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, 19 February 2010

7 months post hip op and getting better!!!

I have been delaying writing this as I think I am FINALLY!!!!!! starting to improve, quite a bit - no idea why, not much different, unless the thought of not having to climb so many stairs, because of the immanent house move counts??!

I have continued to do the water exercises and included some of the Griffin video stretches from the last blog post, esp the illiac psoas stretch.. also doing a bit of the hip hiking exercise.
I saw a reiki healer twice and a chiropractor twice also, but doubt this can be the big change, as my left hip (good hip) is going down sadly.
I think I may just have needed more time post surgery, 7 months to be precise! 4 months over what I was told to expect! Initially I was told 3 months to recovery, when that didn't happen, I was told 6 months to recovery! ..and at 6 months I was told "well in some cases it can be a year or more"... The problem with that approach is when you're not better at 3 months you think "what the hell is wrong with me?" and then at 6 months when they start saying "maybe a year or so", you're thinking I don't believe you, I don't think I'll ever get better and you're moving the goal posts to try shut me up!

Expectation management for this op is a bit crap. I'm not an 18 year old professional footballer, so odds on I won't respond like one. I'm a middle-aged (ouch!), over tired, sugar loving Mum of two physically demanding very young children/baby.. so I can't spend hours and hours laying about, then training, then been psysio'd, massaged and drinking protein shakes! My hips aren't worth 25 gazillion pounds to a premiere league football manager!
My hips have to keep going or the family falls to pieces, I'd like to think I'm flattering myself, but I'm not.. My hubby runs a busy company, I have a four year old and a one year old, add crutches into the mix and its chaos!

I hope I am managing to express how myself and many other hip bloggers I read about are so hard on themselves and push themselves fiercely in rehab and physio and perhaps, partly because our recovery expectations are set unrealisically high.
Anyhow, that gripe over, or more to the point struggling recoverees hope that gives you hope!
So, yes I can sit for waaayyy longer, been driving about, eating meals in restaurants and just been to the cinema with my 4 year old and nothing horrific has yet happened! I notice also I can walk faster without groin pain, I caught myself overtaking someone on the path to school and suddenly though "woohoo get me!!"

The only bad thing that currently remains is my persistent pain in my bum when I lay flat on my back and its almost instant? But for now, with so much on, I have delayed the MRI neurography and consequential medical stress, for the burying my head in the sand approach! Its almost certainly nerve irritation caused by either piriformis or hip joint irritation.. as it stands I'm happy to delay further tests until after we have moved house in April-ish, and hoping that by then this improving malarky takes away the need!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

FAI hip arthroscopy rehab exercises, video links

I have discovered an AMAZING website dedicated to post FAI hip arthroscopy recoveries. It is by one of the leading experts in the UK Professor Griffin. The fab thing is there's a flash video showing you every exercise repeatedly, so you can do some of the exercises whilst watching your computer and there less margin for error.
Also it shows exercises in the 1 - 4 stages of recovery, so it can be your best friend post op! Anyhow I think its fab and here is the link:


I am sure this will be a huge help for many of you, esp those in the UK with little post operative support centres of excellence. Luckily if you're anywhere near Leeds in the UK there is a physiotherapy centre called Physiocure with a strong hip rehabilitation programme for hip arthroscopy and FAI patients pre and post op. There are water exercise programmes and classes, available for all recovery and maintenance levels, as well as hip physiotherapy and specially designed hip recovery pilates sessions to re-activated the core. Find physiocure at: