FAI Hip Impingement (Femoro-acetabular Impingement)

FAI Hip Impingement Awareness facts - It is estimated that approximately 15% of the young, adult population have hip impingement, so who do you know that might have it?
Hip impingement causes painful labral tears within the hip socket.
Hip FAI symptoms are misleading to the average medical professional, as FAI hip impingement pain frequently presents as low back pain and interesting only 10% of back pain is ever clinically diagnosed and cured... Which begs the question what percentage is actually caused by hip FAI or hip impingement, as its otherwise known.
The more active you are, the more likely you are to trigger hip impingement symptoms, so busy mums and gym bunnies beware... but at least you're in good company as many premiere league football players have also suffered FAI hip pain.
Hip impingement is diagnosed through x-ray and labral tears are diagnosed through MRI arthograms - but both need to be read by hip consultants specifically trained in FAI hip impingement.
There are 60,000 hip replacements every year in the UK and it now appears that FAI hip impingement, over the years, could be the leading cause of hip osteoarthritis. A silent epidemic.
Hip arthroscopy can reduce the hip impingement and reattach the torn labrum to the hip socket. This surgery can eliminate the pain and disability caused by FAI hip impingement and divert the need for hip replacement in later life.

Also please feel welcome to join in our help and advice forum for support. We have 3 advising FAI expert hip surgeons, 3 PT/physios and a sports medicine doctor as well as the largest international FAI hip impingement forum on the net:

Friday, 24 July 2009

Hip arthroscopy rehab day 14 consultation

Had my 2 week post op appointment with Prof Schilders and I think it went well. I was told not to be so afraid of movement and pushing my boundaries. The operation apparently went well.
The surprising news was that the labrum wasn't torn, it was detached from the acetabulum (hip socket), which I think is good news, as it won't be prone to re-tear. The labrum has been re-anchored to my hip socket.
I gather the arthritis (wave sign) was taken away and that the progress of arthritis will have been halted, though only time, approx 10 yrs can truly confirm this likelihood.
The impingement on the hip bone socket was taken away and a little extra shaved off my femur to give full clearance on flexion. I should be ok now to slowly improve day by day.

My initial pain score pre-op was quite bad, which means improvement may be slow and I think possible a bit bumpy ..but frankly as long as I keep improving I'm happy. My current pain 2 weeks post-op is at a similar level to where it was pre-op, so if it keeps getting better from now, frankly it'll be wonderful and I 'might just' get my life back, you never know!

Range of movement (ROM) seems to be increasing day by day, as does what I can do. I can reach to shave 'all' my leg from knee to ankle - hurrah! Otherwise it might've looked like I had one furry ankle leg warmer!

Scars are next to nothing, though I wouldn't care too much if they were otherwise, as long as I can enjoy basic activities again like dining out, movies, sitting on the floor with the kiddies, sitting on a plane without diazapam ..no wait, that's quite a nice experience, but you get the picture ..just the day to day stuff which is surprisingly important when taken away!

I have been able to stop taking medication throughout the day, but still take either co-codamol or diclofenac (stomach burner) at night because that's when I get the deep bone ache feeling.

There are so many negative cases out on the net, which by nature of the net makes sense. Those who get well, disappear and get on with their lives. Those who don't, thrive on google, forums and blogs. Pre-op patients also thrive on google, forums and blogs and I wonder therefore, if we pre-ops and recovering patients get a skewed gloomy version of reality and likelihood of recovery.
Its too early to draw conclusions, I might end up an unresolved case myself, I hope not. I hope I get well and continue to post a good recovery, showing that even after 6 painful misdiagnosed years, it is possible to recover from femoral acetabular impingement (FAI).

Anyway all in all my recovery appears uneventful and average - which is exactly what I'm aiming for! Right going to see if I can still do cartwheels!! .....only teasing ;)


  1. What a positive report from you. I know you were really worried the first week post-op but just like I thought, you are recovering nicely. We are only a week apart in our recovery and I think we progressed pretty similar in a time line. I am glad to see someone has the same outlook I do.
    Your assessment of the internet is exactly true. When I was first diagnosed I spent hours upon hours researching, watching videos, posting to forums and blogging. The desire to understand and educate yourself is huge in the whole process I think. Relying on a doctor to give you what you need to come to terms with it can be difficult, but once you get it from people who have been there you tend to trust what they say.
    I figure I will probably keep up with my blog until I have recovered from my second hip, or my back .. gee who knows. It has been extremely therapeutic for me :)

  2. I am also recovering really well. I am 10 days post op and I pretty much out of any pain right now. I don't meet with my doctor until the 30th, so I cannot fill anyone in on any specific details, but my physical therapist has confidence that once this heals I will be able to hike and run again!

