Recovery from FAI Surgery: A Patient’s Perspective

As you all know from my last post, I underwent surgery for FAI (Femoroacetabular Impingement) about eight weeks ago. My journey with FAI began almost two years ago when I was in a cycling accident while training for the Muncie Half Ironman. After the accident, I continued to train for and race (and finished with a very good first time of 5:37 if I may say so myself) the Half Ironman and went on to train for and race the Chicago Marathon in October of 2010. One week after the marathon, I was doing an eight mile recovery run and at the end of my run I felt some sort of pain in my left hip. It was below my actual hip bone, on the side of my left leg.

Never being injured before I “ran through it”, as most athletes do, and continued to do my regular workouts. The pain didnt’ going away so after a couple of months I went to my general practitioner who diagnosed me with Bursitis in my left hip. My treatment options were a cortisone injection or physical therapy (PT). I asked to be sent to a sports specialist to get a second opinion and after seeing him and having x-rays taken, was told I had bursitis and to rest, take ibuprofen and complete a PT program. This was now January 2011.

Taking the physician’s advice, I started a PT program and continued until May 2011. I had made progress and was back to a run program where eventually I was able to run 3-5 miles without pain. My PT had video taped my running gait, worked on strengthening my core and glute muscles and more. I felt like I was back to normal so I began training for triathlon season.

I was able to run, bike and swim without any hip pain. Then, one afternoon I did a mile time trial and afterwards I felt a new hip pain- but this time it was in a different spot. It was almost in the crest of my left hip- near my pelvis. I continued to once again “run through it” except this time I was running, biking and swimming since I was training for triathlons. Knowing a Half Ironman was out of the picture with the pain I was having, I stuck to low mileage and ended up competing and racing in three sprint triathlons in Indianapolis. This is a great tri series by the way if you’re in or around the area.

 

 

After each training session or race, I would be in pain. My hip would hurt me to the point that it was hard to sleep on it at night and when I would sit for long periods of time (ie. in the car or at my desk), my left leg would give out if I put weight on it when I stood up.  The peculiar part was that while I was running or biking, my hip wouldn’t hurt- it was only when I was done with my exercise that it would give me pain. It would hurt the evening of the training or race and for about a day afterwards, then the pain would dissipate.

I went to see another PT in Indianapolis that summer who was great. He did an athletic assessment on me and gave me strengthening exercises to work on various muscle imbalances I had. I did my exercises diligently which is a challenge for anyone who knows me- I am not a patient person so doing 45 minutes of PT exercises before my workouts each day was a challenge. Still, I wasn’t getting any better.

At the end of the summer, I had pretty much accepted my pain and was only doing minimum workouts- bootcamps, strength training and running occasionally. I was planning and preparing for my wedding in October 2011 so needless to say, my mind was busy with other important things. I decided to wait it out and see what happened.

Finally, in February 2012 I went to another sports specialist in Bloomington and explained my story to him. He recommended I see another PT (this would be my 3rd) and if my program wasn’t working after four weeks, I would get an MRI. I agreed and began PT at a new location with a new program. This PT was also great. They worked on core and hip strength among other things. While doing my assessment, they thought that I might have a pelvic floor issue so I ended up seeing a Women’s Health specialist in Greenwood and going through two weeks of internal vaginal massage. Yep you heard that right, internal massage! After two weeks I told them that this therapy seemed silly (they thought so too) because my hip pain had only gotten worse and my right hip had actually started hurting throughout the process.

After the four weeks I went back to the specialist and they did an MRI. I was told I had FAI CAM Impingement resulting in a torn labrum and torn cartilage in my left hip. Finally, a diagnosis! I had no idea what FAI was or how it was treated, but at least I had a diagnosis.

From there, I was sent to Dr. Maiers at Methodist Sports Medicine in Indianapolis and he assessed my hip. My options were to live with the pain (not an option for me as I am only 27), try an injection (would only work for a few months or so) or have a hip arthroscopy. In the meantime, I had an MRI done on my right hip because it had been giving me the same pain for the last three months or so. An MRI confirmed FAI CAM Impingement on my right hip resulting in torn cartilage, but no torn labrum…yet. After much deliberating and praying, I decided to have the surgery on my left hip on May 22, 2012.

I prepared to take two weeks of Family Medical Leave (FMLA) from work, planned on staying at my parent’s house while my husband was out of town, cleaned everything in my house from top to bottom since I knew I would be laid up for a while and packed enough spandex and yoga pants to last me for two weeks.

The surgery went well and Dr. Maiers was very pleased with how my body reacted. Once they got into the surgery, they discovered that my labrum was more badly torn than they had been able to see on the MRI and I had much more detached cartilage as well. That itself affirmed my decision to have the surgery. I had an overnight stay at the hospital and was able to go home around 11am the next morning. Here is a photo of me in the hospital the morning after my surgery.

 

 

 

Once we were home, I pretty much slept and watched TV for a week straight. I took my medications on a rotated schedule and did my exercises on a daily basis. I went home with an IceMan and it was my saving grace. It is a little cooler full of ice that compresses and ices your hip at all times. It helped emmensly with the pain and swelling- although I will say that sitting for over a week straight will make your body retain fluid like you wouldn’t believe. Every part of me was swollen. It didn’t help that the pain meds gave me GI issues and I wasn’t able to go to the bathroom for almost a week. Just an FYI, I would definitely recommend taking a stool softener or laxative while on the pain meds.

After about a week and a half, I started feeling better. I was able to go to Target, go to dinner and get out and about a little bit. I even went to Kilroys with my husband on my crutches so he could get his $3 Thursday t-shirt!

 

 

One week post-op, I started PT twice a week. I started with very limited exercises. Mostly just moving my leg up and down while standing on my crutches and flexing my glutes, quads and doing ankle pumps. Each week I was able to add in a few more exercises such as bridges, stretching, clamshells and more.

Although each FAI surgery recovery is different, I wanted to share just a few finess tips and training exercises that I thought would have been helpful to know before my surgery. Note, I am not a physician or a physical therapist so please consult your physician before beginning any exercise or fitness routine.

1. Strength Training

It was important for me to maintain muscle mass during my recovery. Although you are limited in the range of motion or movement you have within the hip, there are many strength training moves you are able to do. A big thank you to my husband and Force Fitness and Performance for putting together an effective strength plan that utilized my upper body and core.

Modified Plank

By elevating the upper body, I was able to take some of the demand off of my hip in the plank position. It also didn’t require me to get up and down from the ground, but was still challenging. I did 2-3 sets for 40 seconds each.

Inverted Rows with TRX

An inverted row is like a push-up for your back. This kept a balance between my chest and back while recovering. Using the inverted row also kept me from having to get up and down from the ground. I did 3-4 sets of 8 reps.

Push-up

At first, I was able to only push-up off of a box or a bench primarily because I couldn’t get down to the ground and back up. This kept my chest and arms toned throughout my rehab. I did 3 sets of 8 reps.

TKE (Terminal Knee Extension)

TKE is a challenging exercise that allowed me to work my lower body without a lot of movement. It works your quads in a way that actually helps with knee injury prevention. It’s much harder than it looks in the photo. I did 2 sets of 5 reps.

Glute Bridges

Although glutes are an extremely strong muscle, most people are lacking in the ability to effectively use them for everyday exercise. Training with bridges teaches your body to call on the glutes for more activity, taking the strain off of your hip flexors and quads.

Pull-up or Chin-up

Is there really much to say for this one?! It’s a great upper body exercise for your upper and middle back. I did 2-3 sets of 5 reps.

Incline Bench Press

This was a great exercise to work my chest and arms. Similar to a push-up, I used the bench press to maintain a tight core while remaining seated. I did 3-4 sets of 8 reps.

Band Anti-rotation Press

This is a very challenging exercise that I didn’t incorporate into week three of my exercise because it was too difficult at first. This exercise works your core- specifically your internal and external oblique by challenging your body to resist the natural rotation that the band creates. I held each side for 30 seconds.

Partial Range of Motion Squats

This was really important to do after a few weeks so that I could gain range of motion in the hip. Specifically, with hip external rotation and hip flexion which were both difficult at first. I squatted to a bench for the first couple of weeks and then to a box which was a little lower. I did 2-3 sets of 8 reps.

2. Cycling

This was something I was able to do within the first week and a half post-op. Granted, it was only for about 5 minutes with no resistance, but it is something to get the hip and legs moving. Each week I was able to increase 5 minutes and at week 5 I was able to increase the resistance on the stationary bike. I am now able to cycle for about 20 minutes and can ride outside on flat surfaces.

3. Yoga

Yoga was the activity I tried after strength training and cycling. I went to a basic yoga class about 4 weeks post-op and the ladies at Vibe Yoga were great. I told them about my limitations and they gave me modifications. Some poses that have given me trouble and include internal or external hip rotation are Child’s pose, Standing Forward Bend pose, Forward Lunge pose, Frog pose, Happy Baby pose and Eagle pose. Listen to your body and know when you’ve reached your limit.

4. Swimming

I first tried swimming in a family friend’s pool that was only 25 meters in length. I wasn’t sure how I would do and if I could even flutter kick, so I started very slow. I was able to do my stretches and exercises in the water and could use the kick-board at about 5-6 weeks. I can now swim consistently twice a week for about 20 minutes each session.

5. Nutrition

I know this doesn’t count as a workout tip, but I thought it was important to mention. When your body isn’t moving like it normally does or you’re not working out as you normally do, your metabolism slows down. I am not used to sitting on my butt for weeks at a time and I quickly realized that my body composition was changing…and not in a good way. I began to watch my diet much more closely. Make healthy food choices and try to eat foods high in fiber that will help with digestion.

I hope you found my story and my recovery tips helpful and insightful. Again, please share this post with anyone you feel like might be dealing with hip issues. I hope you are also able to use some of the workouts I provided also- they are great to do even if you don’t have hip issues.

 

 

 

 

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Comments: 202

  1. Wil July 17, 2012 at 8:26 pm Reply

    Great post and great workout pictures

  2. Jorge Briones July 18, 2012 at 12:42 am Reply

    Wonderful entry. I am proud of all of the strides you made in quick time. I agree with your tips. Since I am preparing for my second surgery, I am taking all of the precautions in my training. Quite frankly, I am also a firm believer in a quick recovery just by staying active months before the surgery.

  3. Debi August 4, 2012 at 10:55 pm Reply

    Thank you so much for your article. I stumble upon your blog through Hip Chicks and found them while researching FAI. My situation is similar in that for the last couple of years I have been to many Chiropractors, physical therapist, and of course doctors trying to find out why my right hip hurts. I have also had many x~rays, MRI, and tests. My last MRI in January of this year indicated several things one being FAI in right hip. After several steriod injections (which I wish I hadn’t had), more PT with no success, I have decided that I need to see a specialist and possibly have surgery. I see my Sport Physician on Tuesday and will be requesting an appointment with Dr. Jimmy Chow here in Phoenix who is one of the only doctors in town to do this type of surgery but apparently one of the best.

