“Run when you can, walk when you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.” ~ Dean Karnazes
I am typing this post with my right leg in the CPM nine days out from FAI surgery number two (third hip scope altogether). Essentially my right hip went to hell shortly after finally recovering from my first FAI surgery and subsequent capsular repair to the left hip. Although I was able to get out for a lot of fun adventures this summer and run a few trail races too. The right hip has bugged me on and off for several years and then in mid-September I had a sudden onset of severe right hip pain that was not relieved by rest and PT.
The right hip pain progressed similarly to the left hip meaning pain with sitting and pain with any hip flexion including cycling. No yoga, no running, no real anything! My hip always felt congested like it was all stuffy and stiff and I found myself sitting like I did before my first surgery. I have had intermittent SI joint issues on the right side so I saw several physicians, physical therapists, and a massage therapist to rule out SI involvement as a source of this pain. Long story short, I eagerly jumped on my surgeon’s schedule to fix the right side and get the healing on!
My hip surgery timeline:
- FAI Surgery #1 – December 9, 2011: Left hip femoroplasty, acetabuloplasty, labral repair, and iliopsoas tendon release.
- Capsular Repair - January 17, 2013: Left hip capsular repair (tightening of iliofemoral ligament) along with some cartilage debridement and scar tissue removal.
- FAI Surgery #2 – November 14, 2013 – Right hip femoroplasty and capsular repair (tightening of iliofemoral ligament).
Having finally returned to running and serious activity after essentially two years of hip drama, I was surprisingly not that bummed out to go in for a third hip surgery. Since I knew I had FAI in both hips, I knew it was just a matter of time before I had to address the other side, although I did think I would have more time to run and enjoy my life pain free. I also felt a little wonky having the increased flexibility and clearance in the left hip as a result of the FAI repair that was not matched on my right side. When cycling, my left hip felt great while my right hip pinched, which I think contributed to my SI joint dysfunction on that side since I essentially had to hike my right hip up to pedal ’round.
Maybe since this is my third hip scope, but this surgery hasn’t been that bad. The worst part, for me, is just dealing with the post-surgery nausea and all of the side effects from the pain pills. After five days I was feeling more like myself and only using ibuprofen and ice to control the pain. A week out and I am sleeping fine, pain is well-controlled and I have been able to get out for a little shopping and dining out.
The good news is the right hip looked way better than the left and the surgeon only had to shave the head of the femur leaving the acetabulum (no pincer lesions) alone. Overall, my cartilage and labrum looked great so no repairs or debridement was needed. My surgeon than aggressively tightened my capsule to avoid any hip laxity issues like I had after my first FAI surgery. I am optimistic that recovering from this surgery will be the easiest one yet and that I will be getting out on the trails come springtime.
I am happy to answer any questions about FAI surgery and recovery. I know there is a lot of negative information out there, but I was able to successfully return to running after surgery albeit briefly and I plan to get back to where I was soon! I am also aiming to post weekly updates for FAI surgery number two.