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:

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Hip arthroscopy rehab day 18 hip improving

Hip is improving again. Think I got away with the fall. I still have some groin pain, but all is easing again. The hip arthroscopy scars are totally minimal, as you can see.

One thing I hadn't considered was that simultaneous to the fall I'd also started a new physio therapy regime. This is much more intense than my book of exercises from the surgeon and I hadn't considered this.  The surgeon's exercises differ somewhat in intensity and difficulty and perhaps in part due to one of the physio's on that team actually undergoing a hip arthroscopy herself. This helped tailor them with inside knowledge. I would've had PT with the Capio Clinic, or Yorkshire Clinic as its now known, but as I can't drive and its too far away for my hubby to drive me as takes too
much time out of running his business.

When I compared the exercises I realized that I went from 40 leg slides a day to 150. Also 150 bridge exercises, which in my book from Surgeon isn't to be done until week 5 and I'm in week 3, plus with the bridge I have to tie something around my knees and pull against it whilst doing the bridge.
A new exercise I was given also, that was to lie on my front, flex my knees to 45 degrees and press my heels together. That and the bridge exercise are glute exercises I discovered when I googled and I just can't do glutes.
My problem is sometimes that people don't understand I'm not like a lot of Hip Arthroscopy patients who are super fit athletes, I've had this problem for 6 yrs and whilst fit before the problem I'm less so now and my glutes are totally out of whack. I wonder if my new PT took this into consideration.
Also the last exercise he gave me was to raise my knee as close to me chest as possible before it hurts and hold, only 5 reps of those. That worries me least, he thought that would worry me most, but I could squat before surgery no real problem. So now I'm wondering if I'm seeing someone a bit too proactive for my personal needs. When I resume physio in a day or so I think I'll do considerably less than 150 reps of anything and listen to my body! I'm keeping cycling, that seems to be a key to hip arthroscopy rehab.

Mentally ok. Pretty bored now almost 3 weeks into hip arthroscopy recovery. Most certainly the hardest part is the not really knowing if I'm recovered, or will be ..its very much a 'wait and see' process, where no conclusion is really drawn until 6 months post hip arthroscopy... I imagine there must be clear pointers though from 3 months. I know each time I push my hip I will pay and that is how it was pre op and because of that, it will be hard for even me to draw conclusions and I imagine hard not to lose heart at times. But got to stay positive.
I have support from a now stressed out hubby, who is working full time and looking after 4 yr old Oscar and 9 month old Isabella, when they're are not been looked after by my super helpful Mum, or nursery.

I am very keen to be there, without crutches or a limp, for his first day at school on 10th September this year. He's already stopped calling for me if he wants anything, he knows I can't facilitate his needs and so looks to others and Isabella cries and now looks past me, for a person she knows will pick her up, its REALLY HARD as a Mum to be out of action.
One thing that does make me laugh now though is that when she hears me coming, clattering along on my crutches like a granny, she perks up and waits for me with a big beaming smile!


  1. My physio thought that Schilders protocol was particularly cautious,but followed it to the letter because he said the surgeon knows the hip and what he did in there best (don't know if this helps or not,lol!). Also I didn't have much of a limp once I came off the crutches after the Arthroscopy,only for a couple of days, so hopefully it will be the same for you.
    Glad to hear you are feeling better
    Kate x

  2. Thanks Kate, good re the limp, been concerned over that, someone I read of from London had a limp for a year! I'm religious with the crutches.
    I can't believe I'm doubting this new PT, why aren't things uniform?! I spoke to the physio Rachel at Capio who had the arthroscopy she was amazingly helpful. She was great because she had the inside and outside view, which makes her a real asset to them for hip arthroscopy patients, just too difficult to get to her travelwise.
    Also the physio I was seeing before at Cookridge called Louise was fab, she was the person really who worked out it was my hip in the first place and sent me to hip specialist. Not sure what I will do, but will work something out.
    x Louisa

  3. You know your body better than anyone and it gives us cues as to how hard we can really push. What works for someone else may not work for your body and you really have to listen to both your physio and what your body is telling you !
    As for the limp that is purely individual. I had one the first week but I had to mentally remind myself that if I didn't want the limp I had to force myself not to do it. It is so hard at first but once you convince yourself that you really can do it without favoring the hip you will start to feel more comfortable doing it. Now right under 4 weeks post-op I have no limp at all.
    I wasn't in great shape either before my surgery since both my hips have had issues for almost 15 years. I was at 142 pounds (10.2 stones) so not the ideal weight I would have hoped for. The inactivity due to my injury made it harder to exercise and keep it under control. You can work your glutes just by flexing them while sitting for now .. get some buns of steel !!!!
    I am so glad you are feeling better today.