    This is all very frustrating as I am a very active person who has gone from being very fit, working out with a trainer and running to not working out and not so fit due to this problem getting worse.

    Finding your story and reading about your recovery has given me hope that I will be back in the game at some point.

    I wish you the best in your recovery and again thank you for posting your story and all your tips, you have been very helpful.

    Debi
    Phoenix, AZ

    • Ashley Fleming August 4, 2012 at 11:04 pm Reply

      Hi Debi,
      I’m so sorry to hear that you are struggling with FAI. I was very similar to you in that I was running, doing bootcamps, swimming and biking every very consistently before my surgery. It got to a point where I couldn’t run or do anything active without being in a lot of pain.

      I am now 11 and a half weeks post-op and am feeling good. I am able to cycle outside (on hills!), swim and weight train. I am still struggling with walking quickly and running (I can only run for 1 minute and am having pain), but my physician says its normal to have hip flexor and groin pain from the surgery itself. I am still doing physical therapy and will have about four more appointments- I am looking forward to additional recovery each week!

      Best of luck with your appointment next week. I hope you find the solution you need!

  4. Kelly Cleven August 30, 2012 at 4:10 am Reply

    Hi!
    Your story sounds so similar to mine as far as your hip
    pain and mine. I also run and cycle, and have started working on swimming also. I did RAIN for the first time in 2010 and have been in pain ever since. (I had pain before that but was able to ignore it).

    Anyway, your story inspires me to seek further help.

    • Ashley Fleming August 30, 2012 at 12:56 pm Reply

      Hi Kelly,
      Thank you for your kind words. I hope you find the answers you are looking for!

  5. Pam September 5, 2012 at 2:41 pm Reply

    HI!! THANKS for your site!! I’m actually getting my right hip done in one week, and my left 8-12 weeks later. DId you have both done? AND if so how far apart was each surgery. ITs crazy, when I was 27 was when I was having issues. I was a top 5 nationally ranked figure competitor for 3 years, I trained with and LIKE some of the top athletes. They misdiagnosed me with Sports hernias, I had two surgeries for them (which I DONT feel I needed), then two years later, finally diagnosed with FAI AND torn labrum in both hips.

    I am now 30, its been a long long road, BUT I was also married in Feb of 2012! SO our story sounds very familar. ANY advice helps!!!

    THANKS again for posting such great stuff!!!

    Pam

    • Ashley Fleming September 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm Reply

      Hi Pam!
      I am so sorry that you are having hip/FAI issues. I have FAI in both hips, but have not yet had surgery on my right hip. I didn’t have a torn labrum in my right (not yet at least) and so I am waiting a bit to see how it feels once I up my workouts. It looks like it’s best to have the surgery done though- the bone won’t heal itself and I would rather have surgery now than later. I’ll keep everyone posted on the right hip!

  6. Glenn September 6, 2012 at 9:05 am Reply

    Thank-you for sharing your story and exercise tips. I am at the begining phase of your above journey and reading this blog has put a positive perspective on it. I am due to go in for the surgery end September or mid November. I have assignments due in October and not sure if I should postpone the surgery or not until November. Do you think you would have been able to write and concentrate after your surgery (within the first couple of weeks) or would you have struggled?

    Its all pretty overwhelming as I’ve always been a very active person and have now been restricted to very minimal activities. Just getting down for pushups and planks really aggravates the hip. Your exercise list/repertoire is great – and very similiar to mine except the TRX hanging pullup – I am definately going to add this!

    Thanks again for your blog

    Cheers

    • Ashley Fleming September 6, 2012 at 2:58 pm Reply

      Hi Glenn,
      Thank you for your kind words- I’m glad my exercises and story have been a positive influence! About a week after my surgery I was still “out of it” from the medication, but I would guess that how you react to pain killers varies from person to person. I actually stopped the pain medication after only five or six days because of the GI issues I was having. That being said, I would imagine you could concentrate on writing a couple of weeks after the surgery and to be honest, it might give you something to focus on other than watching tv for hours on end since you will be sitting or laying most of the time :) Best of luck with your surgery and recovery!

  7. Pam September 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm Reply

    OH….well thats great then…you may not have to have it done at all?! Maybe as long as you dont do deep squats, etc. Yeah, I tried PRP and Prolo and PT for 2 years…nothing…so its time!

    THanks again!

    Pam

    • Ashley Fleming September 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm Reply

      Hi Pam,
      I will probably have to have the surgery. I was having a lot of pain in my right hip before I had surgery on my left. I think the pain has subsided because I’m not really running right now. The doctor said that sometimes the pain gets better in one hip after the other hip has been “fixed”, but I can already feel tinges of pain so I have a feeling my right one will only get worse.

      Who knows though- I’m going to think positive until then. Let us know how your healing process goes if you have the surgery!

  8. Debbie Whiteley September 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm Reply

    Hi Ashley, I have had 2 fAI surgeries also. I had left hip done after a year of neurosurgeons, nerologists, pain doctors, Mayo Clinic in Arizona and University of Washington where one dr said I was making this up and needed to see a shrink!!!!! I went to one hip surgeon in Seattle that did not do alot of FAI surgeries and had the surgery but no rehab. Start having right hip hurt and was doing PT for achilles issue and PT sent me to a dr in Chicago who does these surgeries all the time. I had surgery on July 12, 2012 in Chicago. Dr said I had tore laburm from 2-10 o’clock, had cartilage debrided, bone spurs shaved and suture anchored the labrum back and shaved my large cam lesion. He told my mom after surgery that this was caused by a genetic which I think we have all found this out. I am now doing rehab and hoping to go back to doing triathlons and running and crossfit. Only setback so far seems to be a knee issue. Anyone have there hip feel like it was going to come out of the socket after this surgery?? I was swimming as dr oked me to swim with pull buoy to do arms and kick with a kickboard. Felt this weird hip thing after kicking with the kickboard. Love all your posts and everyones comment. Glad I found this blog

    • Ashley Fleming September 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm Reply

      Hi Debbie,
      I’m sorry you went through so much before your surgery. I hope FAI becomes diagnosed more easily for others- I have heard of so many people that went mis diagnosed for years. I personally haven’t experienced my hip feeling like it was going to come out of socket, but when I go through Active Release Therapy, the chiropractor pulls on my leg to “open the hip capsule” and sometimes that feels like it’s going to come out of socket… although he assures me there is no way it can.

      I wish you the best in your recovery. Stay positive because you will get back into triathlons and cross fit- It just takes time and patience!

    • Adele January 10, 2013 at 3:03 pm Reply

      Hi anyone who can help
      I have had my L and R leg done fai microfracture and torn labrum. My first leg done 5 month ago and sec 12 weeks. My r leg is slipping out joint when standing. I been to couple doctors they seem to think it either mechanical or due weak muscles. Their not sure. One recommend hip abduction brace, I Have not done that yet. I am used to working 12 hours shifts on my feet and running on off day 6-8 miles. I used to be competitive runner and a fit person. Now use cane and out of work. Let me know if find anything positive out. Want get back to being fit. I do have great family and a wonderful husband. Not all bad

      • Ashley Fleming January 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm Reply

        Hi Adele,
        Thank you for posting. I haven’t experienced this, but maybe someone else has and can comment. Thanks again and I wish you the best in your recovery.

        • Travis March 4, 2013 at 4:49 am Reply

          Hello, I am 12 weeks out from my right fai surgery! Things are going good but experiencing some groin pain after working out… As for leg giving out, although probably a little late, mine done this as well. My problem was actually my quad. Had an anti inflammatory patch and increased quad strengthening, was fixed in a week!!

    • Hideko March 8, 2013 at 1:31 am Reply

      Who was your doctor ? I live in Chicago

    • R G September 6, 2013 at 5:34 am Reply

      Hi Debbie-
      I’m scheduled for right hip FAI in about a month. I was wondering who you saw in Seattle and what your experience with the Doctor was (?) I’ve only found one person who does the surgeries one day a week, and has been doing them for “a few years” at that frequency. If you could let me know who you saw and if you were happy with the person, that would be super reassuring! Thanks! R

  9. Debi September 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm Reply

    I live in Phoenix and couldn’t get an appt to see the Dr. until Nov 13 more than 3 months after I made it and this is just the first appt. Supposedly this Dr. is the best in town for FAI surgery. I was wondering who Debbie Whiteley saw at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix as maybe I could see him first to at least hear what someone in that field has to say. I am quite anxious to have the surgery and get back into running and working out.

    Thanks for your exercise tips. I have my trainer researching FAI so that he is familiar with the exercises I can and cannot do pre~op & post~op and also told him to check out your site. I would love to know what type of exercises you did before the surgery to keep in shape.

    Thank you.

    Debi

    • Debbie Whiteley September 10, 2012 at 11:46 pm Reply

      Hi Debi, The doctors at the Mayo Clinic actually told me it was not my hip. That was a physical medicine rehab specialist named Steven Noll. The Mayo Clinic would not let me see a hip surgeon at all. They kept thinking it was my back. My dr at home was not happy. I would have your physical therapist or you go to Shane Nho, MD website. He has his rehab protocol there. That is what I am doing. Before surgery with Dr Nho in July, I was still rehabbing from the first FAI surgery and a achilles issue. Dr Nho said don’t do anything that hurt my hip. I swam with my swim team and rode my bike outside although it hurt if I rode up hills and I did the Precor Arc trainer to stay in shape. Also I tried to really watch my diet. You might try contacting Dr Nho in Chicago. You can email him as info is on website and see if he will look at your films. That is what I did Good Luck!!! Debbie

      • Debi September 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm Reply

        Thanks Debbie!! I will check out Dr. Nho’s site and try some of the exercises. I have definitely had to watch my diet, gone are the occasional burgers and sweet potato fries replaced by more kale and other veggies. lol.

        Does anyone else get tightness in the IT band area and side calf pain? This seems to flair up when my fai is acting up. It definitely helps to stretch and roll it out but have noticed it happening more frequently even with normal day to day movements. I hope the surgery will help this.

        Debi

        • Ashley Fleming September 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm Reply

          Hi Debi,
          I had the same issue- I had (and still have to) watch what I eat more closely. That’s where a lot of my blogging inspiration and recipes came/come from! I hope you find some that you like. They are all healthy or good-for-you eats.