    When the doctor went in during the srgery there was a labrum tear as well as a bone spur which they already known about because that was seen on an x-ray. I also had to have my illiopsoas tendon released because it was rubbing on the head of my femur and actually bore a hole in it. I known sounds crazy.

    I am crutch walking, and I returned to work a few days after surgery. I am a personal trainer so I just tell my clients what exercises to do and correct them verbally. It's been working well. They have been picking up and putting away their dumbbells and they all seem to be ok with it.

    My issue has been bothering me since the spring of 2005 which I thought at the time was a groin pull. This happened a few months after completing an Ironman triathlon. I believe it was an issue I probably had for a long time and I finally was experiencing symptoms. Currently I am very hopeful with my recovery I went to an amazing surgeon!

  3. Glad your appointment went well. I agree totally with the internet scenario, and pledged a while back if I get a good recovery to try to stick around occaisionally to give hope to those who are pre-op.
    Re the 'Sue case' I suppose each case is different, and we don't fully understand our own situations ,not being medically trained, never mind the whole picture. I don't know why she retore, neither does she, don't quite understand why she didn't ask, but sometimes its difficult when you are put on the spot.Its a pioneering surgery and I think a lot of it is a wait and see situation, but like you, I figure if I can be better than I was then its a chance I'll take.Basically my understanding is if the underlying cause of the labrum/cartilage issue is resolved (your case FAI, mine dysplasia) then you stand a good chance of doing well in the future. I expect it to take me a year, and a lot of work, to make a good recovery,until my hip is strong again,and sometimes that seems ages but in the great scheme of things (or looking back to how long we have struggled for) its not too bad.
    You're doing great, keep up the good work,
    when can you wean off the crutches?
    Kate x

  4. Thank you Kate,
    Real shame about Sue. Hope she finds relief somewhere. Crutches in a further 2 weeks as predicted.
    Dear Anonymous,
    We sound on a par, I'm glad you're doing well its great to hear other positive stories. I want this to be a positive site (of course we don't always get what we want!) But I hope so because there's v little hope on the net and little info elsewhere, my own GP looked utterly blank when I explain FAI! No wonder we often have trouble getting diagnosed!!
    Keep me posted on your recovery.
    I'm going to attempt sleep, having taken some anti inflams after my careless fall!

  5. Hey I had open surgery for hip impingment and labral tear in Jan this year. Had 9 weeks of crutches and 5.5 months off work! Managing to do 10min on the bike and 5 min on the X trainer. Just wondering how everyone is getting on? I seen my surgeon for 6 month check been told I'm not allowed to increase any of my activities because I am still gettin groin pain similar to pre op which is a bit of a pest! Getting my pins out a yr from now and they might put a camera in if I still have pain! I'm 27, my surgeon said I was too young for key hole!

  6. Hey anonymous..I only just spotted this post, apologies. I am no expert but why would you be too young for key hole? I thought they did that op esp in the young? I'm so sorry you're having such a rough ride. I'd definately get a second opinion if I were you and make sure they literally specialize in FAI. Where are you?
    Keep in touch and best of luck to you.

  7. Hi Louisawb

    I was told that there is an increased risk of scratching the bone using key hole and thus cause further damage. The surgeon I seen is the main specialist in Scotland so will just have to wait and see what happens!
    How are you getting on?

  8. Sorry have only just seen this post almost a month on, you only see the most recent... not too good actaully, disappointed so far. How are you?

  9. Hey Louisawb

    sorry to hear things aren't good, are you still in a lot of pain? It must be hard with young kids. I'm not too bad I have managed do a 30min spin class at the gym and that seems to be ok. Its only walking any long distance that seems to cause trouble. I have read on other sites that some folk are sayin the best thing they ever did was to get their pins out.Unfortunately I have a while to wait before thats an option.If I am honest tho still not any better off than I was pre op but we can live in hope! Positive Thinking!