13 2:05pm from Michigan
THANK you soo soo much for keeping your commitment and keeping this updated. I have followed your blog since before I got my hip done. I am now 7 months out from my FAI surgery. I have good and bad days. Today is bad, last week was good. Do you think the weather effects you a lot? It seems more humid today so maybe that could be a factor? Most of my pain is STILL in my groin. Did you say you have groin pain from something else involved in the hip, but not a labral tear? I have had prolotherapy and PRP on my opposite side SI....AND it Definitely does help...I am a big believer in it, as I don't take and haven't in all my years of hip pain taken anti inflammatories , I take fish oil and eat a diet high in good fats and low in sugar, seems to help ?! Anyway, thanks in advance for answering!!!! AND again, thank you for keeping everything up to date!!!!
submitted 4/8/13 11:46am from Phoenix, AZ
I am 31 years old and used to consider myself highly active. I had my right hip scoped in Nov 2011 with Labral repair/debridement, removal of both the cam/pincer impingements & PRP. I went to a world renowned doctor in Colorado in hopes of giving my hip the best shot of recovery. My recovery has been riddled with setbacks. I have yet to make it to a place where I felt at least as good as when I went in to surgery much less better. I have had extensive PT (over 120 sessions), 3 Kenalog injections, and went back to crutches at one point. I am thankful for this blog as at least many people on here can understand I am beyond frustrated. Recently it has flared up something fierce and I find even doing simple things around the house like cleaning out my garage to be punishing. I am trying to get into my doctor for another follow up but scheduling with him for post surgery care is a huge challenge in itself. I have tried numerous anti inflammatories (Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Voltaren), I switched PTs at one point, tried dry needling, Astymm, cupping & acupuncture all giving various levels of temporary relief. I wanted to reach out and see if anyone had experienced this level of setback and if there was anything that helped to overcome.?
I apologies for the down mood of this post but I am currently feeling beat down by this process. Please feel free to email me directly at email@example.com
submitted 4/5/13 2:13pm from Wayland
Thank you so much for your thoughts. What is the best way for me to send you my e-mail address? And thank you for the advice. I thought I should stay the extra week. My son will two FAI surgeries, one on each hip.
All the best.
submitted 4/3/13 8:08pm from Philadelphia, PA
Hi Pauline from Wayland -
I recommend you stay the fourth week with your son in Shanghai. Unfortunately, I cannot respond to you individually without your email address. I try to keep my website comments section locked down to try to avoid people getting your email address and trying to sell you medicine related items. I do not know if your son is getting hip surgery on the same hip a second time or getting the other hip repaired. However, I am sure he needs the emotional support. The fact that you love your son enough to spend a whole month with him while he is healing is touching to me. Wish him luck for me - Allen
submitted 4/3/13 2:31pm from Wayland
First off, thank you for the detailed reactions you had to FAI surgery.
I wonder if I might ask you a question regarding my son in his late twenties in Shanghai. I'm going there from Boston to help him out as he needs. My time there is for 3 weeks, though I could stay for a month. I'm presently scheduled to leave three days after his second FAI arthroscopic surgery. I realize you're not a doctor, and that each case is different, but it seems to me I should stay the extra week. Would you agree? I prefer this not be posted, as It is not regarding myself and I don't think any information is necessarily valuable to other people.
Thanks very much.
submitted 4/2/13 11:29pm from California
Thank you so much for taking the time to write your experience. I am 38 years old and in the past I was a competitive gymnast and later ballerina. I am going in for FAI surgery this upcoming Monday. Your journal is on my ipad home screen as I type this :) I too have torn labrum, Cam and Pincer impingement , two cysts, arthritis, and damaged cartilage. I have not been able to read everyone's comments, but apparently I'm having micro fracture performed. Did you receive that? Or know anyone who has had it? I'm actually so blessed to have found you. I'm thinking now I should get a shower chair. I also have 18 stairs leading up to my bedroom, maybe I should move a bed downstairs? I didn't really realize the recovery was as intense. My surgery is outpatient and I will be going home an hour later. My poor kids and husband. Thank you again for sharing your story.
submitted 3/24/13 12:17am from New Zealand
FAI hips. Very good information. Take it easy. Your hips may never be the same again or look at it this way you could make them worse, if you over do it. I have had this FAI now since 2007 and in both hips. It is very painful and I lost my job due to the disability. The list is too large to comment on how I ended up with this or how successful the fix is going to be. I will be very happy if I can walk pain free in life as I have been on crutches for the last 5 to 6 years. I have been to see a massive amount of specialists in NZ and have been told different stories. It got that bad I blew my L3-L4 disc out due to compensation in my back. I now have 2 Spinal kinetics disc's L3-L4 and L4-L5 from a German Surgeon which have helped the back pain and degeneration. Also an operation of the Right Labral tear but the real issue is the hip sockets are too deep. So 5 mm has to come off each side of my cups. I am willing to jump on the operating table tomorrow due to the disability it has caused me in life. So if you guys can run or ride a bike or even walk your doing well. I am lucky I have a surgeon that is willing to help and knows his stuff about this as I have had so many scans, X-rays, it is unbelievable. Good luck with any surgery and make sure your surgeon knows his stuff or don't consider it. All the best Karl.os
submitted 3/21/13 8:27am from London
Thanks for posting this blog, it has helped me understand im not the only one ! I am a 24 year old motorcycle racer in the uk, ive have had bikes all my life for fun and never had any issues, i completed the london marathon in 2010 and this is when i believe things went downhill. After the marathon i couldnt run properly for a good year without pain and to be honest the sight of another long road ahead was not too appealing, in 2011 i eventually caught the fitness bug again and took up kickboxing, i tried so hard 3/4 times a week stretching as instucted but the groin pain was just unbearable, i just thought i was unflexible and stiff ! during 2011 i started to get into motorcycle racing and i was very competitve from word go but i suffered tremendous groin pain trying to sit on the bike let alone move around while racing! Just my luck at the end of 2011 i was picked up by a top team and thrown into the deep end for 2012, this was meant to be a dream come true however it was quite the opposite, i had to suffer in silence all year and i am not one for excuses and it was hard to explain this groin pain as i didnt know my problem, i tried a million physios including loughborough university and they all put it down to tight hip flexors or tight something else, its not untill one physio suggested an xray to have a good look incase it was a structural problem, i proceded to go to my local doctor who then reffured me to a specialist, had my xray and he straight away identified it as a hip impingement, i was releaved to finally find out what was wrong however slightly left in the dark as the doctor basically said, you have a few options, stop racing bikes, or get surgery, he said if i choose surgery its a year out, one hip at a time and 6 months in a wheel chair and to me thats not really an option, so i left his office a bit confused and lost about the whole thing, since then a carried on the the year in 2012 racing but the pain just got so bad along with the team pressure to win i was dosing up on ibruprofin every race weekend ( im not one for pain control either) but it helped my hips from locking up after a race. I have now had to declare an early retirement from bike racing as the pain has starting to occure just normally day to day life even sitting down ! I am searching for an answer as to what i can do, my mum is totally against me havin surgery but after reading these posts im feeling more positive about it, i am young enough to hopefully have a full recovery and not suffer later on in life and hopefull start racing again !! Any advice would be gratefull ( www.wespearceracing.com )
submitted 3/21/13 2:51am from San Diego
Finding this site the day before my surgery is a blessing. I am 30 years old and my hip issues started back in 2005 when I fractured my hip. Life has never been the same, I have constant pain with all my daily activities . If I stand its a problem, if I sit its a problem workout to long or push myself like I could before and I am out of commission for a couple days. This diary of recovery kind of gave me a since of normalcy and a look into something that not many can explain. My doc has performed the surgery many times over and on another Sailor i work with, but I am still scared because he said I am hippy and there is a possibility that he could cause more damage. If I don't heal And rehab i will be put out out the military. I am ok with it because at my age and walking like a 90 year old lady is not fun so surgery is my last resort. if it doesnt work then at least i know i tried. Quality of life with this injury is non existent and until you do something you know nothing. Good luck to all of you who are currently rehabbing and to those of you who will have surgery in the near future. I will post updates after my surgery this Friday .
submitted 3/10/13 6:24pm from Asia
I had very little pain after the surgery.
