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, 15 May 2015

Understand the hip pain scale 1 - 10

The 1 - 10 pain scale needs deciphering for many of us. They, hip consultants, GP's, PT's, routinely ask "How bad is your hip pain on a scale of 1 to 10?"
This question often baffled me, any number felt presumptuous and what if I was accidentally over-estimating, or under-estimating... what did 6, 7 or 8 mean... Surely '1' must mean something much more than say a mild headache, why else would you be there, in their consulting room?!  But no, actually it doesn't and it turns out I have been under estimating for years and I bet you have too.
Finally there is a system, an explanation which is wonderful, but needs to catch on, internationally.

Hope this is of use to you. It might even be worth printing a copy for your own reference and taking with you to your appointments, so you and your health professional are on the same page. I hope this definition catches on, it would help both the patients and the professionals.

THE PAIN SCALE

0 – Pain free.

Mild Pain – Nagging, annoying, but doesn't really interfere with daily living activities.

1 – Pain is very mild, barely noticeable. Most of the time you don't think about it.

2 – Minor pain. Annoying and may have occasional stronger twinges.

3 – Pain is noticeable and distracting, however, you can get used to it and adapt.

Moderate Pain – Interferes significantly with daily living activities.

4 – Moderate pain. If you are deeply involved in an activity, it can be ignored for a period of time, but is still distracting.

5 – Moderately strong pain. It can't be ignored for more than a few minutes, but with effort you still can manage to work or participate in some social activities.

6 – Moderately strong pain that interferes with normal daily activities. Difficulty concentrating.

Severe Pain – Disabling; unable to perform daily living activities.

7 – Severe pain that dominates your senses and significantly limits your ability to perform normal daily activities or maintain social relationships. Interferes with sleep.

8 – Intense pain. Physical activity is severely limited. Conversing requires great effort.

9 – Excruciating pain. Unable to converse. Crying out and/or moaning uncontrollably.

10 – Unspeakable pain. Bedridden and possibly delirious. Very few people will ever experience this level of pain.

Avoiding the Pitfalls

When rating their pain, the most common mistake people make is overstating their pain level. That generally happens one of two ways:
  • Saying your pain is a 12 on a scale of 0 to 10.
    While you may simply be trying to convey the severity of your pain, what your doctor hears is that you are given to exaggeration and he will not take you seriously.
  • Smiling and conversing with your doctor, then saying that your pain level is a 10.
    If you are able to carry on a normal conversation, your pain is not a 10—nor is it even a 9. Consider the fact that natural childbirth (no epidural or medication) is generally thought to be an 8 on the pain scale. Just as with the first example, your doctor will think you are exaggerating your pain and it is probably not nearly as bad as you say.
If you want your pain to be taken seriously,
it's important that you take the pain scale seriously.

Because pain is subjective, it is difficult to explain what you're feeling to another person—even your own doctor. The pain scale may not be ideal, but it's the best tool we have right now. Researchers are working on developing tests that one day may be able to objectively measure the degree of pain we're experiencing. But until those tests are perfected and become widely available and affordable, we'll have to make the best use of what we have.



Sources:
Comparative Pain Scale.” Lane Medical Library, Stanford Medicine. December 2008.
Medical Pain Scale.” The Spine Center. Retrieved 4/7/15.

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