I'll explain the questions I asked and the answers I heard, by that I mean I am not quoting by any stretch, its my understanding of his replies..which aren't always super clear!
Q: I have the same pain as before the hip arthroscopy, but worse, why?
A: You had chronic, misdiagnosed, pain for 6 yrs, My, surgeon's, personal research on patients over the years show that if the patient had a very bad pain and lifestyle score before surgery, it takes longer to get better. Someone in less pain, or for a shorter period, usually improves immediately from operation, be doing well at 2 months, to max improvement at 6 months. However someone like me will struggle to attain good results by 2 months and in fact may get worse by 2 months, but USUALLY the 2 groups of people meet at 6 months, at the same level of improvement.
Q: How often do they 'not' get better if they haven't got arthritis or another deformity.
A: Never happened.
Q: What grade of arthritis do I have now.
A: None, you just had the wave sign, the beginning of arthritis and that's fixed now.
Q: Where there any complications during surgery?
A: Absolutely non, your surgery went just as I hoped, I was very happy with the result.
Q: What complications could cause residual pain for me?
A: Possibly inflammation within the hip capsule
Surgeon then asked my when my pain level started to increase and I said when I came off crutches and apparently this isn't too unusual, I think I am to pace myself. He did say though, to use ice and anti inflamatries and to stay active, whilst pacing myself. Inactivity is bad.
He also asked about my fall. I demonstrated (Aly McBeal moment), I think we concluded it may not be that significant, but that a further MRA at this stage post op would not be clear enough to identify any problems. I agreed not wanting to further aggravate my hip at this stage.
Q: I asked about my psoas possibly causing further impingement?
A: He concluded that as it had discontinued snapping over 50 times a day and was now only snapping once or twice it was unlikely to still be a problem.. He went on further to explain psoas impingement on a pincer impingement, but I broke the golden rule of journalism and starting thinking about the next question (not that this is an interview, just old habits die hard!), I was anxious to get through all the questions and having concluded it was no longer an issue, I wanted to line up my next Q.
Q: What is the possibility I could have retroversion, or some such thing to require further open surgery?
A: I HEARD: not a problem for you, everyone that has pincer has some level of retroversion, then he waved his arms in the air demonstration imaginary hip sockets at different angles and I think I heard blah blah retroversion blah..pincer; he was explaining but my thoughts had stalled at everyone with pincer has some level of retroversion? ...and I was thinking but it does cause some people to have bigger ops, does he just mean just I won't need a further op? ..And blah blah blah?
Q: I asked about the pointy bits in my pelvis that stick out on x-ray.
A: I HEARD Blah blah, everyone like you has them, a 'blah angle'..I was just still amazed he understood my really bad diagram I drew to demonstrate my question!
Q: Does it take a while for your muscles and tendons to catch up?
Q: Can I have an x-ray to show all the impingement has gone?
A: No its not necessary, the way I work is that I test and retest your impingement in surgery until its perfect, with the angles on x-ray you might not even see the improvement. (Still really wanted an x-ray, but I wanted a steroid more and that was my next question and I didn't fancy my chances of getting both!)
Q: My left hip, my good hip is really going downhill, can I have a steroid, because I need it to support my other hip? That's why couldn't go onto one crutch as one crutch is held in the opposite arm and has you lean a little on the opposite leg, causing further pain in that hip for me.
A: Yes no problem, now?
He then tested my mechanics and was quite happy I could get my leg close up to my chest. I described the sitting pain I get that travels down my leg, a lot into my calf and occasionally toes (I blame piriformis and then it pressing on sciatic nerve, though feels like pain on sit bone)
The surgeon pressed a few spots around my sit bone and queried hamstring tendinitis where the tendon meets the bone. Additional pain source, compensatory of my hip I think. He said we could follow up that query after my holiday with an MRI (Oh NO!!!) of some sort.
I went off for lunch in a trendy bar in Shipley (ringing bupa to quickly sort out the finance and authorization) and then came back for my steroid injection.
The worst part,back in hospital, was getting locked in the loo, prior to steroid injection!
I fiddled with the door a while, was a bit stiff and in the end thought wasn't locked, so thought I better pee fast! Then, when I went to open the door it was LOCKED and would not unlock (I can't begin to tell you how claustrophobic I am, hence MRI phobia!) I hammered on the door yelling 'Help I'm locked in the loo!!' Some weird calm descended and I thought 'Yes I knew this would happen one day! Confirming my paranoia! 'I've been rehearsing for it ALL my life, stay calm'
The voices on the other side of the door said "where's the lock pointing?" I thought, breath...calm.. "nine O'clock." I said urgently, thinking wow I sound like I know what I'm talking about, like Keiffer Sutherland in a crisis, in 24!
"Okay, the voice came back, turn it the other way" I thought I've gotta get this right "which way?" I shouted back.. "Err anti clockwise or clockwise?" then voice came back again "anti clockwise." I turned it, as hard as I could, it jammed for a few moments then released and flew of of the door, straight into my nurse saviors!
"That's never happened before!" they said. I retorted suspiciously, with narrowing eyes "And yet you knew what to tell me to do!?" The girl said 'I was just guessing and hoping!' ..I nearly threw up, but opted for laughing!
By comparison the steroid injection was a breeze! No, truly I was still a big scaredy cat,because I just am, but it only was as bad as a blood test, just more intimidating. Don't ever fear a hip injection, the nerves are too dull, its not like drilling teeth, there are no sudden shocks, at worst a dull ache that you can't quite pinpoint. I've had three now, all the same.
The only thing that has freaked me out was it gave me no pain relief I think! I still had the pain down my leg part, which shocked me and made me also think more seriously about what he was saying about hamstring tendinitis ontop of FAI and labral detachment. I think I may have a pain of 2 parts, hip/groin/sacro type pain, but the bit that travels down my leg maybe part muscular, perhaps in its way trying to protect the hip? Sounds a nice, neat theory, time will tell..
A long road still to travel I think, still chasing the end of that rainbow!