I took the prescribed meds for a few days to " stay ontop of the pain" but really, I felt pretty good.
You only wear the brace when walking....not resting or sitting or on CPM machine
I wore loose track suits, and the best footwear was my sneaker, with the lace removed, so you can just slide your foot in and out.
I found sitting in the bath easiest.
Sit on side of tub, lift both legs in together, lower slowly
Or, get a stool to put in shower.
No one told me about possible flare ups.
At 3 months post op, I had severe pain and immobility...back on the crutches.
I was sure the op had failed, or that I had a strss fracture, but it was a " flare up " so be prepared for bad times now and then, just when you think you have healed
I wish you speedy recovery.
submitted 3/10/13 6:17am from Asia
I had FAI surgery for mixed impingement in the US over 14 months ago
I went to one of the nations best hip surgeons, but, sadly, my recovery has not been good
I still have much pain, and limited mobilty, despite many PT visits and daily exercises t home
I am vety discouraged, as every step is painful
Plus, I have FAI on the other side, so am reluctant to go through it all again.
Doc says it could be scarring in the joint, and another surgery may be necessary
submitted 3/9/13 9:57pm from San Diego, CA
I was diagnosed with FAI in 10/2012. First I was 6 months in pain and with a doctor telling me that anything the pain was, it would heal on its own! :| Then my doctor had to move (which was great!!) and the new doctor was much better. He sent me with the neurologist and orthopedist. By the way, I found out (during the MRIs) I'm claustrophobic hahaha :)
Anyway, when I finally met the hip surgeon, I took me an x-ray, and with that he did the diagnostic in 30 sec. I already had 10 months in pain and had to be more than 4 months in waiting list for the surgery, and finally had it more than 2 weeks ago.
I'm a bit worried about a few things. First the doctor told me it was a pretty quick thing, and I could go back to work in 1 week. I was out from work for almost 2 weeks (12 days after the surgery), and came back for 2 days, and then the third one, better worked from home. I'm supposed to have the crutches for just 3 weeks, and then nothing else. I'm thinking of using a cane (which I used before the surgery). I'm worried that the whole problem is being minimized and that the surgery might not be a success because of a 'too relaxed' care. It was supposed to be 3 smalls hole arthroscopy, but seems like something broke so I have a bigger one (2 half inch and 1 about 2 inches), but that's not really a big deal for me.
Since I began with he problem, my thigh muscle gets very tense when I'm not walking ok, and that still happens.
I'm not much of exercise, like running marathons or anything like that, so the FAI seems to be something I was born with and just gave me problems all of a sudden.
I do have a pain in the back (mostly after being sleeping, standing or sitting for long) and in the hip and thigh of the surgery. I can't stand my chair at work. :/ Oh! And I found out I'm allergic to hydrocodone, codeine and oxycodine. So, deal with it Acetaminophen!
I just hope it works...
Nice sharing this with someone aside my (poor) husband :)
submitted 3/9/13 8:53pm from Minneapolis
I am 48 yr old female - clearly out of the norm for this type of surgery, but not willing to give in to "pain management" and a less active life style. I limped across the finish line in 2011 Twin Cities Marathon knowing I was injured. It took an entire year and 4 surgeons to finally be diagnosed correctly. I had FAI surgery 9/2012, both cam and pincher, plus sports hernia. I am 25 weeks into recovery. Day-to-day, I'm pretty much pain free and can live a normal life. I started swimming at week 3 with a buoy and have worked up to 20-30 laps (buoy free!) 3-4x per week. Graduated to treadmill 3x per week, 15 minutes walk/run combination. Cycling is good. I still flair up and I'm not running at the frequency or distance I thought I would be. I constantly come back to this blog to compare my recovery and know that my pain is silent to the world, but heard LOUD and CLEAR here!
submitted 3/6/13 3:46pm from Des Moines, Iowa
Thank you so much for your blog. I started running a few years ago and just assumed the annoying back pain I was experiencing was because I had degenerative disc disease and a few herniated discs (I had back surgery 18 years ago) and the groin pain was a pulled muscle. I was finally diagnosed with FAI last summer. Unfotunately, things have gone down hill and I am scheduled for my surgery March 27th. I will be having both the femoral head and the acetabulum shaved, my labrum repaired, and possibly my socket area tightened if needed. I really did not know what to expect and your blog has given me an idea of what I will have to go through. My surgeon tells me I can go back to work in a week and I will only be on crutches 3 weeks (I am now finding that doubtful). Oh, and thanks for the tip on buying the shower chair. Oddly enough, that has been my biggest concern!
submitted 3/4/13 9:24pm from Philadelphia, PA
I want to thank Becca from http://fiercelygraceful.wordpress.com/ for her thoughts on FAI. I enjoy reading everyone's comments and I usually feel your pain and frustration although I do not always respond. I am waiting for the axe to drop when I hear the results of my MRI that I had on Friday. It took Jefferson 4 tries to get the contrast dye correctly through my scar tissue into my hip. (no big deal, 4 tiny needle pricks) No matter what - no regrets on the surgery and I'll do it again if it comes to it or living without enjoying fitness.
submitted 2/24/13 12:58am from Calgary Canada
Thank you so much for your story - I hope this finds you progressively better.
As everyone else here, I have just been diagnosed - finally - after over 3 years of begging doctors to listen to me (thank you Canadian health care system).
I was running marathons, enjoying triathlons when I noticed that I was experiencing a never ending ache after training, my stride was getting shorter, I was getting slower and I was developing a limp. Eventually the pain was so bad I couldn't sleep.
My Dr. told me it was in my "head", I was depressed, blah blah blah. Eventually, i stopped all my activity...and the pain still never subsided. Finally, after begging my dr. for help again and being told it wasn't possible, I paid for an MRI myself. The next day she called - "oh, maybe she should refer me to an orthopedic surgeon".
Unfortunately, in Canada, there are only a couple of Dr.s who perform this surgery and just two weeks ago - after being on his list for over a year - I finally saw him. It took him all of 30 seconds of looking at my xrays to diagnose me :(
Unfortunately, my sedentary lifestyle has led to a significant weight gain and he won't help me unless i "prove to him by losing weight" how badly I want help. Now I feel like I'm being held hostage. :( Then he said "i don't know how you're going to do that with hips like that (exercise)". Nice.
Anyways, your blog gives me hope.
submitted 2/21/13 10:01am from Phoenix, AZ
AMAZING BLOG!!! Thank you so much. I had the FAI scope done in NOV, 2011. Recovery has been an absolute bear. There has been a few good weeks and the bad ones. I have felt healed followed by crushed. I am currently back in intensive PT trying to beat a bad case of psoas tendonitis. I have yet to be able to run more than 1-2 miles at a time. A huge disappointment considering I was ave 40-50 mile before the laberal tear and impingement break. However, your blog give me hope to keep plugging along.
