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:

Monday, 18 January 2010

6 months post hip arthroscopy she will recover she won't recover she will recover she......

As an experiment I did nothing Frid, Sat and with the exception of sitting for lunch on Sunday, nothing Sunday either... result = feel immeasurably better! ..And that is great, though I'm not sure I want to become one of those enormous people that live literally in the sofa and live on takeout, then eventually have to be removed from their house by the fire brigade, whist a reality TV show film it for one of those sad documentaries! "MAD HIP WOMAN TRAPPED IN HOUSE AFTER GOING CRAZY LAZING AND EATING HERSELF TO DEATH'
Today I had a normal day of activity looking after 1 yr old Izzy, small amount of food shopping and collecting 4 yr old son from school. Still I am careful, as in someone has to come look after Izzy whilst I do the shopping and collect Oscar from school, as I can't be lifting her in and out of cars, prams, etc without consequence that's for sure! I am currently ok. Still did some light stretches of the hip, psoas, pirifomis etc. Keeping thinking take it easy, cos inside I'm like a greyhound at the start gate.
SO we'll see can I do 2 consecutive days looking after the kids???

PS One tip I wanted to share I have discovered in my "hellish stair torturing townhouse that won't sell" that if I climb the stairs on my tip toes (or balls of feet) I can climb more consecutively.. I think it could be because it closes the gap in the hip less, not sure why, just is..but if stairs are a pain, possibly worth a try for you!

Tuesday update.
Pain started at 5am this morning in buttock and has antagonized all day. Currently wearing a heat patch. Wanted to go out with Izzy, didn't. Can't work out if its muscle pain or hip joint, or both.. hopefully neurography test will assist in that department.
I wonder if anyone else has had this at disability level for 6 years pre op? It started Sept 03 keeping me awake at night and by Feb 04 it was impossible to sit to work. Just wonder if anyone ever comes back from that, or is it too late?


  1. Louisa

    The first part of your post was so positive, its a shame for you things didn't carry on in the right direction.
    I don't know if the length of time for pre-op pain figures in the recovery-wish I knew. I am sure your pre-op fitness and strength must factor though, so it figures the longer he pain the worse that will be.
    Hope the scan shows something and you dont have to wait too long,
    Kate x

  2. Oh Louisa it's so wearing isn't it..and although you know what stops the pain - doing nothing - it's just not practical in real life. I sometimes find it hard to tell whether the pain is bone or muscle related as I think it's probably all inflamed and irritated. I think generally the muscle/soft tissue pain feels more like things are swollen and stiff whereas pain in the joint is sharper if that's any help.

    I really feel for you and I do have every confidence that you will come back from this. I think you're being so positive when I know every day feels like an enormous struggle and fingers crossed for a scan date asap and a way forward.

    Take care of you,

    D x

  3. When I think I am going to be ok I feel like I've won the lottery and when the pain comes back feel I'm left asking WHY WHY WHY?
    Surely after 6 months I wouldn't keep getting hip inflammation, causing muscle spasm, over every little chore etc. Its such a downer..

  4. Louisa

    If its any consolation ( tho its prob not,lol) but you're not alone. I felt great yesterday after a couple of days off work so decided to clear my wardrobe out this morning, nothing too strenuous, and am back being as sore as anything now.

    I know Schilders is excellent and you have every faih in him, but have you thought of getting a second opinion. I would recommend Mr Witt in London if Schilders draws a blank at any stage after your scan, especially as Witt does scopes, open FAI, and THRs as opposed to just the scopes. Maybe a fresh pair of eyes might see something? Just a thought.
    Kate x

  5. I am fast coming to that thought but ugh the exhaustion of it all and the never endingness and uncertainty of whether its fixed.. I tell you if I thought it'd work I'd go Dee's way to THR now and have done with it.. so I wouldn't be able to run, jump, jog! But I can't now and if i could sit, stand and walk without pain - Oh the joy!!! I think I am overwhelmed and I feel so invested and have worked so hard for almost nothing.. and my kids have lost calm rational Mum and we have to sell our house! Mentally maxed out, but thanks because your supposrt means a lot. I've heard of Villiars or someone in London and Griffin from Southhampton in the paper recently.
    I think Shilders is really good, just I'm not better and I think a CT scan might help but he thinks they're pointless as they can show impingement that doesn't affect you... but then most docs do use it as 3D guide.. Did yours? And short of opening me up again, what do I do? arrrrrggghhghghghghghgh! Strssed from Yorkshire!

