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, 31 July 2009

Hip arthroscopy rehab day 21

Day 21 in the hip recovery house! Amazing to think it was 3 weeks today was the scary op, seems ages ago.
Well the recovery feel slow, although I have bursts every few days of progress. I can now put my own shoes on and walk with a lot more weight through my legs/hips and less weight through the crutches.

I have abandoned my new PT, basically hip arthroscopy rehab appears to be core exercises, nothing so specialist and cycling. I can do the cycling myself and I'm going back to my original physio Louise, who spotted I might have a hip, rather than back problem, because I know she'll follow Professor Shilders book and she knows my body pre op too. Also she won't push me unnecessarily (I'm not an elite athlete, just a super active person.)
Another big plus is that she is brilliant at trigger point massage which gives amazing relief to the muscle spasm. I get a lot of muscle spasm around pain sites. I'm hoping it'll go, as the problem is resolved.

Yesterday I walked all the way around the quarter mile green, see pics,where we live. First time I have been able to do that, still with crutches obviously. After week one I walked a quarter of it and had to go to bed with exhaustion, kid you not! At week two, I managed a quarter and felt great after and then at almost 3 weeks I clattered my way around the whole green.. so baby steps in the right direction.

One thing nobody warned me was how much I would HATE my crutches, the clattering noise as I rattle around the house, the way they won't stay put and slide over leaving you stranded, the way they really hurt your hands, the way they get stuck on the fat bits of your upper arms, the way the stoppers get stuck under doors you're trying to open them. A couple of plus, is that if you swing on your crutches it really engages your core and I'm getting great muscles in my upper arms. The real killer with crutches is the way people see you when you're on crutches, or don't see 'YOU'!

When I was on the green the other day, a workman drove past staring at me and I thought "Great! Still haven't lost it then!' I know that's vain, but its true.. and then he gave me a pitying smile and I realized he was looking at my crutches, not me and I was gutted!! I wanted to hop after his van shouting not "no, no its only temporary!"
Its because there's no visible injury that you get these pitying looks, when you're out and about. I was thinking of getting a fake pot for my leg, because then people come up and say "ooh what did you do??" and I can say 'Oh I fell of my surf board/para glider/quad bike!" and still have sympathy and look cool, as opposed to the kind of sympathy that inspires pitying looks and avoidance!

Pain wise not taking any meds, unless I feel the pain at night. I feel very uncomfortable if I raise my leg a lot higher the 90 degrees, or if I sit too long still and at night sometimes, I usually get about 6 hrs pain free but after that it can start to feel like a hamster is gnawing away at my bones in my hip, deep pain.
Is this normal 3 weeks post op?
To me the most worrying thing about this is that was how I was pre op, should the pain go immediately the offending bone protrusion is cut away, or should the same triggers still hurt? Am I really unable to tell if I'm improving until about 6 months, or is that something consultants say to buy time? You can't help but ask yourself these questions as you are always monitoring your hip whether you like it or not, partly its protective and instinctive.
I suppose I'm going to have to google some hip arthroscopy forums for FAI and see if anyone else has similar progress after hip arthroscopy for FAI pincer and labral detachment. The trouble is, hip arthroscopy is used to address many different types of problems within the hips, with varying degrees of wear and tear and degeneration, so rarely are there two cases exactly the same.

Also I'm leaning A lot onto my good hip, think of the tower of pisa and you're there! Thats because it hurts to put my weight through my operative hip, is that normal? I was actually leaning a bit like that pre-op, unknowingly taking pressure off my damaged hip.

Time for a session on the exercise bike, I have started to lean forward a bit to keep increasing my hip range of movement (ROM) and cycle slower when I do that.


  1. It's so beautiful where you live ! I am so happy for you now that you are getting around. It's obvious you are healing and just being able to measure the distance you moved on the green is promising. To me your progress isn't slow at all !
    I sincerely wish I could answer your questions but I can't. My recovery has been so completely different from anyone I have read about and I can't even say why. Maybe it's the method used by the surgeon or the extent of the work being done ? I am getting my surgery report on Aug. 4th so I can better explain what was done, because I honestly haven't a clue other than what I saw on the disk.
    It seems to me you are getting more confident and comfortable with your new hip with the exception of the pain your feeling. Reading forums and such is a great idea, I think I linked a few on my own blog too.
    Thanks for the add on Facebook !


  2. Thanks Erin, did you note the glorious English weather! Clouds looming!
    You're recovery is amazing! My biggest "current" fear is that I'll get back to where I was pre op...but am sure its nothing more than a worry.

  3. No more comments after July 31?

  4. What a nice place you have, lots of greens and fresh air. You all need them to recover fast, which is what you are doing right now. Yes, I would have to second your opinion regarding the crutches. When people see you use one, they don't see you, but the crutch. LOL. Thanks for sharing this post anyway, but have you heard about Depuy ASR Recall? What do you think of this personally?