submitted 2/20/13 5:40pm from LpNrqopYTwdemoIF
Vivian,Your blog provides me with some level of sainty because my dr doesn't like PT for this type of surgery and I've been all alone LOL in this recovery. there are days when I feel like I'm never ever going to recover fully and that's frustrating. I think the comment high highs and high lows is correct I seem to be in a low right now after feeling like I've done really well. I've been trying to jog on the treadmill walk 3 min run 30 seconds and then move to 2 min run 30 etc. and it just depends on the day most days feels good (weak but good) and others I'm like something doesn't feel right so at least now I stop, whereas prior to the surgery I would have kept going. It's a long process. I just keep telling me slow and steady and hopefully this time next year we'll be back to the activities we love maybe just at a different intensity level. I joke the 80-year olds on oxygen at the gym are moving faster than me!! I see the ortho in June for my 8-month follow-up. I may just have to kick him with my one good leg out of frustration
submitted 2/19/13 10:58am from burke, va
I really appreciate your blog and updates. I am currently 16 weeks was having a fairly uneventful recovery until I went for a easy 4 mile hike at 12 weeks. Two days after the hike, the entire hip was angry and the mild groin pain and stiffness with sitting came back again. I still have the groin pain now. Although I can walk on flat surfaces again fine, I am not biking because it seems to make it worse. I thought after 4 weeks of rest and ice it would be better - starting to think I messed something up. Also, I still have some pain and tightness sitting cross legged on the floor - didn't have this before surgery, but has been a problem since surgery. I was a runner my whole life up until 4 years ago, had an injection for the hip that worked for a long time and primarily focused on run/walking, hiking, biking, elliptical. I really want my life back and to be able to play tennis and ski. You give me some hope that things are still able to be fixed at 16 wks and over. I had mixed cam/pincer repair, labral repair (3 sutures), and ligamentum teres repair.
submitted 2/18/13 8:28am from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I am 6 days post arthroscopic hip surgery and so far so good. I was part of a study and they gave me a nerve block before the surgery and that has greatly diminished my pain throughout this process. Yes it is frustrating to be unable to do a lot of things, but I just keep focusing on the positives, and what this means for my future. Heading out to the gym today for my first time on a recumbant bike (its considered non-weight bearing exercise so I've been given the a-okay). 2 days till my first physiotherapy session.
Very grateful for this resource. Despite our stories being quite different it was good to see SOMEONE talking about it as the complete absence of understanding of what this procedure would mean both short and long term was a big part of the anxiety in having it.
So far so good and hoping to continue with the rehab.
submitted 2/17/13 9:45pm from United States
I am scheduled for FAI repair in early March 2013. The information here is so helpful! I have questions about some of the practical aspects of planning for recovery. I'd like to be able to take care of as much as I can beforehand and would be interested in suggestions regarding any of the following:
1. The brace: Do you wear it while the passive motion contraption is on? When resting or only when vertical?
2. Clothing: Any suggestions on what was most practical/comfortable?
3. Shoes: I am thinking that it will be helpful to wear something light on the foot of the affected leg/hip. Crocs? Or do I want something more stable on the "good foot"?
4. Showering: This must be quite a challenge on one foot? What's the real deal?
5. Hospitalization: How long we're you hospitalized following surgery?
6. Pain Control: What pain medicine was prescribed to take at home? Helpful or no? Trial & error?
7. Children: I have a 4 y.o. How can I best prepare a child of this age?
8. What did you wish you'd known to prepare for?
submitted 2/7/13 9:24am from Ireland
This is a great site. Thank you so much for all the information. I was diagnosed with FAI with a labaral tear last September after 2 years of being refered to every consultant and physio. I had completed a physio programme pre the diagnosis. This did not help with the pain and they refered me to a consultant who finally did an MRI arthorgraph. The result was FAI hip with Labaral tear. I have since got married and it had progressively got worse. I am no at my wits end with the whole thing.
I have booked myself with another physio seeing as i now know what it is but i have read that it wont fix the underlying problem but it will help me maintain the pain. My work is seditary and i wont be able to take 3 mths off to recover or more.
I was wondering how you coped or anyone else with recovery time .
Thanks in advance for your advice
submitted 1/24/13 8:34pm from Minnesota
I am 21 years old and had FAI surgery just over 2 years ago. I started dealing with this problem when I was 13 but never really knew what it was. It affected my everyday life. I struggled competing in sports that I loved and sometimes couldn't even make it the 2 blocks I had to walk to school without limping. I spent part of middle school, all of high school and half of college trying to figure it out. I think in total I went to 12 different people (PT, chiropractors, neurologists, acupuncture, etc.) and FINALLY found a PT who referred me to an awesome surgeon in Wisconsin. I am very thankful for the having the surgery and like you feel blessed to have a working body again.
I have found that with cold temperatures and stressful situations I tend to tense up and my hip can be very painful. I have been experiencing that this past week and I was beginning to worry. I am thankful I found your blog to know that I'm not the only one that suffers from this frustrating condition. You have given me encouragement and I hope that this little flare up goes away quickly. Again, thank you for your blog.
submitted 1/8/13 5:29pm from Ohio
Btw I am 39 years old, love to run, used to run marathons before the hip acted up starting over a year ago. I went back to work 3 weeks after surgery, 7 hours up and down and walking, no crutches. Aches a little, but each day getting stronger and better. I am dying to start making training plans for triathlons and 1/2 marathons for summer and fall. I also recommend the ergonomic Smartcrutch as these did not cause me discomfort like regular crutches.
submitted 1/8/13 5:23pm from Ohio
Allen, thank you for putting your recovery out there for others to see and be encouraged. Nina, I just had the surgery 4 weeks ago and am already glad I did it. I attribute my rapid recovery to using compression hose from toes to waist (like very tight pantyhose) that my husband assisted me with putting on in recovery. The nurses wanted to put on an Ace wrap instead and did not want me to put on both. I was wheeled out of the hospital after eating my crackers and drinking sprite, and hopped up into the minivan with my aching hip. After we drove 1.5 hr home, we put the ace wrap over the compression hose and i fell asleep. I rewrapped the ace the next day from the ankle to the hip and the swelling in my leg was gone in 48 hours. My physical therapist was quite incredulous when I had no noticeable swelling and was able to walk a little without my crutches 3 days after surgery. I really believe that getting the swelling out rapidly took a great deal of pain away and allowed me to start recovering faster. I am debating about starting a blog to help others with getting a jump start in rehab. Good luck to others trying to get back into an active lifestyle!
submitted 1/8/13 6:22am from Denmark
Great site, I've been looking for any information on what to expect from hip surgery, and your site and diary is very informative and comprehensive. But I must admit it makes me a little nervous about my up and coming surgery.
I have a pincer hip joint and labral tears. It took the doctors a while to find out why I was experiencing pain, but now I have a diagnosis.
I’m a 35 year old woman, who is usually very active, working out 3-4 times a week. In December 2011 I experienced pain for the first time while running. I took a break from running, and kept up on my favorite activity: spinning. Next time I took a run, a couple of months later the pain returned. I spoke to my doctor about it and she sent me on to a physical therapist who told me I probably had snapping hip syndrome, and got me started on stretching This pattern continued for several months, and eventually I also started experiencing pain after biking. I returned to my doctor who sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. After X-rays and ultrasound scans I was told I had an injury on my IT band, and also labral tears. I was given a set of exercises for rehabilitation of my injured IT band. After a month of doing the exercises I started experiencing pains even when I wasn't doing anything.
I ended up speaking to a new surgeon, an expert in hip injuries. He took a closer look at the X-rays and gave me yet another diagnosis. Hip impingement, from a protrusion on my hip socket, and labral tears.
It is now 14 months since I experienced groin and hip pain for the first time, and 5 months since I stopped doing any exercise at all. I can't walk for more than 10 minutes without experiencing pain after a few hours, I experience pain while sitting down, I can't even sit on the floor to play with my children, I have to sit on a chair instead. It’s getting progressively worse. I'm basically sick to death of not being able to normal stuff. Your line “Get busy living or get busy dying” really hit home for me.
