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, 25 August 2009

hip arthroscopy rehab 6 and1/2wks.. The culprit is living!

Well on Sunday night I took all the big guns that I took post hip arthroscopy to sleep. Diclofenac and co-codamol and after days and days I had pretty much a pain free sleep.

But again, a day later it is starting to flare up... and here's what I did yesterday after 4 days of stopping exercise and pretty much stopping all activity/living.

I sat upright for all 3 meals (all quick meals) I drove a half hour round trip for some minor errands (buying stamps, posting letters and then culminating with the most exciting part of the day getting petrol!!

4 hours later I got to go out again, 10 min round trip to doctors for more medication. I had to wait in the doctors for a long time, 1st 10 mins sitting, next 20 mins I found a bench to lay on.

I held Isabella for 30 seconds whilst standing (she was passed to me and taken off me, so no bending, twisting, lifting).

I also got back on the stationary bike for the 1st time in 4 days and did a half hour cycle, back down to NO resistance.(I don't suspect the bike is antagonizing the pain, as I have been able to cycle from day 2 post hip arthroscopy for FAI.)

Compared to last 4 days, yesterday was super active. I continued to make a point of not standing around the house and in the main I laid down a lot!

I iced once in the morning and once later, though the ice pack hadn't totally frozen again by the evening. I also started taking bromelain, an extract of pineapple said to be great for reducing inflammation post surgery and is widely recognized and used in Germany since 1993 for that purpose, after successful small study results. Worth a try.

Went to bed took the big guns again, diclofenac and co codamol and guess what... Yes you got it, MORE pain and LESS sleep and possibly more hip irritation.

The only variable is LOW, LOW, LOW levels of activity... I need to find a way to function as a mother of two soon. I am currently working at 5% capacity and everyone around me is cracking under the pressure of my inactivity. More to the point though, this isn't the estimated level of activity and ability expected at this stage of recovery by far. I'm supposed to be speed walking!

SO tomorrow I want to know why, specifics, not woolly "we'll have to wait and see" stuff. I NEED to know what's going wrong? How to get out of it? Can I get out of it? What grade was the arthritis found? How sure is he there is no retroversion? Or any other deformity? X-rays to show that the impingement has gone and from different angles? I NEED to KNOW the impingement has gone. Steroid injections a possibility? If anyone else can think of anything I should ask, please feel free to suggest.. Not looking forward to going, as its probably an hours round trip and I hope I get some answers for the 'physical' cost of traveling!

I'm also still limping, still on crutches on stairs and out of the house, but I can imagine that slowly sorting itself out and it doesn't seem unusual.


  1. You go girl!!! I think those questions are exactly what you need to know, he is good at fudging so don't let him put you off! Can't wait to see what he says.
    Re the diclo- I think you need to take it three times a day for several days to really control the inflammation, but thats just my thoughts.
    Also you could ask him what other options do you have-is resurfacing a possibility if you are interested(at this moment I wish I had taken that option)and how long would you need to wait if you were referred( if he is saying give it 6months, thats only 4 months away, if replacement has a 3 month waiting list plus waiting to see a consultant why not refer you now-you can always back out if things improve in the meantime. Just a suggestion to think about. I hope you have someone with you, and don't let him fob you off.
    Good luck, I will be thinking about you tomorrow,
    Kate xx

  2. Thanks Kate,
    I just need to know. If its inflammation that's one thing, although I need to know why and why now. If its something more serious, God forbid, I also need to know.. and I can't guess and I don't want Schilders to speculate thats all, I need some facts, I'm a facts person.

  3. Kate just re reading why do you wish resurfaced? Think I'd go total hip replacement and have done with if me, bored of the whole bloody thing, you must be going insane, its not like you get the time back is it!

  4. I would have had the resurfacing because it is still a replacement but better for active people, which I am ( or would be if I got the chance,lol).Also if you need a revision, it is then like a first time THR because you keep more of your own bone with the resurfacing. If I had had that I would be back at work now and out of pain. That said, I am sure in the long run I will be happy with the PAO just being a bit impatient at the mo.

  5. No I'm with you right now I'd have the same... You must be a saint!

  6. HI Louisa,

    I'm so sorry to hear about the pain your going through. It must be really difficult. I'm glad you can still be active and get stuff done. I just wanted to let you know that Wellsphere's HealthBlogger Network has many people who are in a similar situation as you are. If you would like to share your experience and help others with advice or encouragement, I would encourage you to take a look at http://www.wellsphere.com/health-blogger, and to consider applying to join the HealthBlogger Network.

    If you need any assistance, please feel free to email me at hua [at] wellsphere [dot] com.

    Best regards,
    Director of Blogger Networks

  7. Hi Louisa,

    I'm now 9 months post-op from a labral debridement and I can't sit for more than about half an hour. I can run, swim and cycle, but still can't sit for long periods. I totally empathise with you - it makes any sort of desk job completely miserable. I think I may have figured out what my problem is at least - muscle spasms and cramping in the TFL and down the side of my thigh. It doesn't feel like cramps per se, just severe ache, which made me feel like the surgery hadn't worked for ages, but I think its a matter of getting everything in balance again. I guess if you think about what they have to do in the surgery it makes sense, because they have to put enough traction on your hip to get the instruments in there, which really disrupts all the muscles and ligaments that keep the head of your femur in the hip socket. Extreme I know, but I took half a valium tablet a night ago and while I felt really groggy the next day, the pain in my hip was so much less. This suggests to me that the problem was muscular rather than the joint.

    I'm not keen on taking valium regularly at all, but it has at least let me know what is the source of the pain. I wish I had tried it sooner! Good luck with the rest of your recovery :)

  8. I honestly just don't know what to say right now to you Louisa. I can't relate to the pain and wish there was something I could do to help you. It so sad to me that you feel this way. I am really glad that you have decided to demand answers from your doctor other than to wait and see. You shouldn't be feeling like this ! I seriously wish I could see the difference in how the doctors did our surgeries and we could get a better idea of how to possibly compare them.
    As you know I have been extremely active on my hip and have only felt a couple of days where there was slight pain, something that sticks with me every time I read your blog. I can't relate in any way and it hurts me, I just want to jump on a plane and help you with the baby lol.
    Let us know how it goes with the doctor today, I am sure others are just as curious as I am.