As I stated in my last post I recently had FAI surgery. For those who do not know exactly what FAI is, the video below does a great job of explaining the etiology and diagnosis of this condition.
Obviously, my surgery is going to be slightly different from the next persons due to the causes and restrictions of the ailment, so take everything with a grain of salt and ask questions below to allow me to clarify.
October 2008: Did a lateral lunge while training and felt a pop in my right hip, the pain was partially in my right groin and right lower abdomen. Got checked out by a PT and we determined it to be a sports hernia. After 3 weeks of rehab, I felt good enough to resume powerlifting.
January 2009: Competed in a powerlifting meet.
February 2009-December 2009: Trained 3-5 days a week mainly for athletics and to keep my hip from hating me. PT 3x a week for 2 months followed by a month of Chiropractic work.
January 2011: Hip pain reared it’s head while deadlifting. This time it’s migrated into lower back pain (mild at worst). groin pain, and anterior hip pain.
January 2011- March 2011: Continued modified training and treatment 1-2x a week by Chiropractor, mainly on adductors.
March 2011: Went for opinion from an orthopedist on hip pain and constant “tight groin” feeling. MRI reveled some laberal damage and he wouldn’t recommend surgery.
May 2011: Second opinion from another orthopedist. New x-rays showed FAI both cam and pincer. MD suggested more PT and Chiro work.
September 2011: My right glute has highly noticeable atrophy of my glute max and what seems to be a missing glute medius. Pain is 6-8 out of 10 everyday, training brings me to an 8 consistently.
October 2011: Third opinion by one of the best hip docs in New England. In a matter of 3 minutes shows me “extreme wear, nasty laberal damage, and a nasty bump on my femoral head that is destroying my acetabulum”. He recommends getting FAI surgery once I feel I have exhausted all conservative avenues. He also warns me of the risk of a total hip replacement by the age of 40 if in the cartilage and labrum of the sock are destroyed. In the mean time I will get a cortisone shot to minimize the pain.
November 2011- May 2012: Training severely modified, work with a few new PTs whom get some relief, but overall the same.
June 2012-September 2012: Training is painful on my right lower body. I proceed to train only my left leg and upper body. Sleeping has become incredibly difficult. I am currently getting 2-4 hours of sleep almost every night and wake up feeling like I have an arthritic hip. My right glutes are no-where to be found, and I have a mild limp.
October 2012: Right FAI Surgery
3 hours of surgery
– Acetabulum is shaved down to allow more room for the femur
– Femur is shaved down to interact properly without smashing against the acetabulum, including that nasty bump that’s causing me lots of trouble.
– The labrum of my acetabulum has bone ossified in it. That area is debrided of bone and 4 sutures are put in place to repair the labrum.
– No cartilage damage was found, which was the big worry for myself and the doctor.
To show the variability of this procedure and the recovery; I have attached a chart of common arthroscopic procedures. Had I had cartilage damage, microfracture to the acetabulum would have been necessary and completely changed my recovery.
Currently, I am about a week out of surgery and have slept 6-9 hours a day and wake up relatively pain free.
Having surgery was not even a consideration 3 years ago, but pain, lack of sleep, and poor quality of life for a young active athlete was more than enough to put me over the edge. As with anything, finding the right practitioners or doctors was imperative. I believe the other doctors were timid because the average surgeon does not do many FAI surgeries and the outcomes can be very poor.
I am a long way from being back to where I was in January 2009, but having quality sleep back in my life has been an amazing change. I will continue to update my progress, feel free to comment below.
Extra Info: Here are a few great articles on FAI and how to train around it.