I'm not looking forward to the long recovery time, but I'm looking forward to getting out on the other side, and being able to be active again. It's soooo difficult to keep the kilos off :) And I really miss the kick from my active lifestyle.
submitted 1/2/13 1:59pm from Philadelphia, PA
Hi Allen - I had written a few months ago after having surgery and now that I'm 2.5 months in I'm having some doubts about my progress. Did you ever have groin pain while sitting or flexing the hip? It's been bothering me for the last 2 weeks and doesn't seem to be getting better. Dr. Parvizi said to expect groin pain, but this is pretty constant. I'm nervous that I've damaged the labrum again and am going to talk to my PT tonight, but was just wondering if you ever had this type of pain during your recovery.
submitted 12/22/12 11:11pm from Idaho
Its been really interesting to read your blog. So thank you for writing it!!
I'm 24 years old and have been dealing with impingement since I was 11 years old. My right hip is the worst, but my left hip has some symptoms too.
I was only diagnosed at the age of 19. In 2009 I had open surgery to clean up the socket and cartilage and get rid of the bumps on my femur. (I'm not sure what surgery they did with you, but my surgeon cut through my femur and then screwed it back together so I was off my feet for some time).
Fast forward to 2012 and I am back to being in pain. Some days I don't notice it and others it hurts me to walk/sit/lay down. It is becoming frustrating. I've also noticed that if I dance or do anything other than minimal movement, my lower back feels almost as if the bones that should be moving are fused together.
The past few days i have noticed a slight cut/sore on my scar (which is HUGE, maybe about 9 inches long?) and it is very warm to the touch. I don't know what it means, but being a stay at home Mom and living in the USA (when I had my surgery in the UK, I immigrated in august) Just worries me. I've never met anyone with FAI and when I spoke to my GP about it he looked at me like I was speaking in another language.
I dont know if i need to have another surgery or get an mri done. Sorry to rant, If you experienced anything like this please respond! i'd appreciate it. I feel like I am an old lady in a young person's body.
submitted 12/20/12 11:56am from NYC
I am 2 years out from my FAI surgery/labral tear repair on my right hip. I am 37 yrs old, female, fit and petite in size. I really never recovered. I used one of the best doctors out there so don't fault him. I don't have the same groin pain I had previous, that is gone, but I have overall aching in my hip and low back that never goes away as well as a click in my hip that came post surgery and never went away. I have done extensive PT, worked with an ART therapist, medical massage and will be starting rolfing in a week. My life has changed dramatically in terms of my level of activity. Now, the bad news is that my left hip is having that same deep groin pain that I had on the right side pre-surgery. I know the FAI is there, so I now suspect there is a tear. Not sure what to do really. I do feel that this surgery set off my alignment as a whole which is why I am going to try the rolfing now. My PT who is very honest and has seen patients who have had FAI surgery from 2 surgeons in NYC says he feels the surgery is hit or miss. He has one patient who did it on one hip and had a great recovery and then did her second hip and it's been a nightmare for her. Thanks for sharing your experience.
submitted 12/9/12 9:45am from Finland
2,5 weeks from surgery. Been walking inside without crutches for a week or so, occasional NSAIDs but now none for days - outside I use crutches due to longer distances and snow. There's a constant slight uneasy feeling in the hip, not pain but more like numbness. Unfortunately I think I have some issues with my lateral femoral cutaneous nerve since I got a clear numb palm sized area laterally just under the posterior incision. Feels irritating and is known complication mainly due to traction. What worries me that it feels there's no improvement to situation, the skin area feels the same as after surgery...have to bring this up on the 19th of Dec in the first control. Sometimes it takes weeks to recover, rarely it is permanent. I do hope this is not the latter case...
Otherwise everything's ok, driving a car with no problem almost a week now, will start working tomorrow at least part time. I started stationary cycling more than a week ago and can do 30-60 minutes easily with some resistance. Upper body exercise and light lower body exercises including legs work as well.
Besides the nerve thing everything went much better than expected. The operation included previously mentioned + resection of labral tear here and there, no fixing tough so I was able to put on weight to leg immediately. Recovery from the nerve damage will eventually dictate if this was worth it and decision to proceed with left hip pending on the same outcome as well.
submitted 12/7/12 1:20pm from NYC
Great blog and much appreciated. I would like to add that it isn't necessarilly as tough for people as it was for you, it seems like a few of the more recent posters had better experiences so i thought i would share mine with people to get some more balance.
I think I was at your week 12 at the end of week 3. Very little pain fortunately straight afterwards so I was able to be off 2 crutches after 10 days and on no crutches 3 weeks after surgery. I still can't walk very far (recomended no more than 3-4 blocks) but am currently (week 4) doing 10 mins cycling, 10 mins elliptical and 5 mins sideways inclined treadmill walking twice a day so far without too many issues. I am sore after the exercise and also if i sit too long in a chair without standing up.
One thing for people to appreciate, and the bit that I have found hardest is the sheer amount of time the recovery / rehab takes. 2x a week with a PT and then 2hrs a day on my own (one hr morning, one hour evening).
And one last random observation, from an admittadly small sample size it seems to me that very fit / light people have a much harder time with recovery than more normal / larger sized people. I wonder whether with your asccess to more people's experiences that seems to eb the case too ?
submitted 11/29/12 1:14pm from Los Angeles, CA
I have a right FAI with a labrial tear. I am 34 too. Im overweight at 320lbs, but am 6'4. How hard do you think it will be for my hip to support a guy like myself?
submitted 11/22/12 11:40pm from Finland
1st day after surgery of right hip. Turned out to be both CAM- and pincer-type FAI which was fixed in arthroscopy. If I understood correctly the cartilage damage was not that as bad as anticipated, haven't seen the papers yet though. Operation took 2,5 hrs. When recovering from anesthesia for the first ten minutes the pain was ridiculous, but that eased up pretty quickly (5-10 minutes) with some opiates. I think it was due to traction used during the procedure as it was more cramp-like pain.
The day and first night was easy, some pain only when moving. Now practically no pain when laying still and I've only used NSAID's at 4 pm and 9 pm yesterday. Slept approx. 6 hrs so that's ok as well. Moving is painful but it is not sharp pain, more bruise-like pain which is much more tolerable. Of course I am not doing squats but moving like an 90-year old lady, very very slowly with limited movements...
So it looks good so far, now I just got to take it easy not to start excercising too early. However I am allowed to start exercising in two weeks! That was not expected...
submitted 11/18/12 9:54pm from CA
Thank you so much for doing this! I just had surgery on Mon 11/12/12. My leg is so swollen, I can hardly believe it is my leg. I have also always been in good physical shape and have always been very active with weights and dance. I did not expect the swelling. I will check in with my dr tomorrow, but reading all of this helped ease my mind today. thanks
submitted 10/31/12 6:51pm from Philadelphia, PA
Claudia - your pains in your groin area the first couple weeks after surgery are NORMAL NORMAL NORMAL! Many people have written to my personal email account asking the same question. Heck, I still get those pains briefly from time to time. I am no doctor, but I believe you just had an operation that upset and caused trauma the whole hip area. In the short term you're going to doubt the operation's success over and over again. I'm still running and Alexander Rodriguez of the New York Yankees who had the operation in 2009 (at 34 years old) hit 18 home runs this 2012 season, three years after surgery. He has a baseball contract with the Yankees through 2017. (5 more years) I guess that means the doctors think his former FAI symptoms are not going to stop him playing into his early 40's. Give it time Claudia - we all had to endure it!
submitted 10/27/12 8:57pm from Philadelphia, PA
Hi! I just had surgery with Dr. Parvizi after finding your website a month or two ago. I am in week 2 of recovery and although week 1 felt pretty good (minimal pain, yet minimal flexibility), this week is really kicking my butt. I was wondering what exact type of pain you had in your first couple of weeks? For example, I'm experiencing groin pain and outer hip pain and am nervous that I've done something to aggravate or delay healing, but am hoping this is just something that other patients have experienced. Any information would be helpful! Thanks!
submitted 9/27/12 8:54am from Toronto, Ontario
Its official. I'm having hip arthoroscopy surgery on February 12th, 2013. My surgeon Dr. Murnaghan seems quite good. He said he'd done 30 of the surgeries this year with good results.
