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:

Saturday, 11 July 2009

FAI hip surgery.

FAI hip surgery, Hip Arthroscopy to end 6 years of FAI hip pain! So I had my hip surgery. Having a hip arthroscopy for FAI hip impingement and a labral tear felt very scary, but then this was my first experience of surgery, 'Yikes' as Scooby doo would say!!!! I'm still trembling 24 hrs after the hip arthroscopy, despite all surgery going well.
I arrived at 7am for my hip arthroscopy at the Capio Clinic Bingly, expecting to be in theatre by 8am, with 7am pre-med chill pill safely on board, for a one and a half hour op... err no! ...not allowed a pre-med and in retrospect I am amazed I held it together... had to wait until 8.45am before getting to theatre (45 mins extra is a long time without diazapam when you're terrified of surgery!!)
The anethetist informed me my op would be considerably longer than 1 hour 40 mins. Professor Shilders also visits pre-op to explain the hip arthroscopy procedure once again and to answer any questions. The shocker for me was to learn that my hip FAI pincer is in the top 5% of crapness, ie it doesn't get much worse. The norm is a 37 degree angle and mine is 58 degrees. I'd originally thought 50 degrees, but looks like 58 degree on closer scrutiny. Professor Shilders explains that this may mean he may not be able to distract (dislocate) my hip enough to access the joint the normal way and blah blah blah I've disappeared inside my own head with an attack of the OMG's!

I ask the surgeon and my anethetist all the obviously irritating questions, 'Will I die? Will I wake up mid op? Will I feel sick? Will I feel confused? Will I know who I am?" ..And to Professor Shilders 'please Can you keep the labrum? what if you can't keep the labrum? What if you get in there and there's no pincer impingement?' Hmm he raises an eyebrow.. (I suppose it is kind of conclusive if its one of the worst 5% of cases!) and most stupidly I ask 'is he sure my x-ray was the right way around, could he have my hips the wrong way around?' So kindly he patiently explains that 'that scenario' is very unlikely and the right hip is marked rather obviously with an 'R' and the left with an 'L'! I apologize..its nerves!

In theatre with the anethetist, I of course assert he uses my one and only available vain in my arm, he looks at my hand, pats it, takes the needle and gets a bullseye, with a 'what do you know!' look in his eyes. Still he'll never knock me out, never can with sedation.. why is anesthetic going to be any different?
"You going yet? He asks..."Nope, I'm fine.. ooh thats a funny taste in my mouth?"
"Now?" he asks... no, I just feel dizzz.." ZZZZZZZZZZZ BANG OUT!

The next thing is someone saying Louisa? Louisa? and I'm thinking go away this is a great sleep... I wake feeling a little sickly and thats dealt with immediately, a little cold and shivery and a warm cellular blanket appears. A little discomfort and its dealt with. Great I'm not confused and I'm not vomiting and perhaps sadly I still know just who I am!!
I see Professor Schilders and call out. He tells me all went very well. He was able to repair the tear, which is wonderful news. I was convinced it would be shreded after 6 years misdiagnosis, but no he was able to re-anchour it and the 2nd piece of great news is that there was hardly any arthritis, which can be like the glass ceiling to recovery. So I smile full of greatfulness and drift back with the fairies relieved and content.

The next time I wake up I am an NUTS... I wake up tearful, stressed and angry, all three emotions are on rotation, my 3 new alter egos taking turns to play centre stage. I go from asking one nurse if I can hold her hand for comfort, to begging another nurse to allow me to go home, to saying 'Oh for God's sake and just leave me alone' when some poor nurse comes to check that I'm ok.
My heart rate will not return below 100 beats per minute and I am wee-ing literally every half hour into a bedpan....these are the things that 'never' worried my because I didn't know they exsisted! And all the things I did worry happening in surgery, didn't happen!

The anesthetic makes me crazy and shakey. The morphine makes me itchy and feel like I forget to breath when I'm falling asleep. And I had 2 litres of water pumped through my system during the op, another litre in recovery and another litre in my room, plus on been told I might be 'dehydrated' due to surgery I drank another litre of water, 3 cups of tea and 3 mugs of hot milk!!! I think I almost drown, no seriously aren't there safe amounts to drink? The duty doctors solution to my pounding heart was yet more water when he couldn't find an obvious reason for my raised beat!! I said no way! Anyway the upshot is 35 - 40 wee's in 12 hours. I am mostly traumatized by the whole water/wee thing. Couldn't sleep for weeing and anesthetic and morphine shakes and my heart was pounding like a wild man!

Pain wize I am been given regular pain pills to keep any pain at bay. But during the whole process I have felt, if anything, mild to moderate discomfort and have not been in any any pain as yet!

The next morning the physio arrived with crutches, partial weight bearing for 1 month bacause of the bone work - I will go insane! It feels surprisingly hard to use crutches, but in fairness its early days! It also makes you feel really really OLD!

So this is where I am at, just been home a few hours. Must dash, gotta crutch my way to the loo for yet another wee!!!

1 comment:

  1. congrats!!! Sounds very successful! I will be sending happy healing thoughts your way!!!

    Fellow Pre-Op patient in Colorado...Noell