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, 11 July 2010

Hippy 1st anniversary! .. hmmmmm

Well provided I take it pretty easy, I am a little improved... But today I went crazy, yes totally mad and did far too much, went bungee jumping, canoeing, then horse riding and... no, wait, sorry what I mean is I pushed the boat out, one year exactly post op, by doing 2 hours weeding! Which meant by lunch time standing, walking and sitting all really ached badly, muscles totally spasming and by the evening I had to lay down! Yes I know, super sociable for a Saturday evening with guests!

Its fair to say I am disappointed with this recovery.. I have been from the very early stages when I feared it hadn't worked.. I have regained some walking and standing stamina, though I am nowhere near as ok as pre-problem! But sitting is still impossible, I can just about drive from a to b and on a good day have a quick lunch with friends, but sit for hours, not a chance, no way!

I have no idea why my recovery had been so crap, I have rehabbed like a demon and educated myself ferociously, but all to no/little avail!

Now my left hip is going down too, regularly, in fact daily; and now I haven't a leg to stand on!! However Schilders will not operate on the left until the right is more stable or remedied.

I have another MRA due in 2 days to hopefully give insight into the problem holding my right hip back from full recovery.

Will it show another labral tear? Inflammation? Scar Tissue? ..a laughing gremlin? Not a bloody clue!

I also need a CT scan as there is still a question over whether the acetabular retroversion is a pain causing factor in itself.. ie over coverage on the front is one part of the problem and apparently been treated, the other possible part of the problem is consequential under coverage at the back, dysplasia causing hip instability, and so pain.

Schilders so far has refused this aspect of investigation, his reasons for this decision evade me.. But this absolutely must be addressed and clarified.

I have decided that if Schilders will not do the bone scan, that bar Villars every other specialist I've read about does, then I will be forced to seek a second opinion.

Anyway.. Monday should throw a few more answers my way, so fingers crossed I should get the results I need to see, whatever they are!


  1. Hi Louisa,

    I am a fellow FAI sufferer with majority of pain on one hip at the back and like you pretty disabling! Had an Open debridement 14 months ago for profound CAM and Pincer impingements. All fab for 3 months and then a downward spiral. Back to using a stick full time and by April I was totally incapacitated, unable to work and had to lie on my side for days at a time. Had steroid and then arthroscopy and a bulging very inflammed labrum found which is very rare after an Open and a badly torn cartilige. Also dense adhesions - this was after being told it was unlikely to be my hip. This has all been cleared but I have no guarantees it won't come back.
    This is all so difficult isn't it - I know you have kids. We don't but we do run a small but very busy business and the difficulties we have faced and been massive. We have survived thanks to a fantastic Hubbie but the length of time we have to wait and see doesn't help - difficult for the surgeon too but impossible when you are trying to get on with your life.
    Good luck! I hope you get some answers soon.

  2. Louisa,
    Good luck for Monday. I hope you decide to see Mr Witt-I can't recommend him highly enough, and am sure if there is something to find , he will see it,
    Kate x

  3. Hi anon, what caused that to happen to your labrum?? Is it an inflammation thing, had it detached or torn again and how.. was the second op as bad for you, how long ago was the second op? Sorry about all the Q's, info is power!

    Hi Kate, how are you???? You've been quiet, then again so have I! How's your hip? Are you happy with your surgery?

    Glad you like Witt, he seems to be rated.. if that matters who knows anymore..

    Lovely to hear from you x

  4. Hi Louisa,

    The surgeon has no idea how my labrum became so inflammed but he has seen it in a few cases before. The cartilage tear was pretty severe (down to bone) and he has no idea how this happened as the impingement was removed a year ago. I had surgery at the beginning of June so still recovering. Finding it easier than the Open surgery but still in lots of pain. He advised me it will take three months for the pain to settle.
    I am personally very fed up and concerned it will tear again - if it does I will request a resurfacing as there must be only so much bone that can be removed from the socket!
    I am UK based and my whole story is on:
    There are loads of posts. I have followed your blog as your symptoms seem so similar and I have at times become quite desperate that it will never be sorted!
    Good luck with the scan.

  5. Louisa,

    Log onto the above link and come and join us on injury update, there a few of us on there from the UK who are a great support to each other and all have ongoing hip problems. Im doing ok thanks, operated side is heaps better than pre-op but no where near perfect, good hip gone bad now too so looks like Im about to start whole journey again(seeing Witt in 3 weeks).Think op side is now having to work harder due to otherside so still gets sore and inflammed(but you know how that feels).Witt is highly rated and a lovely man, very highly skilled_I think hes the best there is in the UK, but maybe I am biased.
    Kate x

  6. Hi Louisa - Our Hippiversaries are just days apart, and I am sorry that at the one year mark you are still having a crap recovery ...

    I hope that Mr. Witt can help, I only hear good things from his patients and it seems your current OS is just not being helpful at this point. It's more than time to get a second opinion. Best, Terri

  7. Thanks Terri, I noticed your anniversary and was glad to read you're doing better, YAY!
    You've heard of Witt from the States? Impressive!

  8. Happy Anniversary!!! I wish you were feeling all better...hopefully they will have insight soon..keeping my fingers...and toes crossed for you!

  9. Thanks SJ, what is your story? hopefully more successful than mine, or have you not yet had the op.. don't let me put you off BTW, I know lots of success stories!

  10. PS Kate, Ray ray.. tried to navigate around injury au, but ended up thinking you really should try the facebook FAI group there are almost 500 members and it is sooooo easy to use. There's lots of input..

  11. a bit late here Louisa but just wanted to say you will get an honest professional opinion from Mr Witt - if he doesn't know he will tell you...but fingers crossed he will be able to suggest a way forward. Sometimes you need to get a second opinion if only to validate your gut feeling. Will you be able to see him through your private health insurance ?

    Dee x