I'll be reading this page more thoroughly in preparation as I want so badly to get back on my skates and start playing roller derby again.
Any suggestions in the lead up? Any vitamins I should be taking?
Would love to hear how you're doing today. As its been some time since your updates. Any reoccuring issues?
submitted 9/26/12 4:53pm from Finland
Short update: after summer vacation and series of work related trips I finally met a hip specialist. He put me straight in line for surgery, hip arthroscopy. First hip hopefully in a month or two and the second 3 mths after that. And after that my hamstring rupture needs to be operated to remove scar tissue since it has not healed optimally. Pretty interesting year ahead with three surgeries given I have had only my tonsils removed as a baby in 42 years ;). With hips the recommendation was clear: without surgery the process damaging cartilage will go on and get worse over time. The decision to have surgery was a no-brainer. I'll share how it went in due time.
submitted 9/24/12 8:07pm from Calgary, Canada
Thank you Captainapplesauce for the website, thank you all the visitors for their contribute. I literally found out a couple of days ago that I most likely have FAI, type Pincer. I'm a 32 years old female.
The last 2 months have been awful and last weekI eventually had to be taken to the hospital completely paralyzed .Even though the x-ray clearly shows FAI type Pincer and no SI joint inflammation, the doctor at the hospital treated me for a SI joint inflammation. I discussed the results with my amazing chiro and through her I seem to be on the right track now.
I'm trying to schedule an MRI as soon as possible.
I used to be a high level athlete until a couple of years ago, a sprinter and running is my entire life. I am still trying to deal with the fact I won't be running for a very long period of time.
The things that scars me the most right now is still the lack of answers. What happens if I only manage to have the surgery in 4 months from now? Will my labrum is be completely damaged? Will that make any difference?
Like Captainapplesauce mentions, our pain is invisible to others and reading about other people going through the same helps immensely. Thanks again.
I feel so overwhelmed right now….
Thank you all,
submitted 9/22/12 5:41am from San Jose
Thank you so much for your FAI diary. I read it months before my surgery and it really helped me have realistic expectations of the healing process. I am only 7 days post op now but I feel prepared for what to expect. I do have a comment about the crutch issue. I was surfing the web actually trying to find a way to make my crutches look a little more fashionable. I ran accrossed this sight www.crutcheze.com. They have padded crutch covers in plain colors and in fun styles. They made my crutches not only look better but they are a lot more comfortable to use. I don't suffer from that chaffing and bruising I've had from using crutches in the past. They also have an attachable bag that fits your cell phone, wallet, water bottle etc.. So everything was always accessible wherever I was in the house or when I went to the doctors office. They were easy to put on and machine washable too. I always seem to need a water bottle with me as I'm always thirsty. So this was nice to have.
I think right now I am most concerned on recovery time because I work in a hospital and am on my feet walking at a steady pace 8 hours a day. I was in great pain for 8 months waiting for diagnosis and finally surgery. Now I am hoping I will be able to keep up with my job demands 8 weeks out. I know it's still early in my recovery, but I'm wondering if anyone has thoughts on this. Thanks
submitted 9/19/12 11:03am from Maryland
I'm two weeks out (Sept. 5) from FAI hip surgery (left side, no microfracture!!!). I feel that I am doing remarkably well. 75% off of crutches (still use them if walking more than a few minutes). Doc had me on my bike (on my trainer with no resistance) the day after surgery. I'm up to 30 minutes now and it has gotten better/easier each day. Doing PT 3x/week as well. I'm anxious to get back running but have 12 weeks of PT followed by an 8 phase (8 weeks) "back to running" plan. Still a long way to go but I am optimistic based on the first two wees. Need the other side down as well and hoping to have it done in 3-4 months.
submitted 9/15/12 9:55pm from Switzerland
Thank you for your story. I have had the surgery done back in February this year and undergo the same psychological problems as described by you. It is strange to realize that the brain sometimes is the restricting factor. For instance I was not finishing the stretch to the back while walking due to pain until my doctor said, "just stop doing that"' "just finish the stretch". And funny enough ,it worked. No more pain while normal walking. Due to this issue I have also used my muscles all wrong and experiencing pains on other parts of the body as wel. Lower back pains, pain on the chest and front of the shoulders.
But it comes and goes. I have the highs (I am cured, I can do everything again) and the lows (damn its back again, will this be the rest of my life?). The good thing is that if it does hurt the pain is not less intensive but the duration is very short. Where as before the operation it could last the whole day it is now gone in minutes. That is a mayor improvement!
I am still happy I did the operation but I should have prepared psychological better for this. I was to much focussed on the pains and not on being fit mentally.
Reading your blog did explain the swings I was feeling from euforia to the depressing feelings. It helped me a great deal knowing that I was not alone in this.
submitted 9/15/12 9:38pm from Philly suburbs
I, too, looked all over the Internet for useful info on the FAI/FAO surgery, both before and after my recent procedure on 9/4/12. Since 2007, I have been battling with hip pain. As a former distance runner (in my 20-30's), I became a competitive squash player in my 30's. I love the sport, and have remained competitive with a serious training regime. I am now 53 years old, and for the past FIVE years, have been trying to get to the source of my hip pain. Squash entails lots of explosive running, turning and lunging, and I think the lunge for my right forehand shot did the damage to my left hip. What a relief, this past July 2012, when I was properly diagnosed with a labrum tear. My prior visits to orthopedics, chiropractors, GI and OB/GYN docs didn't reveal what my rhumatologist finally suspected and diagnosed.
Last December 2011 I began to have groin and lower back pain, not knowing that this could be associated with hip pain. I saw so many different specialists, and had so many different tests. What a nightmare! I continued my physical activity, playing squash 4-6 times per week with pain, but I knew this was not going to be sustainable. Also of concern was the probable onset of arthritis. Squash can be a lifelong sport if the player adjusts his/her game to their physical ability and limitations. I played through two pregnancies, so I know this to be true. There was no choice but to fix this tear and get on with my game.
Thei surgery described in this blog mirrored mine, right down to the same surgeon, except in left not right hip. I was desperately looking for info, after getting home from surgery, to find out what was "normal". Lots of things are going on that they didn't pepare me for, much of which is documented on the blog. I would like to add a few more:
1. The idea of not breaking 90 degrees needed to be put into context. Every time you lean forward to get out of a soft, low chair, you break that angle. Same with leaning forward to reach something on the table. Think about your motion before you do anything.
2. The burning sensation in my quadriceps during the night is intense. Traction during surgery causes your entire leg to experience trauma. So while you may think hip and back will be the likely sore spots, my biggest problem has been tightness and pain across the quadriceps. Ice helps tremendously.
3. I am not big on pain meds, and stopped taking them after day 3 because I experienced terrible headaches and was frequently lightheaded. I also feel that it is hard to know what's really going on in recovery when it is masked by drugs. I still take the prescribed anti inflammatory and aspirin, but found ice to be the best for managing pain.
4. Crutches ..... Just awful. First time in my life I have ever needed them and the instructions given by hospital PT/OT we're not adequate for me. I am really unstable on stairs, and had a fall on flat grind simply because I lost balance on flat ground. I am really concerned that inexperienced crutch-users, like myself, could potentially screw up the surgery by not being adequately trained.
5. Doc said stationary bike within no resistance was ok at day 6. He said to let pain guide how long, but really, if you are already in pain, how long is too long? I am very happy to be moving around, loosening up the leg muscles, but do worry about overdoing it.
I am only 10 days post-op, so I still have a long road ahead. I was grateful to read about a similarly athletic and motivated person in this blog and thank you for your detailed, honest and encouraging entries.
submitted 9/9/12 3:25pm from Ontario, Canada
Allen, your Sx was arthroscopic, while my son`s was open, invasive. His cartilage was worn through. I am not sure if he was CAM/PINCER diagnosis - I do know his surgery was 4.5 hours! Post Sx he was 6-8 weeks non weight bearing- and keeping his hips parallel, then toe touching only (10% weight only). Do you know of others who could also share their open surgery experience?
