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, 6 September 2009

hip arthroscopy recovery wk8, day 2, water baby!

Hip has noticeably improved in the last week.
I took a weeks holiday, inspired by the ever helpful PA of Professor Shilders. I went to Majorca, Spain, a very quiet beach, warm waters, gentle shelving into the calm sea. Hot weather, no stairs and everything close by.

I noticed the difference and realized my own lifestyle must antagonize my hip, making recovery more challenging. I still had a couple of really down days when I got pain flares and it seemed prompted by one day climbing 2 flights of stairs (at home I do that just to get in and out of my house!) and one night sitting in a bucket style chair. I have to say now when it flares I seem to go into despair quite quickly.. I think I'm afraid I'll never escape it all! But, I've had a few good days and am feeling quite positive and I now also know there's a direct link with activity and setting back rehab. SO, yes exercise, but if you're quite an active person also, then watch out for over doing it!

I felt REAL benefit from doing aqua exercises, I think in water you can stretch and move so much more. The exercises I was doing in water felt very remedial, but I swear have helped more than I could've imagined, so now I need to join a local pool and do this more. I simply walked forwards, backwards, sideways. raised my hip/knee to 90 degrees, also did the same but reaching to touch my foot behind me. Also raising my leg 90 degrees then crossing my foot over the opposite knee.
Also tentatively swam breaststroke and it all felt good to do... though actually I must've looked v strange!!

The sand was also amazing. I lost my limp in the sand, walking felt great, real heal toe walking.
The other thing I did was my core exercises on the sunbed, esp the bridge and hip flexor exercises. And one last thing that I feel helped was standing with my legs a couple of feet apart and GENTLY rocking from one hip to the other. Normally this action should be a smooth one, but for me its smooth one way then like going over a painful hump the other way...again this got easier and easier in the sand and now much smoother. As I'm sure you can imagine I wanted to stay a month and get myself right!!

I cried in the airport as from day 2 on holiday I didn't need my crutches at all for the whole of the holiday, it was like a miracle, but on my return Majorca has a big airport and I needed my crutches again. However I have been home 2 days and not needed them so lets see how this week pans out.

I have started taking mobic or meloxicam 7.5mg per day to help with inflammation, but trust me, if I get bad the pain easily gets through, so I think I might be doing okay!

One other thing I have started doing is massaging my glutes and hips with a tennis ball against a wall, to try reduce the muscle spasms and trigger points that I am still suffering with. I don't know why still the muscle spasms on the operated side, what does it think it's protecting?? Its a bad pain muscle spasm and mine seems to irritate my sciatic nerve too, so this aspect has to go. I want to calm the whole area, joint, muscles, nerves in the hip down.

Still very much day by day small improvements, but I think and hope I'm getting passed that 'wall' that people talk of and that I'm on the up again.


  1. Thanks for the reply. Hip really good thanks, came off crutches Friday and now starting to walk without the limp. Glad to see your pain has settled a bit, holiday sounds Awesome, keep up the good work you will get there. I had the surgery down in surrey which is a good 2 hours drive from where I live so following Prof Damien Griffen protocol; I have provided the link below if you want to check it out. I’m currently seeing a physio at the capio fitwilliam in Peterborough only once every 2/3 weeks so was a bit concerned when I found out that some people have 2/3 physio sessions a week. Sorry I just got a few more Q’s below.

    Did you continue the isometric exercises whilst moving onto strengthening core?

    Do you cycle twice a day? I’m currently cycling 30 mins a day with a little resistance.

    How many reps & sets of core exercises have you been given?

    How many reps & sets of the aqua exercises are you doing?

    Sorry for all the Q’s- I know the rehab is important- its good to compare what other hip athroscopy patients are handling the rehab.


    Thanks Mick

  2. Hang in there! Pool therapy was one of the best things I did post-op to help loosen tightness. I would highly recommend you keep doing water stuff. It will make you feel much better. I am a little over 4 months post op and am still having a slight bit of adductor spasm so what you are going through seems to be very normal. I feel great though and things are really starting to even out for me so have a little patience and remember you did have hip surgery!!

  3. I am so happy you're home !!! I would have loved a holiday like yours but unfortunately that will not happen. It's hard using all my vacation time for surgeries lol.
    I was really hoping you would follow the water advice since it did help me tremendously. It's sounds like it may have been what you needed all along and certainly feels great to hear your improving.
    Welcome home ... missed ya !

  4. Will keep it brief as hurting to sit. Thanks all, dunno how good my advice is trying to keep my own head above water. Lots of pain again. I'd say you'll soon learn which part of rahad suits you, from feeling. I'd emphasis water exercise generally, bike early on and NOT overdoing it. Fuller answer with less pain. (mike will get back to you soon).

  5. Mick Hi, your answers..
    Yes continued isometric exercises up to about 4 weeks, core joined in a little at 2 wks and built.

    Cycling I tended to do 2 20 mins, shouldn've been two 45 mins but it was making my other hip really bad!
    reps 10 x 3 per day do more if I can.

    Only started Aqua last week, just spend about 20 mins x 2 per day, but that was on hol. Joining a gym end of this week and will prob do 20 - 30 once per day.

    How much are you doing. Don't push yourself though. Listen to your body.

  6. Hello, I had hip arthroscopy about four weeks ago. i'm still feeling a burning and numbness from my groin area down to my knee. Have any of you experienced this? Trying not to worry...