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, 1 November 2009

hip arthroscopy recovery hard work beginning to be rewarded

Been pretty good, though even at 16 weeks I am now rehabbing harder than ever, doing a hour in the pool 5 to 6 days a week. I simply walk forwards, backward and sideways. Then do some specific exercises to improve glutes, quads, ab and adductors strength and hammy stretches... and towards the end of the hour I swim, mainly flutter kick and a bit of breaststroke.
At the end of the hour I spend 10 minutes in the jacuzzi heating and loosening up my muscles and aiming the water jets to massage my hip arthroscopy incision sites. But I have to say I am loving it!.
I'm nervous about this week as I will start properly looking after Izzy, my imobile as yet 25lb one year old! I'm not confident of my ability as carrying her on stairs is REALLY hard and I live in a townhouse, but my help has had enough, in fairness its been four months..so I'm just hoping its not too much for my hip. I'd stick her in nursery full time but fear swine flu more! She'll be doing nursery just 3 afternoons a week. In truth I have no idea what the reality will be, I will not know what if anything I am able to do until the end of this week..
I do think this though, without kids and with a little lifting avoidance, I think I would be on the mend..I DO feel improvement. On down days I crash in mood, but I think I am now seeing more good days than bad.


  1. Hi Louisa!!! Love the comment you left about the Beyoce ass...hysterical!! Ok, so to tell if youre using your glute...push your finger into your glute medius and shift your weight to the operated leg and you can feel it is stays activated or not. I also use a biofeedback meter at PT. They attach an electrode to my glute and when I contract my glute the meter goes off with sounds and lights. It teaches your brain thru visualization...seeing the light come on when you fire your glute properly.
    Are you in the water everyday? Wow. I need to work on that. Do you have tightness in your hip flexors still?

  2. OOh Thanks, I'll defo ask my PT about that, not sure if I could specifically find my glute med to know! Only just getting to know my bum and in fairness its not exactly in front of me or anything!
    I think I get tightness in some glutey?? muscles and onto hip side when I do something (usually lifting or sitting) but heat patch it away quite effectively.
    Getting less flare ups. I know my piriformis and general glutes usually were all spasmed and trigger pointy but at my last PT sesh, they were relaxed which apparently meant progress.
    I think all sorts of changes can occur sub-clinically, let alone when you become symptomatic and I guess it'll take a while for muscles to start working effectively again? I hope they defo will!?

  3. NO BREASTSTROKE KICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BIG NONO!!! :)

  4. Really I was told OK?? Is that forever? Did he say why?

  5. But surely every case is different - so if *your* PT says it is ok, then it must be, right? I was told 4-6wks before I'd be allowed external rotation etc.

  6. I don't even know what external rotation is! Its diff rules for diff countries I'm sure and Hi Briony, Where are you at on this long torturous process?
    My golden rule was cycle from day 2 post op for 2 mnonths, I did but it aggitated the other hip so I found that good and bad and no contact or impact sports, as if!!

  7. External rotation = turnout. If you were to stand up with both feet pointing forward, you could rotate your hips either internally (toes together, heels apart) or externally (heels together, toes apart). To do breaststroke, you have to rotate your hips externally, which isn't allowed in early recovery.

    I'm going in for labral repair and FAI on 4 December - both hips at once. I'm an ice skater, which requires repetitive external rotation, and my surgeon tells me 3mos until I'm allowed back on the ice. Every surgeon has different ideas though - even my surgeon has changed his mind more than once about my recovery (wheelchair vs crutches, length of time off-ice etc), and the hip surgeon who my mum works for is totally different again.

  8. Very true Briony. Different guidelines for different folks. Louisa... I was told very strongly that the only kick I could do was flutter kick. Its written in my rehab binder NO BREAST STROKE KICK. Its the rotational force of the kick thats a problem for me, not external rotation. I don't have external rotation restrictions. Every surgeon/surgery is different.. I shouldn't tell you what to do!!! Listen to your team of professionals!

  9. Interseting thou Noel as I used to have great force kicking and I'm not sure if I instinctively guard, but that force has gone. Are you allowed after rehab recovery to do it. I'd miss it, but after the limitations of last few yrs its noooo biggie.
    Briony, I'm fallowing a skater called Terri blog is hipskate if you see blogs i'm following. She had POA, but still interesting for you as she describes her journey back onto the ice too, which might help you.
    PS I'd LOVE to have had both done, though as one took 3 and half hours might've been too much!
    4th dec, not long to go. Vanessa at understandingFAI does a good list on what you'll need, although 2 hips at once, but harder! Get satin pjs though so you can easily slide and move about in bed!

  10. I used to follow Terri's skating blog, but her hip blog is invitation-only, so unfortunately I can't see it. And yes, slidey PJs sound like a must-have!

    As far as I am aware, mine aren't too severe - but I am still dreading waking up to find they have only done the one side. Don't think my SI joint can take any more lopsidedness. Fingers crossed...

  11. I thought Schilders always said breast stroke was a big no-no. Saying that I have done it post PAO with no problems, but post scope even at 8 months I struggled. I would be really careful if I were you, unless he has said you are ok, physios don't always know the surgeons full protoco;.
    Glad to hear you are progressing tho, its starting to sound hopeful.
    Good luck with the childcare,
    Kate xx

  12. Good luck Briony, you'll most likely wake up relieved! Keep us posted!!
    Hi Kate, For some reason he was totally ok with me doing breaststroke after 3 month app. Think might double check with his sec that I wasn't imagining it. In fairness I probably only do 2 lengths breast stroke everyday. The hour is more specific exercises, but you got me wondering now!
    How are you this week? ..and did you ever hear from Nicky from Leeds, I do hope so?

  13. Hey Louisa,
    Hang in there!!! If you're 3 months post-op breast stroke might be ok, I'm not that far to say. I couldn't do it before, so that will be interesting to see if I can now!

    Can you start encouraging Izzy to crawl up & down the steps? That's what I had to do. It was a battle at first, but worth it in the end. My youngest (almost 2) is walking up & down now and even climbs into the carseat on his own. I know having to pick up a baby all the time is hell on your hips. But you'll make it. Ups and downs are part of the process right? I had a good long cry last night, but feeling good today.

    Keep healing,

  14. Oh Vanessa why? I'm reading you blogs and you're doing amazingly well! Then again, it'd test the patience of a saint this slow recovery. Who has you're 2 children during the day, you're not trying to do it alone are you?

    Yes well today we've minimized stairs and she's climbed up twice and slid down once so far this morning. I did it with my son too, when I didn't know what was wrong with me. I thought Izzy at exactly 12 months, would be too young but she's doing it as from yesterday... though it does rely on her being compliant!
    Hope you soon feel bright and breezy again?