Again, please contact me if you want to share. My son would like to connect with someone about his challenges now. - he is in college and thinks of his health last! so Mom is creeping the blogs!
firstname.lastname@example.org . We are outside of Toronto, Ont.
submitted 9/9/12 2:57pm from Ontario, Canada
great site! I commend you Captain Applesauce! You were very wise to document right from the beginning. I am sure you have made many many FAI patients feel less alone!
Glad to hear some FAI surgeries have been so successful, and physio recovery long lasting. Be kind to your bodies - by allowing rest days too!
My son had FAI RT hip Sx at 18 (2 years ago). He had been athletic (competitive badminton, rep soccer), and struggled with the intermittent pain for 12 YEARS before being properly diagnosed. I believe he is better - but still in significant pain, physically has little mobility and mentally stressed about it. I would love to see him connect with some of you, who he could talk to - who really understand (ie who have been through it unlike his Mom!)
"Dad with the 15 year old LaX boy".... any interest? others? The daily struggles are mentally exhausting, as it is for my son to try to put on socks! He can not bend his hip much.
He suffers bouts of frustration, depression due to his inactivities/inabilities. He has told me that he would like to talk to someone, compare FAI info. I am sure it would be therapeutic. Please email me if interested, I plan to send him a small package (he is at college) with some connections that he can follow up on at his convenience. email@example.com thank you so much!
submitted 8/29/12 8:17pm from Portland, OR
Wonderfully detailed diary. I have to second the suggestion someone made here to slow down a little. Your exercise regimen would leave even most non-hip impaired people exhausted. A cautionary note to those newly diagnosed with any of the FAI variants: 1) this is still a poorly understood and understudied condition that has been "recognized" for a relatively short period of time; 2) many live with no or few symptoms with these conditions for years and, moreover, suffer no significant tissue/joint destruction; 3) one recent Norwegian study examined the hip x-rays of 2,081 young adults and found that the majority, on at least one x-ray pertaining to each, could be diagnosed as having FAI; in short an X-ray finding of FAI is, to put it mildly, insufficient to justify surgery; 4) one of the few long-term FAI studies showed that, among 43 hips with cam impingement, only 28 showed any progression in osteoarthritis over a ten year period; 5) undoubtedly, carefully selected individuals benefit from FAI surgery, but a review of the available data from a large number of studies leaves doubt as to overall efficacy. Bottom line: if possible, delay surgery, get your x-rays and MRIs and let them serve as benchmarks for comparisons over a period of time to determine whether your FAI has any genuine clinical significance.
submitted 8/23/12 10:05am from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
What a phenomenal resource. I think the one thing you said that totally rang true to me was..."Your pain is invisible to everyone else. I do not think anyone will truly understand how your body feels inside or what you are going through. You will be frustrated before and after surgery for months".
I'm a 31 year old woman who has been playing roller derby for the past 6 or 7 years. nearly 3 years ago now during a practice I took a hit, my skate jammed in the track barrier and my hip was dislocated. It was the most painful and hearbreaking experience (at least I thought it would be) and I rushed back to get on skates, not taking my injury as seriously as I should have. 2 months after the dislocation I was back on skates and playing my first all-star game. I wanted so badly to be back to normal.
However over the months since its only gotten harder to keep up with the pack. It hurts to skate some days, and even to walk/sit/stand up. When I go to the gym I keep triggering something that has me in pain, and I become fearful to go back to the gym out of fear or re-injuring/causing myself more pain. I went back to physio in January of this year (nearly 2 years post-accident) and have now run out of benefit coverage for physiotherapy. I do the exercises on my own now and hope that building muscle will help me get back to anywhere near where I used to be. 4 months before my accident i was voted MVP for one of my games. Now I'm lucky if I make it on 1 of 6 line ups, and I don't feel I am the best teammate I can be as I'm struggling to make my body work the way it should.
I've been diagnosed with FAI, still waiting on a treatment plan, but I feel like in reading this, I am pro-surgery. I'm not willing to slow down. I'm only 31! I want a long healthy, ACTIVE life. Heck I want to be around to see roller derby in the Olympics and beyond! I want to be like my leaguemate G-Force, who is still going strong in her derby career into her 50s!
Thank you for this website. I'll know on August 29th if surgery is in my future and feel like this will be a great resource should this be the route I go.
submitted 8/15/12 7:23pm from Michigan
HI!! OMG, I love love love your site!!! I havent read it all but skipped right to the end (hahah yeah, I usually do that with books too) lol . ANYWAY, I just found out yesterday I will have to have surgery on BOTH hips...both with FAI. I saw a surgeon (Shane Nho) and I really really liked him. I have seen a couple others and I wasnt impressed. Dr. Nho is in Chicago. I found him through google (lol..yeah, yeah, AND FB...I'm a stalker!)haha. He studied under Dr. Byrd and Phillpon(Colorado), the one that did Tyson Gays surgery and a few other olympians.
I am scheduled to get surgery Sept 12th. IF all insurance goes through correctly. I have had symptoms since 2008 , I was diagnosed with sports hernias and had them repaired (bilateraly) in 2010. WITH NO relief. FAST forward to 2011, I was getting Prolotherapy for my SI joint, that doctor (dr. Krasnick in warren, Mi) suggested I might have a labral tear. Well, I sure did. on BOTH sides.
Dr. Nho said I have a LOT Of soft tissue damage in Adductor, etc....so I will have a longer recovery than most. NOT looking forward to that, BUT I am looking forward to finally after four years of suffering getting my life back together. I am a personal trainer and healthcoach and former national level figure competitor. My husband owns a crossfit gym , so my life is surrounded by fitness.
SO, thanks for the reassurance!!! Keep us posted and I cant wait to share my success!!!!
submitted 8/8/12 4:13pm from Florida
Hi Fellow fai's
I'm 6 weeks out from right fai sugery with mirofracture. I have just started putting some weight on my leg. Doctors orders, I also need my left done. I was wanting to do my left hip 4 weeks out but that would leave me with no legs to stand on. Man this is taking longer than I would of wanted. I have job that requires me to walk for 12 hours at a time. I've been out of work 3 months now and have no idea when I beable to return.
Good luck to anyone else going through this
submitted 8/5/12 5:08pm from Phoenix, AZ
Wow! Your website/diary on your FAI experience is fantastic and so informative and helpful. You are correct that there is very little information on this topic, much less what to expect after the surgery. As anyone that is or has experienced FAI knows how frustrating this is since it has only recently been addressed in the medical field and very few doctors have any experience dealing with it.
I am/was a very active person working out 3 ~ 4 times a week sometimes with a trainer using weights and strength training exercises and running 6 miles 4 ~ 6 times a week. But in the last couple of years I was becoming less active due to hip and back pain. I would stretch, get massages and just work through it. I went to MANY chiropractors, physical therapist, and of course doctors trying to find out why my right hip and back were hurting and was told many different theories. I also had many x~rays, MRI, and tests. My last MRI in January of this year indicated several things one being FAI in right hip. After several steriod injections (which I wish I hadn’t had), more PT with no success, I have decided that I need to see a specialist and possibly have surgery. I see my Sport's Physician on Tuesday and will be requesting an appointment with Dr. Jimmy Chow here in Phoenix who is one of the only doctors in town to do this type of surgery but apparently one of the best.
I am worried about the amount of time I will have to take off from work as I am a flight attendant which is a physically demanding job and of course being gone. In your opinion, how much time would you estimate I would need to take off from work? I can do physical therapy when I'm home and on the road in my hotel room but I'd like to have an idea just so I can be prepared. Any information you can offer would greatly appreciated.
I wish you the best in your recovery and thank you so much for posting your experience. I will continue to watch for updates and use it as a guide if and when I do have FAI surgery.