          I have always had a tight IT band and have found that rolling with a foam roller or PVC pipe has helped tremendously. Sitting and not moving much for three months after surgery can make you tight everywhere. Lots of rolling and stretching has helped me!

          • Debi September 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm

            Hi Ashley,

            I have been checking out your recipes and am dying to try the cauliflower crust pizza as well the others. I have also instructed my trainer to check out your post surgery exercises as I will continue to workout with him in addition to going physical therapy.

            Please continue to blog as I am a huge fan. Thanks.

            Debi

      • Shireen November 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm Reply

        Has anyone had experience with Dr. Domb in Hinsdale? I have bilateral FAI, CAM and pincer and a labral tear … More symptoms on the right side. I felt groin pain while training for a half marathon in August, and haven’t been able to run since. 3 months of PT for tight muscles/piriformis/obturator muscles… Had an MRI and found the lovely diagnosis.

        • Ashley Fleming November 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm Reply

          Hi Shireen,
          I’m not familar with the doctor you mentioned, but maybe one of the readers has. This may be silly, but do you live in Hinsdale, IL? Hip Chicks Unite- http://hipchicksunite.ning.com/ is a great resource and support group for women with hip issues. I found it very helpful prior to my surgery. Maybe someone in the group lives near you and can give a recommendation!?

  10. Ben September 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm Reply

    I had FAI surgery 3 weeks ago with Dr. Powell in SD(right hip). I’ve been doing weights to stay fit along with basic leg movement. I’ve been really timid on the stationary bike. I think I’m afraid of injuring the labrum before it fully heals. I was stoked to see you were able to do more core training without putting to much pressure on the hip. Especially the modified plank. I’ll mix that in tomorrow. Thanks for the great post.

    • Ashley Fleming September 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm Reply

      Hi Ben,
      I’m glad to hear you are moving well after surgery! I was very timid on the bike too- only riding for about 5 minutes once a day for the first few weeks and then slowly adding another 5 minutes at a time every week or two. There are a lot of exercises you can do strength wise to stay in shape. It helps to get a specific strength and workout plan from a personal trainer that has dealt with someone who has had FAI or hip surgery before. Best of luck with your recovery!

  11. Julie September 22, 2012 at 1:33 am Reply

    Hey Ashley. I stumbled upon your blog via pinterest, and it’s been very informative. Thanks for blogging!

    Like you, I’ve suffered from FAI pain for over 2 years. My pain actually started in my right knee and groin. It was diagnosed as patellar tendonitis. I quit doing Jazzercise, limited my tennis and have been a faithful physical therapy “exerciser” for the last several years. On a whim, I took a current xray to my daughter’s children orthopedist when she went for a followup for hip dysplasia. Her doctor looked at the xray, and he immediately diagnosed me with FAI pincer. It was crazy, because I had been told by several medical pros my pain was due to mechanical dysfunctions, and I would have to live with it. In a crazy way, it was a relief to find out I had a condition which could be fixed.

    My surgery is scheduled for October 25th, and I have a pre-op and crutch “training” in just a few weeks. I know I’ll be told my limitations regarding range of motion, etc. at these appointments. However, I was curious what unexpected challenges did you encounter? Possibly everyday things you didn’t realize would be more difficult, etc.

    While I’m sure your recovery hasn’t come without pain, it sounds like you have done exceptionally well. I consider myself active, but I am not athletic and in great shape like you seem to be and were pre-surgery. I hope I can still come back quickly.

    Thanks,
    Julie

    • Ashley Fleming September 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm Reply

      Hi Julie,
      I’m sorry to hear that you have FAI. Like you said though, it’s a blessing to be diagnosed and to know that surgery can help! I had just a few things that were unexpected to me, although now looking back and after telling the doctor about these issues, they are completely normal.

      This is very minor, but no one mentioned that the pain medication would cause constipation and other GI issues. I wish someone would have suggested taking a stool softener or suggested eating foods with more fiber right after surgery. I didn’t have much of an appetite and was trying to eat dry/bland foods to take with the medications like cereal and toast- and those didn’t help my digestive issues. Again, very minor, but something that caught me off-guard.

      Another thing I would say that was unexpected in my situation, was the groin pain after the surgery. Before surgery, I never had any groin pain- only glute and hip pain, so having groin pain seemed very odd to me. In my case, they had to cut a ligament near the groin (not sure which one it was) to “release” the hip for the surgery and the recovery/healing of that ligament has given me the most pain/issue post-op. I would wake at night because my left groin would be hurting so badly. I had to sleep on my back so that my leg could be completely straight (for the iceman compression wrap) and that position was very uncomfortable for me. Since surgery, that’s the only area I’ve had pain in. I think that is fairly normal for FAI surgery patients, but again, was something that caught me off guard.

      I completed 14 weeks of physical therapy and went straight to a chiropractor who specializes in ART and soft tissue work. I’ve been seeing him for almost 5 weeks and can now run 3 miles without pain. He works to break up the scar tissue that has built up in that ligament area and although it hurts like hell while he’s doing it, I can say without a doubt that it has helped. I’ll be writing a post-op blog post soon about my recovery so be on the lookout.

      Best of luck with your upcoming surgery! Stay positive and please stay in touch.

  12. Rebecca October 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm Reply

    Thanks for the positive post re: hip scope for FAI … am likely looking at this myself and as a fellow runner (who’s been out for 3 months due to pain that got so bad I could no longer run through it…) I am glad to know it is possible to get back in the game.

    There is so much negative info out there regarding this procedure — which is scary, but on the other hand. so is living in pain that seriously limits your activity level!

    Congrats on the progress — love your blog!

    • Ashley Fleming October 22, 2012 at 1:20 am Reply

      Thanks Rebecca! I am getting to write a post about my progress as I am now 5 months out and have my last post-op appointment this week. I can say that I am now back to running without pain, but I have done a lot of PT and Active Release Technique (ART) to get back to it. You’re right, there is a lot of negative feedback on the surgery and to be honest, was one of the reasons I was hesitant at first. I am very pleased with my decision to have the surgery and one reason I am spreading the word is because there are so many GOOD stories of recovery! With the right surgeon, patient type and a good PT, you can definitely have a good experience with FAI surgery.

      Best of luck to you in your decision and I wish you the best.

  13. kelly November 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm Reply

    Ashley, I apologize for the personal question, but how soon after your surgery were you and your husband able to be intimate? I’ve been living with hip pain for a couple of years and it is now at the point where it is impacting my daily life. I’ve already been told by one doctor I have an impingement and need surgery. I have another MRI scheduled this week with a second doctor (for second opinion).
    Thanks for posting those workouts.

    • Ashley Fleming November 5, 2012 at 6:53 pm Reply

      Hi Kelly,
      No need to apologize. I realize that although it’s a personal question, it is something that was never discussed with me prior to the surgery or post-op (although I guess I could have asked). Whenever you have any surgery involving your hip/groin, it’s definitely going to affect your personal life. I will email you personally if that is alright. Thanks for reading the post and best wishes on your diagnosis.

      • Susan Francis December 20, 2012 at 2:20 am Reply

        Kelly and Ashley, I also had the FAI bilaterally within 7 weeks of each other and my hip started with sex 3 years ago. And still today (11 weeks and 18 weeks post), that is still my biggest complaint. I am a PT Assistant and have had the best surgeon and PT in the DC area! I was wondering why no one mentioned the problems in the bedroom! My PT also happens to be my boyfriend!

        • Mike March 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm Reply

          Susan, who was your doctor in DC?

      • Sara November 13, 2013 at 9:19 pm Reply

        Could you email me too about that? My surgery is Tuesday and my husband and I were just talking about that!

  14. Brea November 6, 2012 at 12:55 am Reply

    I came across your blog looking for information on Dr. Maiers and FAI. I just had surgery 3 weeks ago tomorrow, have hardly been able to run since running the IU Mini back in March (I also live in Bloomington!), am starting to go completely NUTS and am glad to see these exercises, though I don’t feel quite ready for most of them.

    I’m glad to see you are back to training…I’m going to lose my marbles if I can’t workout HARD soon-ish! I couldn’t even ride a bike without pain before surgery (except for the 3.5 weeks when an injection was in effect). Blargh!

    • Ashley Fleming November 9, 2012 at 1:39 pm Reply

      Hi Brea!
      Thanks for reading my post. I had a great experience with Maiers- he is one of the best in my opinion.

      For the first two weeks post-op, I didn’t do much. I sat on the couch and iced for most of the day and did my exercises on my crutches, went to the gym to bike for only 5-10 minutes and do my upper body work. I found there were a lot of things I could modify for my upper body that helped with cardio and still felt like a workout.

      I didn’t start running until about 11 weeks post-op and when I started, I was only able to run for 2 minutes and then I had to walk. I could still only walk for about 10 minutes total. I continued to increase my minutes of running/walking each week until I could get my mileage back. I can run about 4-5 miles now and am still doing ART (active release technique) for soft tissue work in my groin. LOTS of stretching is key for me, but each case is totally different.

      Keep up the hard work! Make sure to rest and recover now so that you are able to get back to it quicker. I know how hard it is to sit back and not be able to push yourself- I remember thinking my mind was fine and I thought I could do it, but my body just wasn’t ready. Best of luck with your recovery and maybe we’ll run into one another sometime soon in Bloomington! I train at Force Fitness and Performance (bloomingtonpersonaltraining.com) and at the YMCA.

      Best wishes!

      • Brea November 10, 2012 at 4:49 am Reply

        I also workout at the YMCA, and my kids are in preschool there!

        I also had a psoas release, so I suspect that is what is keeping me from being able to do a lot. Even sneezing makes my psoas catch and tense up. I don’t feel quite ready to even do much core work. I might be being a wuss or a little overly cautious. I usually push myself right to the limit…which is how I found myself in this situation! So I am probably overcompensating.

        I was told I might be able to ride a bike in about a week at physical therapy. Fingers crossed! I’m also thinking I might try some basic planks and stuff next week, too. I have been contemplating doing some lifting – and I have a pull-up bar (but can’t do a pull-up and can’t currently do my usual modification without feeling dangerous) and a dip station (but can’t do a dip and don’t feel ready for that modification…and I don’t even feel ready for reverse push-ups…). But I also have a 2-year-old and am essentially waiting until I can carry *him* before I mess with carrying any weights or trying to do modifications that have me flexing my hip. Essentially, I am still very cautious with that leg!

        That was long and convoluted! Hope it made sense!

        • Ashley Fleming November 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm Reply

          Hi Brea,
          You can do a lot of upper body exercises that would hopefully not irritate your hip/psoas. Are you thinking of having the surgery or is that not an option for you right now?

          • Brea November 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm

            I had the psoas release along with the FAI surgery/labral repair.

