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:

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

hip arthroscopy recovery 11 million weeks. Injection into my arrrrrrrse.

I'll keep it brief! Mainly as I am still traumatized by today and have now had 2 glasses of wine and could be forgiven for saying anything after today, except no, a blog is like a puppy, not for Xmas, but for life! Here for everyone to see, FOREVER!

Went for Ultrasound, showed something, nothing horrific, just some crappy changes, though doubt that was the technical term he used!

The surgeon again cut to the chase and recommended the litmus?? test of anesthetic and steroid injection into Hamstrings where they meet the sit bone, hmmm nice! Wide eyed I agreed.

So half an hour later, knickers around my knees, in a doughnut of a CT scanner I find myself holing onto one of the lovely nurse's hands (a bit too tight) screaming FUUUCCKK! as I have a needle drilled into each butt cheek to reach each hamstring.. Those of you who follow know I am no wuss at these painful things and I have NEVER screamed or said more than shit! OMG! That was the most painful treatment!
I feared the needle first going in, all I could think was I wish I'd dieted because a) I am covered in towels, with nothing but my newly fat ass sticking out and 2, no B) (alcohol!!) That the needle had further to travel thru the layers of chocolate blubber!
First placement of needles fine, followed by further CT to ascertain correct position and I'm not allowed to move a millimetre! Once position confirmed THEN they go in further, to where the tendon meets the bone and I went from thinking, nah this is fine, I can handle this, to FUUUUCKK!!! (childbirth flashbacks!)
Anyway, its a positive thing and all done and dusted.
I think I then had a meeting with Surgeon (but it was a post adrenaline blur) and could neither speak, nor comprehend his words at all. I suppose its one way of shutting me up!

But I walked away thinking that in summary he'd said: He's seen FAI and hamstring injuries together before. If not hamstrings then he'll keep looking. I am walking better. Suck it and see, we'll know in 4 wks if its helped. It could be like phantom limb things where your nerves are so screwed you just THINK you feel pain..... err I THINK not! Just wait and see, which is fair enough.
I do though trust this specialist,he seems different to other consultants I've seen, conscientious and genuinely after making you better. Thank the lord!
Anyways.. in summary, it hurt and we'll see..


  1. Oh my!!! That sounds horrific!!! Surgery was easier!! I hope you find refief soon!!!!!

  2. OMG I just had the Facet Injection flashback and I still am affected by that !
    My hamstring is still tight but after reading that I decided to stick with physical therapy for now. Louisa, I love you when you're drinking because I can see the humor coming out of you in this blog. I really hope you feel better though.

  3. Hey there, sorry only just replying. I think I got lost slightly in the world of hip pain. Yes im from Leeds too and had my op at Chapel Allerton under Mr McDonald. (I was not impressed with my first Dr, so asked for a second opinion and got Mr McDonald).

    Its 7 weeks tomorrow since I had my hip arthroscopy for a suspected labral tear. I say suspected as ive just been for my follow up appointment to be told by Mr McDonalds understudy that there is nothing wrong with me. And this is from a guy that when I entered the room asked me how my knee was, very reassuring lol. It ended up been a very intense conversation; nearly ending up with me walking, sorry waddling out. My main concern was why did they put me through the operation if they were not at least 80% sure there was a tear. To which I got no answer. I asked for physio, to which the reply was 'you already have been given physio' (meaning the 4 exercise’s I was given on an a4 piece of paper on the day of my op).

    I was asked if I thought the operation had worked, my reply to that was ‘but you didn’t do anything whilst you were in there so how has it worked’. I was asked this question three times. I now really wish id have taken someone to sit in with me, I started to think I was back on the dihydrocodine again and what I was going through wasn’t exactly real. It was a nightmare. I quickly left been given no direction at all and feeling very let down. Everything I asked he sort of answered and then contradicted later himself later in the conversation. I have a physical job working in a leisure centre, he told me to change my job. Okay fair enough but I don’t know what’s wrong with me to know what I should/shouldn’t be doing. And the best part was he only examined my good hip. :-s

    After that little ordeal I took myself to my GP to find she had gone on maternity leave ;-). She was really good too, understood everything ive been going through because she actually took time to listen to me.

    I saw the locom Dr and my quite confident self turned into a blubbering mess 5 mins into the conversation. I maybe over loaded the Dr with too much information but to get a reply back of ‘well what would you like me to do’ wasn’t what I was expecting. I have my Brownies first aid badge but you would have though 9-10 years of medical school may have given her a little more heads up than me on what could be done.