  4. Thanks Erin, what exercises did you get given? Interested in diff protocols,

  5. I wasn't given any at all. I still have yet to even see a doctor for rehabilitation unfortunately.

  6. Well, you know what I think being active is just the same, all this fuss about core, I think active people have a strong core, I always did until this put my out and my fav sport was swimming.. and with 4 kiddies I know you're active!

  7. Louisa
    swimming should be fine post -op (check with schilders tho) as long as you don't do breat stroke legs.

  8. And no frog kicks !!! I was told those are the worst you can do. I read online that treading water doing a cycling motion with your legs is the best until about 3 months post-op and then you can start doing others with an anchor.

  9. When can I do frogs.? .. I'm trying to get off facebook to get to your site...god I've become such a geek!! Thats immobility for you! xx

  10. I have become a computer addict also. I love this blog because it seems everyone is staying so positive! I had arthroscopic FAI surgery 13 days ago and feel pretty good most of the time. I finally go to my post op tomorrow which I am very much looking forward to. Even though the therapists I've been working with are great they know my doctor and since I had more than just a labral tear they are being overly cautious which at this point I appreciate, but at the same time I want to make sure that I am progressing at a good rate. I am 39 and have been extremely active my entire life, but since this issue I have really had to slow down a lot! I'm ok with that because as much as I love staying physically fit I also want to feel good not just look good.

    I know all of you can relate to the fact that with this type of pain it really limits your ability to feel good. For the past year and a half I avoided all activities which caused me pain which was pretty much everything except Bikram Yoga and even that I was so careful. I am a personal trainer and have been back at work crutch walking and just telling my clients what to do verbally without demonstrating. It's actually been working out pretty well, but I planned the surgery for the summer in Phoenix because I knew my work schedule would be pretty light.

    I sincerely hope that everyone on this site recovers well! My thoughts and prayers will be with all of you. I'll keep everyone updated how my post-op goes in the morning.


  11. Hi Jenn,
    Yes that all sounds very familiar, the restrictions on life that it imposes, its very hard. Great the you're still managing to do your job. I know someone with a labral tear, with underlying dysplasia and she also is a PT, I will tell her about you because I think she's very worried about having the op and being unable to work.. so I think your story will give her a little hope re work.

    How are you feeling post op?
    Do let me know how your appointment goes and I wish you lots of luck for today!
    Thanks for joining in,

  12. Don't think Schilders is keen on frogs!! Would probably tell you never,lol, realistically not for a good few months,unless he tells you otherwise. (don't tell him I was doing them this morning,lol)

  13. OMG!!! I can only swim frogs, I'm devastated!! I thought no restrictions after better, otherwise would've gone the whole hog and had a hip replacement!!
    PS..don't tell him, what's it worth?! ;)

  14. Yeah, like I said up top .. 3 months minimum especially with an anchor ! Lay in bed and try just a small frog kick and you will know why. The pulling on the joint hurts and then your adding resistance from the water.
    I wish I had taken it more easy with my body but I didn't. If it hurt I just pushed through it and suffered the night afterward and used pain medications if it was unbearable. I am still like that today. I don't want to slow down, I have so much to do .. in my head at least ! So of course now I am paying dearly for it.

    Do you have a blog Jenn ?

  15. Oh ... add me on Facebook ! I am on there all day lol. Erin Platt

  16. Erin, theres loads of Erin platts and 2 I think might be you but don't want to get the wrong one!! Get me must be easier with my name Louisa Weeks Browning.

  17. Been trying to do a frog kick laying on my back on my bed and absolutely can't remember how to do it, I can't do it without water how bizarre is that?!
    Ps Kate are you on facebook too? Or have you got more of a life than us?!

  18. Are you open to bribery to keep quiet? ;) I did 25 lengths today, half were froggy (the others a strange combination of crawl legs and froggy arms cos Im not fit enough to do crawl for more than one length lol). I figure now the dysplasia is fixed, Im not so likely to tear again so it ok(just my theory,lol). Im not on facebook sorry, never got around to it.
    I can't believe you have so many comments on one thread-you're much more popular than me!! :)

  19. Can't wait to get into the pool! Pity about facebook.. half the comments are mine back to people though!