            It seems to be my incisions causing some pulling and pain – now that they’re decently healed, my physical therapist is working at breaking up the scar tissue before it really forms.

            I did work out on Saturday, and I went to the gym this morning! I walked 1/7 mile (slowwwwwly) and biked for 5 minutes! Did some chest and back. Can’t do Russian twists, need to be careful with stuff face-down on the exercise ball…but it’s a start!! I came home feeling tightness in my hip, but no actual pain! Iced, and I’m ok. Woohoo!

  15. Cindy November 30, 2012 at 2:15 am Reply

    You’re awesome for posting this! I just found out today that I will be having this surgery in a few weeks and didn’t know what to expect. You have summed it all up and I will definitely take your advice on the pre-surgical strengthening! Thank you!

    • Ashley Fleming December 2, 2012 at 1:52 am Reply

      Thanks for reading Cindy! I’m sorry to hear that you have to have the surgery, but you’ll be back at it soon. Please let me know if you have any questions- I know everyone’s situation varies, but I can fill you in on mine if you have certain questions. Best of of luck and keep us posted on the surgery/recovery!

  16. Alicia December 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm Reply

    Thanks for posting this blog Ashley. I am having surgery with Dr. Maiers next month. I am 37 and have had hip pain, back pain and butt pain for several years. After a lot of foot dragging and stalling, I have decided to do something about it. Your post with the exercises and details of recovery has been very encouraging to me. Currently I am working out of the elliptical machines and trying to do hip strengthening exercises to prepare for surgery. It’s great to have your story to refer to after the surgery when I’m trying to keep in some type of shape. I’m looking forward to a day when I can get off the couch without hobbling around like an 80 year old!

    • Ashley Fleming December 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm Reply

      Hi Alicia!
      I’m sorry to hear you have to have the FAI surgery. The good news is, Dr. Maiers and his staff are wonderful and I trust them completely. It’s great that you are taking action now to strengthen what you can prior to surgery. Are you planning on starting PT right away? You’ll be surprised at how much you are able to do within the week or two following the surgery. Best of luck and stay positive- you’ll be done with hobbling in no time :)

      • Alicia January 22, 2013 at 1:32 pm Reply

        It has been 2 weeks since my surgery and I am doing really well. My biggest complaint is that I still have pain in my rear after sitting for a long time. That was what bothered me a lot before the surgery too. I’m sure that is just the default for those muscles with inflammation in the joint. I am glad I did the surgery and am getting along very well!

        • Ashley Fleming January 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm Reply

          Hi Alicia,
          Thanks for posting! I had a lot of pain after the first few weeks- mainly in my groin, but I remember my butt being sore mostly from just sitting and not moving much. I hope the symptoms go away soon. Good luck with your recovery!

  17. Jim December 8, 2012 at 4:25 am Reply

    Hi Ashley,

    Thanks for posting this blog! Incredibly informative and encouraging to see the positive stories!!

    I have been diagnosed with bi-lateral FAI Cam Impingement, labral tears, cartilage tears, moderate arthritis and bone marrow edema.

    I’m not quite as fit as you as I’m 20 years your senior, but was running 20-25 miles weekly and playing 2 soccer games in an adult co-ed rec league. My pain became increasingly worse over about an 18th month period to the point where I’m now unable to do anything but core and upper body strength training.

    My surgery is scheduled for the end of February, and it can’t come soon enough!!

    Here’s my question for you: I’ve scheduled to have both hips done at the same time….do you think I’m crazy?? I’m curious to hear your thoughts since you’ll be having the 2nd surgery.

    • Ashley Fleming December 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm Reply

      Hi Jim,
      I’m sorry to hear that you are having so many hip issues. You sound very active and I bet you’ll be back at it soon after your surgery! I have FAI on both hips as well and I opted to not have both done at the same time because my right hip was less of an issue. I have heard of other patients who have had the surgery done at the same time on both hips and honestly, I think it’s a good idea if you are comfortable with it.

      I have no idea how the rehab is with two hips at the same time, but the good news is, you will only have to recover once and you wont have to undergo two surgeries. It seems like a good option for me other than you will be pretty inaccessible for a few weeks. Did they say you will need to be in a wheelchair/scooter or can you use crutches? Best of luck on your surgery and keep us updated on your progress!

      • Jim December 20, 2012 at 12:56 am Reply

        Thanks for the response Ashley! I’ve yet to find anyone who has had both hips done at the same time other than total replacements. If you know of someone and they’re willing, I wouldn’t mind speaking to them directly. Might help me better prepare for the surgery?

        They have said a 2-3 day hospital stay followed by a walker and then on to crutches and then cane. Aqua therapy will begin in the hospital followed by intensive PT. They also said to expect a “grueling” recovery and that it will probably be 3 months before I “thank” myself for having the surgery! I figured what the heck, I’m a Veteran, wrestled most of my life and have been a cop for 24 years…what can they possibly throw at me that I haven’t endured before, right??!!

        At any rate, thank you again for your positive message!! Keep up the great work and best of luck to you as you continue to heal!!

        Cheers!

        Jim

        • Brea December 20, 2012 at 1:42 am Reply

          Hey Jim,
          When I was looking around at FAI surgeon reviews and patient stories, I am positive I found there was a rather popular doctor in California who tends to do both hips at once. There were a LOT of bilateral patients posting, and I seem to recall they were all very positive (again, they were with a specific surgeon).

          I think I was just googling things like “FAI Surgeon reviews” and “hip arthroscophy regret” and looking for reviews of my particular surgeon (J. Peter Maiers).

          Good luck! I’m 9 weeks post op (one side) and finally mostly able to play with my kids like normal! I’ve been thankful I had the surgery since probably a month out! I could just tell already that it was going to be better than before!

          • Jim December 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm

            Hi Brea!

            Thanks for the info! My Doc hasn’t done many bilateral hip repairs at the same time. He averages 4 hips/day, 4 days/week so he’s busy and experienced. I think most OS shy away from doing both because of the recovery. We had a great conversation during surgical assessment; he quickly realized my mindset and said he’d do both.

            Glad to hear you’re resuming normal activities!!

            Best of luck to you in your continued recovery and thanks for reaching out!!

            Jim

    • kate Ratty February 4, 2013 at 2:14 am Reply

      Hi Jim,

      I am also going in for simultaneous bilateral hip surgery on 1st March and woul dlove ot hear about your experience if you have already undergone surgery? I am curious about whether or not Iwill need a wheelchair/walker/ how soon I can get back to office work etc. How is your recovery going? Kate

  18. Kris December 14, 2012 at 2:39 pm Reply

    Nice recoveryblog. Just hade FAI surgey 4 days ago and feel great. Have a little diffrent rehab schedule but guess have the same result. But i live across the atlantic to
    Keep upp the good work and fantastic write up

    • Ashley Fleming December 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm Reply

      Hi Kris! I am so glad that you are feeling great after your surgery- what good news! Best of luck with your recovery and stay in touch.

  19. Tobe December 14, 2012 at 10:25 pm Reply

    Great overview!!! I am 39 years old and competitive mixed martial artist. Grappling has led to my FAI which is both pincer and cam. This was just diagnosed by X-ray, but my Ortho expects bad things once MRI is complete. You are an inspiration and I wish you the best
    T

    • Ashley Fleming December 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm Reply

      Hi Tobe! I’m sorry that you have been diagnosed with FAI. Keep your head up as there are options and ways to recovery if surgery is needed. Best of luck to you as you find our your next steps.

  20. best paleo books December 17, 2012 at 1:40 am Reply

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  21. Adele December 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm Reply

    I am post op second fai,microfracture, labrum repair surgery. I can not seem to come off cructhes. I am normally an active runner/ person. Now all I can do walk minumally and unable work. My First hip (6 months post op) seems to slip and cause sharp pain. Have you or anyone eles experience this?

  22. Mark December 28, 2012 at 12:39 am Reply

    I’m about to have FAI surgery and am curious how you are doing?

    • Ashley Fleming January 8, 2013 at 7:15 pm Reply

      Hi Mark,
      I am currently almost 8 months post-op and I am doing great. I am able to run, bike and do strength training- all without any hip pain on my surgery hip. I have FAI in the other hip and have not treated it yet with surgery so that is giving me some pain. My surgery hip is awesome and I have no complaints about my recovery. Best of luck!

  23. Jamey January 1, 2013 at 1:13 am Reply

    I am glad to read of all the great strides. I am meeting with Dr Shane Nho a week from today. I have FAI in both hips, but I feel the rt on hurts worse? I had my MRI and also have a torn labrum. Can’t wait to be on the road of recovery, was doing really well with a personal trainer and now I can’t until I’m better. Glad I found your blog.

    • Ashley Fleming January 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm Reply

      Hi Jamey! I have FAI in both hips as well and one hip has always hurt me more than the other. When they did the x-ray and MRI, the right hip didn’t have a torn labrum yet- they said it would only be a matter of time. I think it is fairly normal for one to hurt more/worse than the other, but it seems like each case is very specific. Best of luck to you and keep us posted!

      • Jamey January 8, 2013 at 10:31 pm Reply

        Thanks Ashey. I am scheduled now for surgery next Thursday. January 17, 2013! I am ready to be pain free. I have major over growth causing pincer type and also torn labrum, and a small bit of cam type. Dr Nho thought since I was at the point of not working now was the best time to get it done. I will continue to read your blog as encouragement! Happy healing. :))

  24. Dan Zulu January 2, 2013 at 6:46 am Reply

    Thank you for sharing your recovery story. I’m recovering from bilateral hip arthroscopies, 9 and 2 months post op, and am interested in hearing other people’s experiences. Now I need to find out if anyone has tried the Hoka One One shoes to help soften any running routine after hip scopes. I found one successful anecdote online but am searching for other references.

    • Ashley Fleming January 8, 2013 at 7:17 pm Reply

      Hi Dan,
      I have never heard of those shoes before. I run in Nike and New Balance and did not switch shoes post-op. I asked my physician if I should and he said there was no need. I did run only on flat and soft surfaces when I started back running. I saved the pavement and hills for later once I was a little further along. Best of luck!

  25. Lee January 6, 2013 at 10:14 pm Reply

    Hi Ashley,

    Thanks so much for your blog post. I will also require dual FAI surgeries. My first is scheduled for February 1. I am living in Northern Canada, thus, much to prepare before hand, such as chopping wood. I am also a mountain biker, land-locked surfer, and avid explorer. My concern is this summer, I will not be able to scale any mountains, or surf when I make a trip back home – Nova Scotia – in June. How are you feeling now? Are you 100% or close? Any setbacks or recommendations of what-not-to-do? I am also concerned about my physical condition while healing (i.e., laying in bed) – I do not want to lose a significant amount of muscle mass! At one point in my life I weighed 230lbs, now I am at my ideal of 175lbs – extra weight certainly takes a toll on the hips!