All the best,
submitted 8/2/12 1:45am from Australia
Wow! what a great resource Ive stumbled across here! I am going in for FAI surgery with labral repair in 6 weeks on my left hip, and 4 weeks later I'm in again for my right hip.
My pain is reasonably manageable, but my flexibility and overall range of movement has really suffered, my back in particular. Did you find that your range of movement improved after surgery?
submitted 7/14/12 10:19am from Florida
Thanks for site. I had FAI and mirofracture surgery 3 weeks ago today. No weight bearing 6 weeks. Then I need surgery on left hip if this one works or they say I will need double hip placement. Before I dx I was having stabbing pain that knocked me off my feet when running. I have been a runner for 20 years. Then after couple days I would feel ok and repeat until I was unable to walk or work. Sabbing pain, went to doctors they told me I was compensating for knee. I fell 3 years ago playing soccer, probably because of my hips, and tore my ACL. Started having hip pain when going through my recovery phase. Therapist and Doctor told me this normal pain. So of corse I try running with pain until I was unable to function.
Glad to be recovering...hope it works. I would love to run, walk, be my active self again
submitted 6/29/12 1:17am from Finland
Hi, thanks for the great site. I found out yesterday I have Cam-type FAI with grade 3-4 (that`s bad, 4 basically means there`s no cartilage left) cartilage damage in upper rim of acetabulum (narrow section of about 5 mm). I am 42 yrs old male and have been active all my life, never heard of FAI until yesterday when I read my MRI scan results written by radiologists (he mentioned the head of the femur are significantly eccentric(?) on both sides). I`ll see my sports Dr (ortophedist) next week and of course he will brief me where we really are and about the options but naturally I am quite eager to find out more asap.
I`ve been racing with motorcycles for approx. 10 years (national level road racing) and have not sustained any injuries but have had strange quickly passing hip pain on rare occasions - thought they where cramps. Then played baseball 14th of June, tore up my hamstring and during hamstring/pelvic MRI they found the FAI by coincidence. Lucky thing I guess but now of course I`m very worried about the future level of activity that I can sustain. This season with bikes is over anyway with hamstring which most likely needs to be operated but that does not worry me, gr 3-4 cartilage damage worries me a lot. The riding I would have stopped anyway after this season due to lack of motivation and feeling too old & family-orientated for all the hassle that goes with "hobby" taking all your time and money -the decision was made during spring and this FAI episode totally confirms the decision. However I would like to do other things besides swimming later and I am not that keen on getting hip protesis quite yet. Riding bikes seriously for over 10 years could have contributed to damage (the movements over the bike are like riding a horse but with more strain and stretching I guess) but the damage is done, it could have been worse with high speed sports anyways. My questions is that have you or anyone you know experienced FAI with cartilage damage? Any ideas of recovery or level of activity recommended. I know becoming a couch-potato is one option but that is not for me...
Funny thing is that I ride a bicycle a lot, go to gym, go jogging and occasionally play different games such as ice hockey, baseball, tennis etc. and I can`t recall of having any unusual hip or lower back pain. The only strange thing is the cramp type pain during riding on the track.
Also I need to say that it could be worse, they could have found sarcoma or something, but of course being very active I can`t help myself of being kind of worried about this anyways.
Once again thanks for the great and informative site!
submitted 6/24/12 10:36am from Philadelphia, PA
Hello "Son had FAI Surgery"
Your son is too young to be having these types of problems. I'm so sorry to hear it. I guess much younger kids get leukemia, so it should not be too odd that your son had complex FAI labrum tears at 15. I have to respond to your comment about the acute knee pain. I have gotten injured with right hip pain in my surgery repaired hip three times since my surgery two years ago. Every time I enter recovery stage, I get a dull pain seemingly on the outer front lip at the top of my lower leg bone behind that location inside the knee joint itself with heavy exercise. I notice it more AFTER my running, bicycling, and swimming workouts than during. I always have written it off in my mind as a movement pattern I am following to protect my hip while it's still recovering. Yes, I guess this in both knees although I only had 1 hip treated for FAI. It always goes away as I get further in my recovery. I did not know if it has anything to do with FAI. I thought my knees might be going from years of pounding on the asphalt or my custom orthotics. I have gotten used to this TEMPORARY feeling in my knees that it hardly even phases me anymore. Here's the pattern 1. I injure my hip a little 2. I get this familiar odd dull pain that seems to be in my lower knee 3. my hip healing continues and it eventually the dull pain (pain is 1 or 2 out of 10) goes away. I could be over thinking my symptoms, but i wanted to give your son a little bit of hope this pain may subside as he recovers. I'm glad he's backing off the treadmill a little bit. One day at a time... I hope when he gets older he will be 100% and earn a Division 1 lacrosse college scholarship! Regards, Allen
submitted 6/23/12 9:17am from New England
Allen - remarkable diary of your progress and we are all greatful for it. Per below, perhaps you could comment on one of the post-op symptons our son is having in his knees. But first, sincerely, my best wishes to you for a total eventual recovery. I do echo one responder's thought though that it might be good for your system to let up a little on the work outs, if for no other reason to simply see how the aches and pains react. Keep us posted.
* Our fine son is 15 1/2 yrs old, a great athlete (lacrosse a passion for him) and was diagnosed with hip impingement in both hips when the bad pains started Oct. 2011. After alarmingly fast deterioration, he was bedridden by the first week of December 2011.
* The New York Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) did his left hip in late December 2011 and right hip in late January 2012. You know what all this has meant to him and we his parents, yet a few weeks ago he said, "Dad, I'm glad all this happened because I wouldn't be the guy I am today if it hadn't happened". Wow, amazing kid. Courageous. Brought a tear to my eye.
* His recovery has been going very, very well, although back pain originally and now acute knee pains have come during the post-op PT.
*Here's my question: You've mentioned knee pains at a number of times in your diary - did you have sharp knee pains that began at roughly the five to six month point? Roughly cooincides with when the workouts became more intense. In PT, he'd gotten up to 90% weight on his legs during gravity aided treadmill work. Sincethen they backed off to say 80%.
* It's sharp pain seemingly on the outer front lip at the top of his lower leg bone and, he says, behind that location inside the knee joint itself. He said that the torsion when shooting a locrosse ball particularly aggravates it.
* I've wondered if the pounding during intensive treadmell work inflamed ligaments or other soft tissue. Acute inflamation is very painful yet not a long term problem after it calms down. Treadmills are bad on my knees, in particular shin splints if I run treadmills hard over a few weeks.
Allen - does any of this sound familiar in your own recovery? Best wishes and thank you for your thoughts.
Dad of Son w/FAI
submitted 6/12/12 9:48pm from Melbourne, Australia
Hi, thanks so much for your honest information.
I am 43 and have suffered with my left hip impinging for about 10 years. I had a left hip athroscopy 5 years ago to repair a torn labrum, but it didn't help.
Earlier this year I got the ball rolling again to find out what was wrong, and was referred to another surgeion who said I had FAI. Apparently this is a relatively newly discovered condition, which is why it wasn't picked up the first time??
I am due to go in for surgery in 2 weeks time, and I believe the Surgeon is the best there is here in Australia, as he is training other surgeons for the procedure.
