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, 30 September 2009

hip arthroscopy recovery 11wks 5 days reflections 2009 mum and daughter

Almost sick with excitement today as for the 1st time in 2 months I am looking after Izzy 'by myself'.. Only for the morning, then nursery. I'm hoping to gradually phase in looking after her without pushing myself and so hindering my slow hip arthroscopy recovery. I have missed her desperately and am gutted every time she holds her hands in the air to be picked up by others, because she never holds her hands up to me!
Its good that babies have such a strong survival instinct, knowing who will look after them, but the amount of times I've been desperate to say I WANT to pick you up I just CAN'T! Shes 11 months almost to the day.

This whole year has flown, in a haze of hips..1st in February Izzy's hips, when I recognized she had hip dysplasia (God knows how, but thank God either way!)
I had no idea hip problems ran in the family, I myself wasn't diagnosed with a hip problem until 2 months after Izzy, later in April, after 6 years of misdiagnosed pain.

The doctor wouldn't believe she had a hip problem and just refer her for scan. Finally I said to him that I had had almost 6 yrs of undiagnosed pain and never want her to go through anything like that! That I needed to know 100% that her hips were fine and I could only get that with a scan, that I'd pay, anything, just authorize it!! Thank God he did because he was wrong and she did have hip dysplasia on her left hip. Discovered any later and she would've needed a series of operations. I was so mad! At 4 and a half months she was put into a pavlik harness for 6 wks.
Success of a pavlik harness much depends upon catching hip dysplasia early. She fell through all the baby screening for hip dysplasia and had I not caught it she would've been picked up for it when she crawled and dragged one leg, or later walking with a limp they said. I noticed it initially because she had a leg length discrepancy and would only put weight on the longer leg and she looked a bit twisted.

After 6 weeks she had only made a one degree change and her hip angle needed to deepen by 10 degrees. They said things weren't looking good. That she may well need surgery, that the pavlik harness mainly works if put on before the baby is 6 weeks old! She had been 4 and half months old. We were horrified with surgery on the horizon for our baby!

At around this time my new physio at Physio Cure Cookridge, Leeds started saying she thought my problem pain could be coming from my hip and that it needed further investigation. After MRA and Xray I was diagnosed with hip labral tear and severe FAI pincer abnormality. But I couldn't proceed with my op, until I found out whether Izzy needed her op. Your babies come first every time!

By some miracle in the next 5 weeks of her wearing the pavlik harness Izzy's hip actually improved by the whole 9 degrees! I put it down to the fortunate timing of another growth spurt and the chance that someone somewhere was looking after us! I cried in the scan when they said she was better. I had prepared myself to have to go through the horror of hip surgery with her. I'm not a religious person particularly but I found myself doing alsorts of deals throughout her treatment, culminating with I'll have to have a hip operation instead of Izzy, weird stuff... anyhow that's exactly what happened, no sooner had she recovered, as I was been prepped for theatre!

This year had been dominated by Izzy's, then my recovery from our hip deformities. Seemed to be always trust up in harnesses, or have the clatter of crutches in the background.
So it seems somewhat ponient?? today that this'll be kind of one of the first days when I look after her, with us both (Izzy more than me) healed!

I know I am not yet fixed, its a long road ahead and I am still taking anti inflammatories, but this is a positive step forward, after what has been an 'Annis Horriblis' or whatever it was in Latin that the Queen described as a horrible year!

One thing I think is important for others is that I was told they know of no connection between hip dysplasia and Hip impingement. 'But' when Izzy was diagnosed I was also told it was congenital and had come from someone.
I find it a huge coincidence that the two conditions are opposite sides of the same coin. Hip dysplasia is under development of the hip socket. FAI, or femoral acetabular impingement is over development of the hip socket, I find it hard to believe the 2 aren't connected, esp as the haven't worked out if FAI is congenital or developmental. All I'm saying is if you have babies, get them checked by ultrasound scan. Especially, though not exclusively, if they are female.

Was ok looking after Izzy, though she's very heavy. I can hold her just standing and I can hold her and walk a little. But holding her and doing the bloody stairs just twice gave me 3 hours of pain, mainly deep ache in butt, bit thigh pain, limp flirted with returning and then pain around the hamstrings insertion into sit bones. Unsure whether it hurt my hip or hammys, but am pretty sure (cockney accent) "it was the stairs wot did it Gov!" Has calmed down now, though be interesting to see if night pain returns?! And I know if I looked after Izzy regularly, like I'm supposed to be able to, I'd be totally buggered! There goes leaving my husband then!
I'm not sure these male Docs/consultants quite get how physical it is looking after a wiggling 24-26 pounder! Dumb bells don't thrash around, I reckon they're way easier to lift than a fighting, heffer 11 month old!



  1. I loved your story. My own daughter came to me after my surgery and told me she was having pain during basketball and that she hears a pop. Panic sets in knowing our children may have inherited something from us doesn't it ? I feel guilt for something beyond my control, but I am certainly anxious to see if she is possibly following the same path my hips did.
    Relax tonight, ice the hip and have a glass a wine. You survived, as all of us mothers usually do, through a very tough but momentous day. You should be proud !

  2. Hello!
    I am currently in the process of trying to figure out a diagnosis as well.

    Just have a couple questions for you, do you mind emailing me?!

    Thanks so much.

  3. Thanks Erin, Ice hammys who knows..not me!!
    Lyndsay will do!