    Thanks!

    • Ashley Fleming January 8, 2013 at 7:23 pm Reply

      Hi Lee,
      You sound very active- much like me! I am now 100% and able to do everything I was able to do prior to my surgery. It did take me a bit to get to this point. I am now almost 8 months post-op and I still go to ART (active release technique) 1-2 times every 2-3 weeks just to keep stretching and work on scar tissue. I am now more conscious about stretching my groin/hips prior to working out and have learned additional exercises to strengthen my glutes/hips.

      I did lose muscle mass while recovering. My PT told me you can lose muscle mass within 72 hours- I was in the hospital for at least 24 and then I was very sedentary for about 5 days after. I worked very hard to keep up strength training while recovering- specifically upper body exercises. You can do lower leg exercises, but everything is limited. I didn’t see a huge change, I just became a little less “firm” so to speak.

      Definitely watch your diet because you will be sitting more than usual. Make sure to be diligent about stretching and doing your PT exercises. Most importantly, STAY POSITIVE! I am not a lazy person so being patient and not being able to push myself was very hard. I felt very “down” at some points, but quickly realized that there is an end in sight- this is not a permanent condition and you will get back to being active! Best of luck to you and let us know how everything goes.

      • Lee Covin January 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm Reply

        Hi Ashley,
        Thanks for your post. I am two days away from Surgery in Edmonton (I have to travel from Yukon). I’ve spent the last week setting up my home for recovery – and your right – I need to stay positive! I think I am just experiencing some pre-op anxiety not knowing what to expect. First voice perspectives like your story help a lot. I have a TRX – I will be speaking with my PT about using it. I am also taking distance school which will hopefully keep my mind occupied for the first part of recovery. My goal is to surf in June – or at least be able to have a nice long walk on the beach! If you don’t mind I will keep you updated – thanks for your support!

        • Ashley Fleming January 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm Reply

          Hi Lee! Thanks for reading my blog. Best of luck with your upcoming surgery and recovery. Keep us posted on how it goes!

          • Lee Covin February 3, 2013 at 9:25 pm

            Hi Ashley,
            (Deep Breath) I am in day three post op. Pain is manageable, I am up on crutches with 10lbs weight bearing on affected leg. I am taking an anti-imflammatory, a narcotic, and blood thinner (i.e., injection) for meds. Like you I was admitted overnight and was provided 5 easy physio exercises 2-3 times a day. My next physio appt. is scheduled for Thursday following my return to Yukon from Edmonton. I plan on showing my physiotherapist your website as i believe many exercises will be very helpful given I also own a TRX – I used it while traveling Europe a few years ago. Similar to your story, my surgeon Dr Carlo Panaro stated much more damage was observed during surgery then on MRI. I see him again, flying back down to Edmonton, in two weeks for follow-up. I have two incisions closed with staples. Now I suppose it is just time to rest, watch hockey, eat healthy, and stay positive, as you suggest! Not sure what to expect in the coming days, when I will be able to put weight on the affected leg? Thanks again for your website, it is great to read about others who are experiencing similar challenges.

          • Ashley Fleming February 5, 2013 at 12:56 pm

            Hi Lee,
            Congratulations! You’re now on the road to recovery :) I hope some of the exercises help. I think the most important thing to remember is that everyone is different and you just have to take the recovery process and rehab at a pace that you are comfortable with. Best of luck and please keep us posted!

  26. Jodee January 10, 2013 at 1:51 am Reply

    Hi, I’ m about 30 years older than most of you, but I’ m an avid cyclist. After4 years of trying to figure out my leg pain, I had FAI surgery on my right hip in October 2010.i didn’ t really have hip pain. my pain was down the side of my leg and IT Band. I’ ve been good for about a year or so, but started having the same symptoms in my left leg, ugh! Went back to the Ortho today, so i guess I have to start the process over again. MRI is the starting point. My plan is to retire next year and do a Cross Country bike ride, summer 2014.

    • Ashley Fleming January 10, 2013 at 12:43 pm Reply

      Hi Jodee,
      I’m sorry to hear about the pain in your other hip. I have a similar case- hip surgery on the left hip and I will have to have the surgery on my right. My goal is to train for a half marathon and half ironman this year and see how my hip handles the mileage and training. Best of luck to you in your second surgery and please keep us posted on your progress!

  27. Jody January 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm Reply

    I am 9 months post op from FAI surgery in right hip. I haven’t had pain for months and now am starting to feel the same pain I had pre-surgery. Torn Labrum repair and ball/socket shaved down. Anyone else experience reoccuring pain in same hip?

    • Ashley Fleming January 24, 2013 at 12:29 pm Reply

      Hi Jody,
      Thanks for visiting my blog. I haven’t had the experience you are mentioning, but possibly someone else has? I wish you the best.

    • Debbie Whiteley January 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm Reply

      I had surgery a little over 6 months ago for labrum repair and cam and pincer impingement on the right hip. I then had knee scope for lateral release and mensicus tear. I have been having alot of pain in this hip also. To the point of my range of motion in hip is painful and knee rehab exercises are causing my hip to hurt. My local dr is having me go for a shot at our local pain clinic into the hip joint. If that gives me relief we know that it is the source of my pain. After my surgery I did find out I had arthritis and grade 3 chondrolamalcia in my hip also. If this shot only lasts a couple of months it is a possiblity of a total hip. Yikes.!!! And some of the research shows that if you already have alot of damage in the hip that this surgery’s outcome is not as good. Make sure to talk to your hip doctor and let him know. Don’t let them tell you it shouldn’t hurt. Good Luck

      • Jody January 24, 2013 at 8:28 pm Reply

        Thank you for the response. I made an appt with my dr to see if it might just be the weather also. I hope it goes away. I had the same shot into the hip and it’s a douzy – good luck!

        • Wendi Cooper February 3, 2013 at 6:00 pm Reply

          I have a friend that had the FAI surgery and a few months later her “bone” died. She then had a total hip replacement and she feels amazing. So don’t fear the hip replacement…she said (and she is an athlete) that the recovery was easier and she wished she had not bothered with the FAI to begin with…

          • Jody February 4, 2013 at 9:29 pm

            Wow, thank you for the post. I hope its easier than another surgery but as long as the pain goes away, that’s what I hope. Thanks for the encouragement.

          • Ashley Fleming February 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm

            Hi Jody!
            Thanks for reading and best of luck with your diagnosis/pain management.

  28. Dani January 24, 2013 at 12:01 am Reply

    I loved reading your blog post! I am 5 weeks away from getting surgery on my right hip. I am a college athlete and it has taken the doctors and trainers over 14 months to figure out what was going on with me. I really like the exercises you have posted. You have given me hope that I will be able to recover! Thank you for your words!

    • Ashley Fleming January 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm Reply

      Hi Dani,
      Thanks for reading my post! I know a lot of people in the same situation as you- I was one of them as well. Went undiagnosed for a very long time until finally physicians did an MRI to find the FAI. Reach out if you need any advice or have questions- I’m happy to help because I remember being in your shoes about 8 months ago. Good luck and here’s to a speedy recovery!

      • Dani March 4, 2013 at 5:01 pm Reply

        Hi Ashley!
        I am now 3 days post op from my surgery and I feel pretty good. For my hip, there was no tear on the labrum that showed up on the MRI but once they got in through the scope and looked at it there was. So that is where the pain was coming from…. good to know. The shaved down the cam impingement and stitched the labrum back together. I will be on crutches for 3 weeks which was something I was not expecting. My question for you is did you have issues with your wrists/hands hurting while using the crutches. Any words of advice on how to lessen that? I have to go back to school and the college campus I am on is not exactly small and is NOT flat. There are many stairs… gross… haha. I appreciate your willingness to share your experiences!

        • Ashley Fleming March 8, 2013 at 6:30 pm Reply

          Hi Dani! Glad to hear you are doing well. I didn’t experience any pain in my wrists/hands so I can’t speak to that issue- sorry :( I hope you continue to recover well and heal quickly! Best of luck to you.

          • Jody March 8, 2013 at 8:23 pm

            I had the same surgery with crutches for 4 weeks. I had calusus for a few weeks after unfortunately. Remember to get a good backpack, that will save you! I have to go in for surgery #2 soon, uggg.

        • kate March 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm Reply

          Hi Danni,

          SO what I do which helps marginally is wrap one layer of strapping tape tight around the handle then cotton wool tight around that, lots of it. Then I finish that off with another layer of strapping tape, this will make them a lot softer but generally you just get used to it :)

  29. mark February 1, 2013 at 12:17 am Reply

    Great site! I am 3 days post op from surgery which involved fai cam impingement, repair of my labrum and lengthening a tendon. This site was a huge blessing in preparing for surgery and to know that there are others going through the same thing. Im looking forward to rehab and getting stronger so I can get back into running this spring! I wish everyone a speedy recovery!

    • Ashley Fleming February 1, 2013 at 12:53 am Reply

      Hi Mark! I’m glad to hear your surgery went well and you are so positive :) Best of luck with your recovery- keep us posted!

  30. Wendi Cooper February 3, 2013 at 5:56 pm Reply

    I am so happy to read this as I am going for surgery on Tuesday 2/5/13. I too had the same experience with hip pain for about 4 years. Cycling it didn’t hurt. Yoga it didn’t hurt. But Pilates – every time – created hip pain. It is FAI and until we get inside I suppose we don’t know how much damage either. But, I will book mark this page because it is the most positive and informative I’ve found and gives me confidence that recovery is only the road to better things…I’m 57 and I can not stand not working out and sweating every day…so I am so looking forward to getting back on the bike.

    • Ashley Fleming February 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm Reply

      Hi Wendi!
      Thanks for reading and I hope you are able to get back on the bike soon. Best wishes for a diagnosis and recovery!

  31. Rene February 6, 2013 at 10:49 pm Reply

    Great post, Ashley. I just got home from my appointment with my surgeon, and will have FAI surgery on the 14th. I am very worried about post op exercise, and your experience reassures me that I can figure out how to keep the rest of my body healthy while my hip heals. I hope you are feeling better every day!

    • Ashley Fleming February 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm Reply

      Good luck Rene! I hope the surgery went well and you are actively recovering. Best of luck and stay positive!

      • Rene March 29, 2013 at 3:28 pm Reply

        Well, it has been interesting.. surgery was cancelled in the middle of things becasue my vitals went to hell. They thought I had an embolism. Lesson learned for others who are facing this surgery: use saline rather than compressed air to open up the area to be fixed ( a CT scan showed air in my liver – bad), and do it in a hospital, not an outpatient surgery center. I finally had it done on March 12, and I am amazed at how good it feels after only two weeks. My biggest challenge is to use the crutches even though I can walk on the affected leg. Physical therapy has been a breeze so far, except for the quad stretches….ouch!

        • Andrew April 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm Reply

          How long was it before you guys could drive? Im getting the first hip done in 4 weeks.

          • Jody April 9, 2013 at 7:05 pm

            All depends what hip is done. I had my right and drive a manual so I couldn’t drive for a few weeks. I’m having right done again and will have to arrange for more rides to work. Good luck!

          • Ashley Fleming April 10, 2013 at 12:07 pm

            Hi Andrew,
            I was able to drive right at 2 weeks post-op. I was off of my medication by then (just taking Ibuprofen), which was the main concern. Best of luck with your surgery! Keep us posted on your recover, etc.

  32. Wendi Cooper February 10, 2013 at 6:54 pm Reply

    I had my surgery on the 5th and have had a pretty good go of it so far. My right leg was super swollen for the first 3 days but today, 5 days post op, it is not swollen at all. Bi did have repair of the labrum and femoral osteoplasty of head and neck. Mt restrictions are on weight and position. I can walk with crutches and put only “foot” weight on my right side and can’t exceed 90 degrees for the hip and not to go out of neutral position. I really don’t have much pain at all since day 2post op…but I am confused as to what position I should be in…laying, sitting, leg raised…I know to heal I have to make sure not to rotate my hip out of neutral and it’s difficult to stay conscious of the position. Nearly impossible when sleeping.

    I just feel weird because of the meds…I just wish I knew if TS okay to sit at 90 degrees for most of the day or if I should be more supine….I did go out to lunch yesterday but then spent the rest of the day and night in bed…I hate being bed ridden…

    • kate Ratty February 12, 2013 at 10:32 pm Reply

      Hey Wendy! Im having my surgery in 2 weeks amd I am having both done at once, bilateral!! ahh!

      Its great to know you willbe recovering at the same ish time as me and il be looking forwar dto your updates to know what I can expect…Im wondering how on earth I will manage when I am reading everyones struggles with just one hip being done, my surgeon assures me that I am better off to do both at once as I reaaaallly want to get back to sport :)Il be thinking of you hope we can swap recovery stories

      • Andrew February 13, 2013 at 10:10 am Reply

        Hi Kate

        Best of luck with your surgery. I have do get bilateral surgery also.
        I have been told that they can’t do both hips at the same time though?

        Can you shed some light on that for me?

        • kate Ratty February 19, 2013 at 1:48 am Reply

          Hi Andrew…yes both at once, on the 1st March, all info coming soon on this blog :) Im sure it wont be as good as Ashleys but I will try!!! My surgery is next friday, 1st March 2013. My surgeon assures me the following,
          We have done about 80 bilateral surgeries
          We are publishing our results
          no extra pain
          no extra painkillers taken
          no extra time back to work
          no extra complications
          results just as good when compared to patients who had only one hip done

          http://simultaneousbilateralarthroscopyforfai.wordpress.com/

      • Wendi Cooper February 18, 2013 at 6:02 pm Reply

        Kate:
        I wanted to get back to you. I had my surgery on the 5th and it is now the 18th and I am already walking with only a cane. At 8 days post op my surgeon said it was remarkable as I was at the level of 4 week recovery. I have had only paid the following 4 days of the surgery. My leg was swollen like crazy afterword, but within 4 days all of the swelling was gone. I did ice a lot so I think this helped.
        My doctor also said I was extremely lucky and rare because it is a serious operation that I had and he was surprised I didn’t have any pain. Now when I say I didn’t have pain, I didn’t have the kind that I need to stay medicated with pain killers. Of course if I turn the wrong way or did anything I shouldn’t, then yes it hurt. I started driving as I can lift my leg easily up and down without an restriction of pain. I know not to take things lightly and to be careful as it is very important not to put too much weight too soon on the femor (I had head and neck osteoplasty and labral tear repair) as it needs to heal. And it is important to take the Naproxen or whatever they give you as it is more for the healing of the bone than anything else. I have it with prescription Pepcid and I does not bother me at all. All and all I feel really blessed to have had such a great experience and I am looking forward to starting PT tomorrow. I hope you surgery goes well! wendi@cspotrun.com

        • kate March 5, 2013 at 2:29 am Reply

          Hi wendy!!

          Well I had my op and am on day 4 of my recovery, I had exactly the same as you, 2 mm off femoral head each and 6mm off the socket, with labral repairs ON BOTH SIDES.!! I was so anxious about having both sides but its been really amazing. Its insane, I am obviously a little uncomfortable, getting in and out of bed is uncomfy and Im so over sitting down, lying down, last night i managed to sleep on my side which was really nice for a change as my lower back had started hurting.With both sides I am still very swollen but only really locally, basically I have a massive butt and hips!! I can pretty much bend over, walk fine with crutches, got to the loo/shower. I struggle getting in and out of cars and bed. thats it. Yesterday I had a really big day went out for lunch, lots of crutching round, didnt sleep much all day and then went to my partners parents for dinner and by evening realised i had done too much…pretty sore. So today I am taking it real easy. But overall the recovery is MUCH better than I thought (for me anyway) and I too am weaning off my pain relief. but staying on my anti inflammatories. I start PT a week tomorrow and Im real excited for that. I actually am starting my own blog for this its called simultaneousbilateralarthroscopyforfai.wordpress.com where i am posting all the photos from before after surgery, a little video of me on crutches and updates all through my recovery, Im doing this because I couldnt find any info myself on the bilateral surgery. I am so glad I had both done, my surgeon had said to me you wont be in more pain and your rehab will be just the same time and also nice and even (no favouring of either side). So anyone out there who is thinking of having both done, do it!!! any questions email me kate.ratty@live.com

          I had mine done in NZ by Mat Brick, he is great. Oh the most interesting thing too, although im sore, and swollen and some things hurt, that deep groin butt pain i have had for the last few years is gone…..how exciting.

    • Ashley Fleming February 18, 2013 at 5:35 pm Reply

      Hi Wendi- glad to hear you’re recovering well. I sat in somewhat of an upright position with my legs straight out on an ottoman. I had a hard time sleeping as laying straight/flat on the bed caused my groin to be stretched which caused me a lot of pain. I’m sure each patient is different and I would recommend calling your physician or physician’s assistant to ask what the best position is for you. Best of luck with your continued recovery!

  33. Diana February 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm Reply

    Hi Ashley,
    I had left FAI surgery (plus a partially torn gluteus medius tendon) on Jan 4, 2013, so I really enjoyed reading your page! I have been very diligent about doing my PT exercises every day at home, but I’ve found that my upper body is becoming very week. Despite losing about 5lbs of mostly muscle, I think I’ve gained some flab! So I am excited to try your upper body exercises to help get that part of my body back in shape. Although, I had shoulder surgery 7 years ago so I’ll need to be careful (I was a college tennis player and it ripped up my body).
    Any further tips for getting the upper body back without becoming too muscular?
    Thanks for your help for all us female athletes out there!
    Diana

    • Ashley Fleming February 18, 2013 at 6:08 pm Reply

      Hi Diana!
      I hope you’re recovery is going well. I felt like my body was getting “flabby” too! The PT exercises helped a little bit, but it was mostly what I was able to incorporate at the gym that helped the most. It was so weird to see my body change from lack of exercise. I don’t know if I had ever taken that much time off, so getting used to being mostly inactive with my lower body was a shock.

      For upper body, anything with the TRX is good (body weight rows, tricep curls, etc.), but I love push-ups, pull-ups and using weights for overhead presses, dumbbell rows and arm raises. Keep up the good work and best of luck with your recovery!

  34. Antonio Donato February 11, 2013 at 7:36 pm Reply

    Ashley,
    Excellent article and thank you for posting it. I just had surgery on the 7th for FAI (Cam and pincer) and labral tear. Unfortunately, a microfracture was performed in order to repair damaged cartilage which was only seen once the doctor was in. The doctor was very pleased on the outcome. I am so glad I underwent this surgery. The doctor told me that I was developing hip arthritis. I am only 24!!
    I am only 4 days post-op but I feel great. Like you, I also have groin pains at night. I believe this is due to the position I am sleeping in. My doctor required me to sleep at night with my hip brace on and my feet strapped together to ensure my right foot remains in the neutral position. Fortunately, my pain has not been severe enough to take any pain medication. My last pill was the one the nurse gave me directly after surgery. I have been taking an anti-inflammatory called Naproxen twice a day. I have to agree the ice machine is a savior. Any time I feel some pain I just turn it on and feel instant relief. I have also been using a Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) machine for about 4 hours a day. I started at 40 degrees day one and am increasing the degree of motion by 5 degrees daily. Did you also use this machine.
    At what point did you stop using crutches? Were you able to walk with no pain at this point?

    • Ashley Fleming February 18, 2013 at 6:15 pm Reply

      Hi Antonio! It sounds like you are doing great! I’m glad the sleeping situation is getting better. I remember dreading going to sleep because I knew I would wake up in pain. The good news is that it didn’t last long- maybe a few weeks. That is also great that you aren’t on any heavy meds- those are what caused a lot of GI stress for me.

      My doctor never mentioned or recommended using the CPM machine, but I have read of others online who have used it. I was still using the crutches here and there during week 3, but was off of them by the end of the week. My doctor told me to use them until I could walk normal, which really didn’t happen until later…at week 4 or so. I wasn’t able to walk without pain for weeks. I remember taking a work trip to CA and I accidentally got lost and ended up walking a mile or so. I was so sore and I was limping- I had to get ice from the hotel ice machine and ice my hip at night :) I also felt like I had a lot more groin pain than most people so that could have made things worse too.

      Keep up the good work and best of luck with your recovery!

  35. Andrew February 11, 2013 at 8:25 pm Reply

    Great post. I am looking at bilateral surgery pretty soon. Could you shed some light on the recovery time to be back to a relatively normal lifestyle? Any research I have done shows up 3 months recovery to a okay lifestyle and up to 9-12 months to return to my career as a strength coach.

    http://strengthishealth.wordpress.com/

    • Ashley Fleming February 18, 2013 at 6:57 pm Reply

      Hi Andrew! Thanks for checking out the blog. I heard the same thing about recovery- everything from 3 months to a year. I can say from what I’ve heard and learned that recovery times really do vary per patient. I was back to walking and moving around (no running) at about a month.

      During the second month I was continually doing upper body exercises, increasing time on the bike, walking more and still doing physical therapy. I didn’t try (and wasn’t able to) running until about 3 months/12 weeks and even then, I could only run for a minute and then walk for a minute for a total of 5 minutes. I just kept increasing VERY slowly each week and made sure not to push it.