I am really grateful for your information, knowing that there are others out there. Wish me luck.
submitted 5/30/12 4:55am from Dallas
My name is sam and i am a 17 year old male football player who will be playing football in college in two years. your blog is a great inspiration to me as I just had fai and labrum repair surgery last night, I know I'm in for a rough trip and reading your blog has mad my recent panic attack go away. I have fai in both hips but only feel symptoms in one hip(my right one) which the surgery was performed on. I just wanted to thank you for keeping your blog up to date and thank you for being honest
submitted 5/15/12 7:55pm from minneapolis
I forgot to mention i had cam and pincher impingement. With large labrum tear. My labrum is now after 2 attempts to fix is still fraying apart. Thank you for writing and sharing. Very helpful. My left hip also has FAI but after 2 years of this recovery im going to wait as long as possible...
submitted 5/15/12 7:33pm from minneapolis
I am 41 and recovering from FAI 8 months post op from 2nd surgery. The first one was not sucessful. Also after 1st surgery my vein was badly damaged and i had to have my vein removed. Not happy at all with that. I am in so much pain daily that im not sure i can make it. 2nd surgeon Dr. Chris Larson wonderful talented and really knows his hips fixed 1st surgeons mess ups but im so frustrated that im not back to pre surgery im losing my mind. Surgeon just told me that i might need to take 4-6weeks off to really push hard at PT. Dont think thats possible but i want my life back. I was a west coast swing dancer. Help with any advice please. My leg is very swollen,foot turns purple if i sit too long oain shoots from hip to groin then down leg. Im tired of being in pain prob a 6-7 everyday. You think thats normal?
submitted 5/9/12 1:48pm from New Jersey
Alan, I came across your site again just to see if you had updated it. I'm sorry to hear you are having some pain in the hip again. Here are my 2 cents. It seems you are doing a tremendous amount of training ( I know, you are much younger than me ), but it just seems to be a bit too much. Try cutting back, or taking some time off. If the hip pain goes away in your normal daily life, then it may not be the labrum again. Give it a shot man! Let the body rest. Wishing you the best!
submitted 5/3/12 10:58am from
My apologies, Alan.
I was reading the comment below and titled it "William". My error.
But again great blog.
Just to let you know I am new to the running world. I grew up overweight. Then in 2009 I dropped 100 pounds. I began to enjoy being healthy and active. But in 2011, I developed symptoms in my hip/groin area. After countless research, I presumed it was "lactic acid". And after giving myself 2 weeks to recover the symptoms continued. I sought the care of a specialist. He was no help. But did confirm FAI after taking an x-ray. He ultimately gave me the run around and said I should continue to run. After discussing this with a friend, she gave me the recommendation of Dr. Bryan Kelly out of The Hospital For Special Surgery.
After waiting six weeks to see him, he advised me on what to do. We tried the conservative approach (PT). Initially it worked but in due time I regressed. He then recommended an injection. The injection determined the issue was coming from my hip and not my back. It sucked but since we knew the issue my next step was to schedule the surgery date. I waited until Christmas week to get the surgery. It sucked but that was the only option I had (career and education wise).
Physical therapy has immensely helped. But as I mentioned I have had good days and bad. But I try to block out the bad. In March, I returned to the gym. And it felt great to be back. Of course it was a journey. My physical fitness took a major hit. At this point is to get into shape as I prepare for my next surgery.
I truly wish you the best and love the blog. I look forward to reading more about your progress. And again I do apologize about the mix-up.
submitted 5/3/12 10:38am from NY/NJ
Hi William -
Great blog. At the recommendation of a fellow FAI patient on twitter, I got a hold of your blog. 4 1/2 months ago I had FAI surgery on my right hip. Like you, I developed great days and bad days. This afternoon I am scheduled to see a knee specialist. A few nights ago on the treadmill I developed a pain in my right knee. It was discouraging. After doing countless research I narrowed it down to "runners knee", "jumpers knee" (which can also effect runners) or a sprained knee. But after reading your blog it may also be due to my recovery. Nevertheless, I still intend on seeing this doctor and getting to the root cause. For the interim I stopped running and focus on the elliptical. But I do have issues in my quad, glute, and lower back. I suppose it is due to the recovery (sans back). After reading your blog, I may see a sports medicine specialist.
How did your consultation with the doctor turn out yesterday?
I am already planning to have the same procedure on the my left side at the end of the year. The recovery was not as bad, but as I mentioned I have good days and bad.
Please keep us posted.
submitted 3/30/12 9:12pm from Philadelphia, PA
Hi William –
You obviously care a lot about your fitness and well-being as I do. My FAI surgery was one of the most serious events in my life and I am currently experiencing some groin discomfort as I type this post. I foolishly tried using a pair of pseudo-minimalist shoes, the Asics Speedstar 5’s, hoping to run a personal best in a 10-miler in May. From past experience, I believe it will be a few weeks till my hip returns to “normal.”
Enough of my rant - I am sorry to read about your “life-long” groin pain. For all of us FAI patients that feel/have felt it, I think we can sympathize. Honestly, I know nothing about Iliopsoas Tendinitis or the snapping hip syndrome. Something in my surgery treated hip still snaps from time to time. I feel no physical pain when it happens. I get strange knee pains, especially in times of deep stress. However, my IT band rarely causes me any trouble and I try to use a foam roller when I rack up heavy running mileage. Sorry to read about your deeply ingrained maladaptive movement patterns. When I initially went to surgeon, he and his student protégé were intrigued by the tell tale signs of FAI by the movement patterns of my legs when he pushed down on my right leg and I adjusted away from natural downward movement. I am kind of surprised that 2 years down the road you’re having so much trouble. I could only imagine doing the movement on your stomach with the band to strengthen your psoas for so long before giving up. Reading about your discomfort and your efforts to heal yourself are inspiring, but I cannot think of anything valuable in my experiences to share on strategies to prevent Iliopsoas tendonitis. Fortunately, it seems like I’m going to dodge that bullet.
submitted 3/30/12 5:58pm from Portland, OR
Outstanding site, I'm truly delighted to have rediscovered it since the move.
I have a number of thoughts I'd like to share and points/descriptions you make that must be noted and praised.
But first, a question.
Can you speak about any issues with or precautions taken to prevent Iliopsoas Tendinitis?
I've read Philippon's 2011 paper on rehab protocols structured to prevent/limit psoas stress and/or tendinitis. The paper was published 18mos after I had arthroscopy for FAI w/Labral tears (refixation recq'd 6 suture anchors) on my right side.
During rehab sessions with PTs in the operating hospital's physical therapy dpt, the "protocol" I was instructed to follow was to use bands to active & strengthen psoas. The exercise is performed by securing end of band to immovable anchor point (at home I used double-knot behind closed door). With opposite end looped, lay supine at a distance allowing for band tension through-out knee pull-up movement from full extension of affected leg to to point where knee was close to but not past 90-degrees.
I'm male, 46yrs @ time of surgery and had "life-long" groin pain, "classic-C"/illiac-crest region pain, knee pain that reads nearly word for word to yours, everted affected side foot position, as well as several other pain symptoms you describe having. I was an athletically active kid, playing ice hockey by 7, baseball, basketball, football and soccer until settling on soccer in HS through military service and after. Was a 25m+/wk runner from age 32 - 40. Again, the comment you made regarding knee pain was the "data point" that prompted me to write this post.
So, almost 2 years post-op, I'm still dealing with gait abnormalities, G. med/min atrophy, IT band recruitment and iliopsoas tendinitis (tendinitis diagnosed by ortho surgeon at different hospital). Current PT and ortho believe deeply ingrained maladaptive movement patterns & muscle recruitment evolve from mis-treated psoas activation/re-training protocol.
Whew! That's more than I expected to "spew".
I hope my question makes sense if it's not lost within the body of my mini-rant.
submitted 3/22/12 7:53pm from CA US
This site is the only realistic recovery FAI site on the net. Thanks so much for the info and keep posting. I am still considering the surgery but worry about gaining full strength back. Thanks again
submitted 3/13/12 7:59pm from Philadelphia, PA
Basically my hip is sore, probably from not sleeping enough for a couple of weeks, doing a lot of exercise, then going to a hotel and sleeping on a mattress with a different firmness than I'm used to using.
submitted 3/13/12 7:52pm from Philadelphia, PA
I'm testing addimg a comment on my FAI website. I'm having some unexpected trouble with my hip, so it drew my attention to the site.