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:

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Hip Arthropscopy FAI rehab 5 wks post op

Recovery from hip arthroscopy for FAI is going steadily, with some glitches, but ultimately I think I'm SLOWLY climbing the hill of recovery. I am able to do tons more this weekend. I have cooked Sunday lunch, cleaned, done laundry, been out to shops, been out for a meal, played with the kids. All of this I do with mindful movement and rest when too tired and if I want to walk outside of the house, then I take one crutch, as soon as I do more than potter about, I do still limp.

I am still suffering night pain which I find distressing, so I have gone back to one night time diclofenac and ice before bed. I suspect its the increase in activity and I suspect my muscles are playing catch up with my bones and still are using old patterns of movement. I think my piriformis has been over active for years and is having trouble backing off and taking a back seat in supporting my hip.

I also have to remind myself its still early days if you look at the big picture... I'm not saying I'm without fear, I do have my "my God what if this hasn't worked??" moments, but I'm really trying to put doubts to the back of my mind.
I can say my shiny, new hip really feels like it glides now when I bring my knee to my chest, as opposed to a deep pain and feeling like a tight bands pulling the opposite direction. I can only think its been like this as long as I can remember, as that smooth action feels entirely alien to me.
As my Gran used to say, just keep on plodding, its the plodders that get there!


  1. You sound as if things are really improving!
    You will still have days to come where you feel as if you have taken a backwards step but you will get over them and they will become less and less. As long as the general trend is that of improvement, and it sounds like it is, then you are doing great!( Tip- look back to a week/fortnight ago to measure how far you have come, not on a daily basis)
    Well done!
    Kate x

  2. Kate did you still have night pain and it still hurts to sit? ..its really hard to judge, I feel I'm improving, but its hard to say until totally recovered from the op and then you can measure pre and post op. Don't you wish you just woke up from the op and though "wow that feels better! I think I almost will with my left side as it doesn't have the same long history of pain, just 6 months not six years..

  3. Hi I was very pleased to find your blog. I have had a hip arthroscopy just over 3 weeks ago and was searching the internet to find what is normal in the recovery process. Reading about your progress and experience was very helpful. You sound like you are doing fantastic, good luck with the rest of your recovery.

  4. I went back in my blog to see where I was at 5 weeks and you caught right up to me ! I still have some very slight pain when I am laying on that hip though and sitting can be a little rough for long periods.
    I can tell you I am so glad that I kept the blog. It helped me watch my progress and it was something more tangible to look at instead of trying to just remember ... that and I have really been in touch now with some absolutely wonderful people.
    Welcome to the club Claire ! If you like you can visit mine as well. I have some links Like Louisa that direct you to plenty more.


  5. Hi Claire,
    Nice to hear from another fellow hippy, its a hard op to recover from and to know what to expect as there are so few of us (though defo a growing population!). What did you have treated?

    Hi Erin you're right a blog is handy to look back on and Kate is bang on to lokk back week by week, not day by day.
    The things that concern me at the mo are I still have a slight limp when walking distance, did you Erin? Pain sitting and sleeping that only tablets or heat fix, it was that way pre op though and thats what scares me! I'm not sure if that bit should be gone just yet??

  6. I had an injury a few years ago and tore the hip cartilage. It was catching all the time and causing lots of pain. I couldnt carry on with the pain so I had the op 4 weeks ago. When the went in they found bone damage too so its been shaved and repaired. Not sure exactly what they have done as when the surgeon explain after the op I was very sleepy. I see him in 2 weeks time so he will explain then. I have 6 weeks on crutches too. 4 weeks down, 2 to go. Im doing well and not using them in the house, just when Im out. My main complaint is tiredness. Im so tired in the afternoons......is this part of the process or am I becoming lazy?? This is a long old healing process, but reading your blog helped! Thanks! xx

  7. Hi Debbie, found you... yes first 2 weeks and defo first week totally exhausted.