      My physician said that for a few weeks post surgery I shouldn’t sit or stand for longer than 15-30 minutes which meant I was constantly trying to get up and move or stretch. If you’re coaching, I imagine you could be on your feet, but then sit at your desk, etc. every so ofter. I took 2 weeks off work (I have a desk job in marketing where I sit at a computer for most of the day) so I wasn’t doing much activity, but I would go to the gym at lunch just to do exercises or stretch.

      I hope this is helpful- best of luck with your decision!

    • kate March 5, 2013 at 2:36 am Reply

      Hi Andrew, I had bilateral surgery done four days ago and I feel sooo relieved to have had both done at once. It really doesnt seem to make any difference to recovery as I am progressing just fine! If you have any questions on it feel free to contact me, kate.ratty@live.com

  36. Katie P February 14, 2013 at 8:13 pm Reply

    Hi Everyone, what a great site. Thanks Ashley for this really helpful and informative site. It’s wonderful to connect with and read posts from other people going through the same thing. I have also been diagnosed with FAI (cam) in right hip following an x ray and MRI. I am 33 and a kickboxer. Like most of you guys, it started with the ‘pay-back’ pain – not much during exercise but I’d always pay for it later! I’ve ended up with so much pain I’ve had to give up all sports for the last 6 months. I also can’t walk for long periods of time or stand still. Especially the last few weeks I’ve been having horrible night pain. Due an arthroscopy soon to check out the extent of the damage. I find it hard to explain to people as my symptoms are really up and down – I can be fine for a while, walking around like normal and then suddenly I have to sit down for a while. I’m nervous about the surgery (been told a bone shave is most likely) but it’s inspiring to hear other people’s stories and how positive your experiences have been. I’ll be bookmarking this page and following people’s progress. Good luck everyone!

    • Ashley Fleming February 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm Reply

      Hi Katie! Thanks for checking out the blog- I’m glad you have found it helpful. I think there are a lot of us who have very random and sporadic pain. I remember all the PT’s I went to see would always ask when I felt pain- as in, after what activity. I always had to say that it really depended on the day. Sometimes I would run 3 miles and it would kill me- other days I would squat really heavy and have no pain. It was very unpredictable.

      The good news is, now that I am recovered I don’t have any of the pain anymore in my surgery hip. I have FAI on my right hip so surgery is most likely inevitable for that hip, but at least I know the surgery was the best choice for me and the situation. They had to reshape my bone (femoroplasty) too- I have a video of it and it’s really amazing how they do it. Sort of gross, but still very cool to see. Best of luck and keep us updated on your surgery/recovery!

      • Alicia February 18, 2013 at 8:06 pm Reply

        I’m six weeks tomorrow and mostly feeling pretty good. I go back to see Dr. Maiers on Wed. How long did random pain last for you? I know everyone is different but I just like to get an idea from someone who has been through it:) Some mornings I wake up in pain, which is annoying. It’s not excruciating; I just feel like it shouldn’t be hurting anymore. Maybe I am a tad impatient…

      • Katie P February 18, 2013 at 10:21 pm Reply

        Hi Ashley

        Thanks for your message. It’s really reassuring to hear people going through the same thing and finally realising it’s not all in my head!! It’s brilliant to hear the hip you’ve had done is recovering so well. It’s great to hear & it sounds like a good move to get your other one done too. Not sure I’d like to see the video!! Haha. I’ve got my first appointment with the surgeon in just over 2 weeks time so I’ll keep you posted. Make sure you keep us posted too on hip2! Thanks again!

        • Keith Richmond April 10, 2013 at 12:11 pm Reply

          The fact that you have FAI pain when you stand resonates with me. I can only stand still for about 20 min before the pain sets in so typical parties, football games viewing at bars can be tough. Even my doctor didn’t react like he thought that was part of the FAI. It might be labrum damage. Keep us informed. I started a FB page. Please join and comment. There needs to be a lot more discussion about FAI to get the word out as many ways as possible. https://www.facebook.com/FemoralAcetabularImpingement

          • Katie P April 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm

            Hi Keith, yes, it’s a funny one, the not standing still bit…I’m having my surgery in just over a week so I’ll keep you posted. I can’t see the hyperlink to the facebook page – it cuts off. Can you re-port?

  37. kate Ratty February 19, 2013 at 1:50 am Reply

    My surgeyr is in about 10 days, 1st March 2013, I am having both hips done simultaneously!!! I feel like a pioneer as I cant find anyone else who hads done it!!!

    Blog is coming along….

    http://simultaneousbilateralarthroscopyforfai.wordpress.com/

    • Katie P February 19, 2013 at 7:52 am Reply

      Best of luck Kate! Let us know how you get on!

  38. Penny R February 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm Reply

    I am having my surgery on Friday, 3/01 (Left hip) and plan to have the right hip done in August. Getting nervous. Reading this helps. I hope I get the IceMan thing…it sounds great!!!

  39. kate March 5, 2013 at 2:43 am Reply

    Hey guys, my bilateral surgery was done on friday, four days ago, and Im feeling great! Can crutch around no worries have been able to since straight after op (once nausea wore off!) and can go to toilet, shower, go out to lunch. I basically just cant do too much of anything in one day, nearly a quarter of the day is still spent in bed, and a lot of it on the sofa or reading in bed. But I can sit, and lie on my back, front or side in some comfort. The hip flexors seem to be shortening up so Im really working on lying on my belly for some time just to stop that happening too much and make and effort to stand tall when I walk. As for the surgery being bilateral its fantastic and doesnt seem to make an awful lot of difference. I am still on anti imflammatories and some pain meds, but not heavy stuff. I also need to listen to my body, I did a little too much yesterday so got sore so am taking it easy today and feeling better again. :)
    If anyone has any questions please contact me on kate.ratty@live.com or check out my blog, im just halfway through writing a massive post on the surgery and aftermath, I will keep updating with recovery posts. Timeline atm is stitches out next monday, I have 3 incisions on each side, and tehn start physio next wed, also start walking in the pool, and using exercycle when i start the physio. Yay cant wait for that. Will be back to work half days to start approx 10 days from the day of my surgery.

    The amazing thing is yes i am swollen and a little sore, but the FAI pain, the I want to squeeze my bum muscles, crampy, tight groin discomfort has gone…. I also used to get a lot fo pain bending forward….not anymore. Exciting!

  40. Charlie March 18, 2013 at 11:17 am Reply

    I was diagnosed with FAI of the left Femoral head a week ago. This pain has taken a year to figure out since I’m highly active in Jiujitsu and Muay Thai. Doctors where claming it was my back and bursitis! We quickly found out through author gram that this isn’t true. My question to any folks on here is has anyone tired PRP? And what are your results ? I’m considering it before surgery. If I get surgery it will be next Month with dr Javad Parvizi of the Rothman institute of Philadelphia. Your story is inspirationAl

  41. Dave M March 18, 2013 at 10:52 pm Reply

    Hi All,
    This IS a great blog/forum. I’ve learned a lot reading everyone’s comments, so thank you to all.
    I had R hip cam impingement surgery on March 7th (11 days ago). The first two days were fine b/c of the pain meds, and I took less and less days 3-8. About 8 days post-op I went to putting more weight on my R leg and only using one crutch, along with that I think I was probably sitting for too long of periods so yesterday and today I was very sore. I think I’ll go back to two crutches and try to lay down more. I’m just so itching to get moving, as I know most of you are, too.
    I developed symptoms 3 years ago. My diagnosis took almost 3 years. I had spinal fusion 19 years ago when I was 20 yrs old, so I figured it was back related. Up until the pain got really bad I was running, biking, lifting weights, etc- and like a lot of people- it was pay-back pain, not pain while doing the activity. I was diagnosed with everything from Fibromyalgia, to Lyme disease, and actually treated for lyme. It maid some sense…i had joint pain in obviously my hips, right shoulder and some knee pain. I was also depressed from not being able to be active and moody because of the pain. Then I luckily went to a good physical therapist who recommended I see a hip specialist because the right was a lot worse than the left and I had psoas and butt pain.
    After the clinical testing and x-rays, they diagnosed by with FAI Cam impingement. Then an MRI and numbing shot to confirm. Sure enough I think we finally got it. It’s been a long winding road with some strange symptoms that hopefully will go away as the hip heals and the pain subsides and I can become active again. The strange symptom is the muscle fasiculations (twitching) that I have. I think it’s my body’s (nervous system of dealing with chronic pain and/or the anxiety of the many doctors/diagnosis and uncertainty of what I was dealing with.
    Really my question is to all who’ve had the surgery is: Are you better off having had the surgery and by how much (%) do you think you are? 20% better, 50% better…more?!
    Honestly if I can get back to sitting in a car for more than 25 minutes without pain and doing some decent cardio relatively pain free, I think it’ll be worth it.

    PS- I have it bi-laterally as well, so if this works out, I’ll most likely do my left next year or so.

    Thanks All!

    • Jody March 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm Reply

      I’m happy they finally figured out what your pain was a result of. I too had the same but also had my labrum repaired. Doesn’t sound like your labrum was effected? After 4 months, I felt back to normal and it was great! I did get a bit depressed after a few weeks on the crutches and not being so mobile. It really does a number to your self-image. Hang in there and keep moving around – it does help and keeps your muscles working. Unfortunately for me, my labrum has more issues and I have to have surgery #2 to repair next month. Not looking forward to another year of recovery. It feels like a redo of last year. It will get better though because I remember how good those 3 months felt to not have the daily pain. Keep us updated!

      • Wendi Cooper March 20, 2013 at 3:39 am Reply

        You will be happy you had the surgery. I am. It was surprisingly easy for me. Sounds like you were a bit too anxious though so take it easy. It takes 6 weeks for a bone to heal even if you are relatively pain free. I was too but my doctor told me that’s not necessarily a good thing…so be careful and cautious. I’m anxious to get back to working out, cycling, and sweating…mostly sweating! Good luck on our next surgery. I would say that have zero pain that I had before – it’s just a matter of ROM – once I work through that I see not having to worry about that darn pain that was driving me crazy it seemed like forever. It’s funny because I don’t think any one is actually diagnosed with FAI initially. The real question is why the heck does it take so long for someone to figure it out! :)

  42. Wendi Cooper March 20, 2013 at 3:32 am Reply

    checking in. I had FAI surgery on my right hip on February 5th and repair to the torn labrum. I am so fortunate because my swelling went down after day 4. Used crutches until end of week 3. Cane in Week 3. No pain killers after the first week as I had very little pain. It is now week 6 and I am doing great. Limitations for sure. Not having pain is not necessarily a good thing as pain gages healing. But this was a very easy surgery for me – I suffered for 5 years with that stupid hip pain and now it’s gone for the most part and enjoying physical therapy and getting my ROM back. I so dreaded this surgery but it turned out to be very easy for me. I hope and wish the same for all of you. My surgeon is Dr. Khatod at Kaiser Permanente in West Los Angeles. He was just excellent.