    PS Why the hell aren't you better either?? Whats wrong with hip surgery?!

  6. hey running is overrated anyway !! unless of course it's running to be first in the queue for a fabulous handbag of course ! Kidding. Well sort of of.

    I think we all have these ups and downs (doesn't make it any easier but at least you're not alone). I agree with Kate, maybe a second opinion when you can face it. Richard Villars does have a very good reputation and so does Damien Griffin. Another London based surgeon that does FAI surgery is Marcus Bankes. Did he ever talk about open surgery to address the FAI or was that what the scope was supposed to fix ?

    Dee x

  7. Dee,as far as Im aware-correct me if I am wrong, Louisa, Schilders only does Arthroscopy(hip and shoulder) and referres on for THR, Resurfacing and PAOs dunno about impingement tho, which is why I thought Louisa might benefit from someone who specialises in just hips and does all the procedures. Yes Witt did a CT scan, but he agreed to the surgery first and used the scan for op planning.On less severe cases he insists on the CT before making a decision.

  8. I've just realized I have 'local care bupa', so I would be covered anywhere for diagnostics but to have an op elsewhere in the country I wouldn't be covered. But I'm starting to conclude 2nd opinion way to go if no satisfaction with Schilders, be a shame though. Not convinced I can cope with POA etc, think want THR, oh God I really thought I wouldn't be here, I don't think I can cope with much more with a baby and a toddler too.

  9. I think it is difficult especially when you have a good relationship with an OS and value their opinion (my situation with my OS here in Scotland). I felt very disloyal going off for a second opinion but, at the end of the day you have to do what's best for you and get to the bottom of the pain.

    You can't put a price on your health in my opinion although maybe that's just my rationale for paying £££ for my surgery !

    I know what you mean about the PAO v's THR and also how did you get here..but it is worth exploring whether open surgery for FAI would be an alternative and remember although it doesn't feel like it just now there will be a time when the hips don't rule your life.

    1. I am due to go for an Arthroscopy in March. Do you have any tips you could pass on to me please. Hopefully this will work but i am sure that i will need a PAO afterwards. I am under Mr Witt and have been told he is the best after being referred to him from Northampton. Any help and info will be much appreciated.

  10. HI Lucy,
    Plan for boredom and frustration, don't worry about pain all is managed and I will be surprised if you feel ANY. Witt has an excellant reputation, I know a number of people who have had successful surgery with him. Get a raised loo seat and shower stool, grab handles (they do temp sucker ones) maybe a grab stick, these things you can claim back under medical apparel from simply health, should you be in it. Same for crutches.
    Buy a few pairs of satin knickers or PJ bottoms makes getting around the bed easier when you're a leg down. Use a rucksack for carrying things you need around the house. Wear pockets and keep your phone on you for ease or emergencies.
    Make sure you have someone with you for the first week, simple things are very hard, but it soon gets easier. Stay on top of meds so that you have pain managed. Might be cheaper to get what you need in advance form the doctor and if you're using anti inflams make sure you get a stomach protecting drug and take that also. Celebrex is fantastic if you have stomach problems. Take all anti inflams with something like weetbix if your tummy is irritated it helps.

    Line up a physio and think about where you could do hydro it is excellant. Have the 2 best PT guides there are on this site that you can link to. Off the top of my head I can't think of anything else, but if you have any more Q's feel free to ask.ps don't expect an overnight recovery, it takes time and by time I do mean months. Wishing you much luck.