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:

Friday, 11 December 2009

hip arthroscopy recovery wk 23 giving up

Am canceling my hip arthroscopy to treat my second hip with FAI pincer, due Jan 29th... bizarre for me this, but I just can't find the physical and mental energy to go for it.. If I was certain of this recovery I think that would be my impetus, but thus far, recovery on the right hip is somewhat half hearted. I saw Prof Schilders on Wednesday, my "hoop" score had improved to 69 from 49 on the 'how much pain/how crap is your life' score, which is about average improvement. The problem is that I had such a low score to start with, as in 49, where most people start at 69 and go up to 89... so even statistically my hip's crap.
I explained I had somewhat lost my mojo and what was his take on postponing, would it further risk deterioration of the hip that needs the op?
His answer was if you leave it for a few yrs, that would likely be the case, but one year should be OK; and for me to consider that having the op in Jan as arranged, had its own risks, on my previously operated him. The pressure on the already operated hip to protect the newly operated hip could send that 1st recovery backwards, wonder if anyones ever gone into negative point scoring in the hoop score - 29!! Something I was aware of, but trying to ignore, as I wanted it all done and dusted!

I am annoyed with myself for chickening out, but just feel I have no reserves.. this recovery has been and is really disappointingly slow and the idea of 6 weeks no driving, whilst living in the middle of nowhere, isn't appealing, 6 -8 wks crutches and four months of not being able to pick up my one yr old Izzy - I just can't face it all again, not yet and I'm not gonna get Izzy's baby hood back, I feel robbed as it is!

This week by chance I'm getting more pain from the operated side, so I can't even rationalize with myself that I should push ahead, what for??

On the upside he re-measured my ROM with big improvements apparently, though oddly on both hips WTF?? And yay.. I finally got to see some new x-rays and comfortingly saw 'less bone', Wuhoo! ..If only my muscles and tendons, or whatever causes ongoing pain, would catch up! Still lucky me, my hips improved 20 points on the hoop score!

I'm going to shut up for fear of wingeing forever today!


  1. Sorry to hear you are having such a rough time - I really hope your other hip surgery causes you fewer problems! I was so stressed about the impending couple of months on crutches without my car, and I have such sympathy for you having to go through that :( :(

  2. Louisa I don't blame you at all, thats exactly the reason Im not even thinking about my other hip yet. You will know when the times right for you to have the next surgery, and I personally think you should give this hip more time to recover first, have a break and focus on something other than just hips ( difficult when in so much pain, I know ) for a few months then you will probably feel more emotionally ready to tackle the next round.
    Good luck,
    Kate xxx

  3. Louisa, don't be too hard on yourself :-)
    You have to be in the right place phsyically and mentally to go through with the op and having one under your belt already, you know how much energy it takes :-) I think it's a good idea that you are postponing and don't think you are chicken at all, it will give your op side plenty of time to get its ass into gear...literally lol!
    Enjoy your kids, keep improving and keep smiling!

  4. Oh friend..... take a deep breath. There is no standard for when someone is ready for #2. Listen to your body and relax a bit. You are improving; don't judge your body's time frame. Take as long as you need. Also, from experience....NO two hip surgeries (even on your own body) are the same. Don't anticipate your next hip to be the same as the last one. Mine were miles apart.
    Hugs from across the Atlantic!!

  5. thanks for your support guys, not sure why I'm so disappointed with myself, as you know not really like me. I think I just wanted it over with as is daunting.
    But thank you!

  6. Louisa I think you're doing the right thing by not having the other hip done in Jan.. I am supposed to have the other one done at some point too....but it's not going to happen for a long time. I feel it would weaken the hip that is still healing and worsen it. It can always be done later. Smart girl!!! I figured out what I am doing wrong...I do well one day and do too much....then I go two steps back the following day. I am right there with you....let us both hang in there with just ONE problem for the moment! Take Care Louisa........we need your updates :-) Nancy

  7. Nancy thanks.. funny I set up a blog to help others.. Its amazing how much you guys help me though!

  8. Hi Louisa, for what it's worth I think you've made the right decision. I definitely couldn't have contemplated surgery on the 'good' side 6 months after the arthroscopy (I know we're all different etc but it is a tough, long recovery) and if your gut instinct is telling you to wait then that's got to be the right thing to do. Sometimes these hips get in the way of life and just living it so I admire your decision not to let them take over for a bit longer. Dee x

  9. Thank you Dee.. these last few days my operated side has been v unsettled so that prob does confirm my decision might be the correct one, though more by accident than design.. how are you doing?

  10. Good thanks... def on the countdown to this hip replacement as it's getting worse (or feels like it!) by the day. Argh .. roll on 27 Jan ! D x