    I asked for physio, to which there is a 12-16 week waiting list. Then I asked to see a neurologist, to see if there is a link with the migraines I suffer with or may be nerve pain. This she has granted. And just to top my week off I was told if I wanted to chat any more to the doctor id have to make another appointment as id been in there 20 mins and she had other patients to see.

    If I thought about it enough I could cry, but im not letting this beat me. All I know is that I have pain in my right hip; groin and butt cheek, if it’s not stinging, it’s burning, or pins and needles, and too much pressure in the wrong place send me through the roof. I can’t sit for long or lay on my side. Part of my work I teach kids gymnastics; I can’t do that anymore and miss it dreadfully.

    I’ve booked back I with one of the other doctors in the practice, see what they have to say. I just want some one to speak common sense to me.Your body hurts for a reason. To tell you something isn’t right. I’m a believer that if there isn’t a diagnosis, then there can’t be treated. Id be happy to be told ive got arthritis lol at least there would be a diagnosis and I could do something about it.

  4. Noel and Erin thanks and I must not drink wine before blogging!

    Lisa Marie, I know its a lot, but can you afford about £150 to go see Shilders at the Yorkshire Clinc in Bingley? Annoyingly he's just stopped doing NHS? But if you can get hold of your Xray/MRI/A scan he will give you a no bullshit proper diagnosis and know who in the NHS you would be safe to see. Theres only a handful of specialists in the UK who know what they're doing and he's at the top of the list. Everyone else is practicing the op.
    How you've been treated is disgusting, but NOT surprising. I've been there and its so distressing.
    If you like we could meet up for a coffee sometime? I live in Bramhope, but am from Roundhay/Shadwell so often I'm in that neck of the woods? Just let me know. I'm on facebook if you are, for easier communication.
    Keep your chin up, its not you, its the incompetents around you!

  5. I secind see Schilders-but Louisa what do you mean he has stopped NHS-I have an appointment with him in October!!

    Lol to the description of the injection-I have residual inflammation in my hamstrings,where they meet the pelvis, and rectus femoris tendon but after your post I think I might pass at the offer of a steroid injection!!
    Hope it helps
    Kate xx

  6. OOh sorry Kate, don't what to put anyone off. Lets put it this way if it works I'd do it again, though take a chill pill, because I came VERY close to losing it.
    A friend of mine (newby friend, lives in Leeds near me) wanted to see him NHS but was told by his sec he's closed his books, thats all I know..could it mean to new patients??
    Anyhow she saw him privately yesterday, bizarrely I bumped into her! ..her diagnosis at long last is full on dysplasia, he's referring her to someone in London...my guess is its your specialist! I've recommended she contact you thru your blog..she's lovely but its a lot for her to take on, esp after been messed about by other specialists. so I thought chatting to you coming out the other side would really help!
    Right I'm off for a read, to see how everyone's doing. Vanessa from understanding FAI had her op today.

  7. PS like the fanatic I have become I counted 525 stairs I climbed today, doing 35 sets of 15 stairs to go anywhere. I think that and standing could have me overdoing it!??? Is that normal 525, anyone else been as obsessive compulsive?

  8. Lol! Never counted but it sounds a hell of a lot. Hope your friend gets in touch, it is all well worth it in the end!
    Kate x

  9. Your blog made me laugh out loud. Sorry to have laughed at your pain but you were quite descriptive and haven't we all been there at some time???? Mine was during my very first arthrogram where the med students who were inserting the needle kept hitting my hip bone. I grabbed one by the arm and told him that if he did it again, I would punch the shit out of him. Apparently he thought I meant it (I did) and he went and got the head of radiology who put the needle right into the socket. You soon realize that medical treatments are good guesses and no so scientific. Hang in there!!! Hope this helps.

  10. Thanks April! I think we're all becoming professional patients aren't we ..makes you a tad less tolerant!

  11. These injections are a freaking nightmare!!! uggh, never had that one, hope I never do. I'm reading these comments and I can't believe your surgeons aren't giving you more physio. I had an appt the day after surgery and am going back twice a week for like 6 months!!! I was told it was the most important part of recovery. Dr. Byrd has an amazing sports medicine therapy facility in his office with a pool, machines & the whole bit!!
    I'm sorry for those who are having trouble getting answers. I cannot imagine how disheartening that must be. Hope you all find the answers you need. Dr. who won't listen are asses. I feel so so lucky that I haven't had to deal with that this time. I've been through it, but luckily not with the hip.
    best wishes!!!