  43. Sandra April 9, 2013 at 4:47 pm Reply

    Hi Ashley,
    my friend had this surgery a week ago, and since then, she is feeling numbness in her foot (outer side of her foot and her toes)… The doctor told her that it is because of the elevated position of the leg during the surgery, and because of that “boot” that they put the leg in while performing the surgery… If you ask me, that is a bit silly explanation, since the numbness still persists, in the same intensity… now, they are just telling her, wait, and let us know if nothing changes in two weeks, without really giving her any good explanation or hope that things will get better… So, I was just wondering, did you have any feeling of numbness in your foot (operated side), and if yes, for how long? What did you do in order to deal with it?
    Thank you, and I am hoping that the feeling in my friend’s foot will come back soon!!!

    • Ashley Fleming April 10, 2013 at 12:06 pm Reply

      Hi Sandra,
      Thanks for reading the blog. I never experienced numbness in my foot, but others who have commented/posted may have. I did feel a lot of numbness in my left glute (surgery side) due to the amount I was sitting/resting. Luckily I never had any foot pain though- just glute/groin for the most part.

      Thanks again and I hope your friend recovers well!

      • Sandra April 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm Reply

        Thank you so much for responding, Ashley. I also hope she recovers and that the numbness disappears soon. She is trying to work on it on her physical therapy, and at home she is soaking her foot in epson salt (if not help, then it certainly won’t hurt…). Thank you again!

    • Brea April 14, 2013 at 7:39 pm Reply

      I didn’t have numbness in my foot, but I did have some bizarre numbness in my thigh. I was specifically warned this was the most likely bad side effect of surgery. I say it’s bizarre because I don’t really notice it unless I touch/rub it. It’s like the skin is numb but the tissue within is not.

      This was constant for a few months and worsened by prolonged sitting. I’m now almost 6 months post-op, and it only happens after prolonged sitting. And I still don’t notice it until/unless I touch/rub that thigh. It is so strange!

      I have my entire range of motion back – actually I think I have greater range of motion in hip extension because I also had my psoas tendon released) and I am running again (I’m. so. slow. But at least it doesn’t hurt!!!).

      The range of motion really just came back in the last couple of months. I was sure I would always feel stiff. I still get an ache at the very beginning of runs, like I need to shake off some cobwebs. Tell your friend to be patient – it seems like so much should get better so quickly after surgery, but some of it really does take the whole 6-12 months of recovery! At this point, I’m wondering if my own numbness is going to be permanent or go away. At least it isn’t a very big deal at this point. It drove me nuts when my kids would touch that thigh in the couple of months after surgery – it just felt SO WEIRD!

  44. Keith Richmond April 10, 2013 at 11:57 am Reply

    This is a great blog and set of comments. FAI surgery is so new that there is not much online from the actual patients. I have FAI in both hips; it is cam type, but really it is a cluster of bumps on the femoral head just to the outside of the socket rather than a smooth cam. I’ve been seeing doctors for 6 years, had PT, cortisone, seen Ortho doctors, Neuro doctors, 2 Sports Medicine doctors and 2 rounds of x-rays and MRIs. Back in 2008 they just concluded I had tendonitis, no amount of stretching or rest made it go away. Then, this time around three things changed (1) the doctors became aware of FAI, (2) they got a department called Intraventional Radiology which is better at reading the images than they were before, and (3) they gave me shots directly into the hip joint, first with lidocaine, which gave 3 hrs relief and then cortisone, which gave 3-4 weeks relief. The latter didn’t give permanent relief and I rested the hip the whole time but it came back. It did, however, tell me that the pain was in the joint and not in a tendon or a bursa. Ashley, thanks for starting this discussion. At first, I could not find a discussion page on Facebook for this, so 2-3 days ago I started one. Ashley and any others please contribute. I am sure we can learn a lot from each other. PLEASE “LIKE” AND PARTICIPATE IN
    https://www.facebook.com/FemoralAcetabularImpingement
    I also linked to this article from there! Back to my hips, I had MRI’s done with contrast last week and am waiting to meet my doctor again to see if I have any labrum issues. I love to run but have been unable to. Not a marathoner, just usually run 3-4 times a week, and my workout is 3 miles. I also swim, usually 1 mile 3-4 times a week, but had to have rotator cuff and AC joint surgery 10 days ago. That also took 6 years of misdiagnosis but it is feeling good now. Still early days, and that is another story. It has been a drag to give up swimming and running.

    • Ashley Fleming April 10, 2013 at 12:15 pm Reply

      Thank you Keith- I appreciate you reading the blog and also adding it to the facebook page you created. I visited the page and “liked” it.

      Hopefully we can all contribute to posting some articles and other helpful information. I did find one other group online prior to my surgery, but only read a few comments and then stopped because they were all so negative! It will be nice to have a more medical focused page with comments that are somewhat positive and definitely helpful :)

      I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but it sounds like you are on the right path in correcting the issue. I mentioned this on the facebook page in regards to how my FAI was diagnosed, but I actually had an x-ray right when I was first having hip issues (after a cycling accident), but the physician saw nothing and said that everything looked ok. It wasn’t until almost 2 years later, that I finally pushed (HARD) for an MRI to be done beacuse I knew something else was wrong. That is when they saw the torn labrum and then connected the dots to the FAI when they did another x-ray. Seems like FAI has been diagnosed multiple ways in various patients- I’ve read about x-ray, MRI, arthrogram, contrast injection, etc. I guess each physician varies in their diagnosis procedure.

      Anyway, thanks again for reading and I’ll make sure to keep and eye out for the faecbook page. Best of luck!

    • Katie P April 12, 2013 at 6:46 pm Reply

      Hi Keith, I’ve ‘liked’ your Facebook page :) There are a few others:

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/hipfai/

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/BestHipSurgeonsReviews/

      Good luck!

      Katie

  45. Lee Covin April 10, 2013 at 5:35 pm Reply

    Hey Everyone,
    It has been a little while since posting and my recovery is moving well. I have been off crutches for 1 month and steadily increasing my activity level. I am hiking mountains with minimal weight on my back and engaging in a regular work-out regime. No running, no basketball, no hockey – yet. I am rolling the hip each day and working hard on core exercises as per my physio therapist. I just had my second follow-up with the surgeon Dr. Carlo Panaro of Edmonton and he is very pleased with how the hip is moving (i.e., range of motion) and how it “looks” under x-ray. I experience a little pain in the hip-flexors during/after hiking – this subsides fairly quickly and stretching really helps. I do not take any anti-imflamatories for pain or discomfort. I am seeing a massage therapist weekly, and she is absolutely amazing. I feel immediate long-lasting relief following visits. Oh, I mentioned physio – well, I actually fired my previous physio therapist – I was much more knowledgeable then him and I felt as if he was not addressing areas that needed attention. The new physio has found a few long-standing issues as a result of FAI (i.e., compensating on one side) which we are now addressing with core work. The Surgeon and I are now planning for the other hip – oh my, oh my. I really do not feel prepared to even consider the other hip until at least a year post-op. Good luck everyone with recovery and for those that will be having surgery soon!

    • Ashley Fleming April 11, 2013 at 4:11 pm Reply

      Thanks for the update Lee! I’m so glad you are recovering well. I am now almost 1 year post-op (hard to believe) and am now starting to consider my other hip because the pain is getting worse with speed/higher mileage. I’m like you, I don’t want to think about it yet! I guess the good news is that now we know how our bodies handle the surgery and we will be pros at the recovery period ;) Keep up the good work!

    • Andrew May 10, 2013 at 8:18 am Reply

      Good post Lee. What timeframe are you talking between hips one and two? im getting the first one done in 3 weeks time and ideally getting the second one done 5-6 weeks later.
      Could you tell me how soon after op you were moving around relatively freely? and without crutches?

  46. Andy April 16, 2013 at 9:49 am Reply

    Hi everyone.
    I am a 40 yo male from Queensland Australia and I have AFI.
    I have always been very active. I played a lot of rugby union when I was younger and I have surfed nearly every weekend since I was 10.
    I’ve had a few injuries over the years, including a bit of knee trouble and even though I now know that I have always been susceptible to FAI, because of overgrown femoral heads or CAM lesions, my actual case of AFI was brought on early by just stretching my hips. I was given a stretching program by my local physio to treat my knee problem and six months later I was diagnosed with FAI. I was told by the sport doctors that the stretching routine, which increased my range of motion, was enough to start the hips impinging. I was seriously pissed off.
    So I had surgery on my left hip about 18 months ago and the surgeon shaved the bump off the femoral head and repaired a small labral tear. Yep, we’ve got kangaroos and labrums here:)
    So my recovery was a bit of a baptism of fire, as 9 weeks after surgery I started a new job in Karratha in the heart of the Western Aus mining boom working 3 weeks on and 2 weeks off. Trust me, digging holes in red dirt that is harder than concrete with a weak hip is not recommended.
    I’m now working in another mining town in a fairly physical job and my right hip has now started to ache. The pain comes and goes but I’m starting to worry that I might do some serous damage if I don’t get it done soon, so I’ve booked in for my next surgery in June.
    I’ll keep you posted, Post OP.
    One thing I need to add is that although I’d love to believe that the surgery will fix the problem and see me though the next 40 years, my research is telling me otherwise. It’s probably only going to buy me some time.
    Andy
    Thanks for reading and keep up the physio. Your hip is only as strong as you make it.

  47. Brian April 25, 2013 at 10:28 pm Reply

    Hi Ashley,
    A couple questions about your first couple weeks post-op:
    1) The exercises you listed above – how soon after surgery did you start them? The pictures look like you must be well past surgery, since there are no crutches to be seen.
    2) During the first week specifically, how long and frequently did you ice your hip, and move your hip (my surgeon told me that moving it will be good to prevent scar tissue build up, but I’m curious about your experience)

    I actually just ordered the DonJoy ice machine and hip pad, so I’m glad to see someone else enjoyed having it as well!

    Thanks,
    Brian

    • Ashley Fleming May 20, 2013 at 1:04 am Reply

      Hi Brian!
      I apologize it’s taken me so long to reply to you. To answer your questions: The first set of exercises (in the gray tan top and dark grey leggings), I was about 4 weeks post op. I was on crutches for only the first two weeks and pretty much rested and did minimal exercises given by my physician and PT. I would ice through the night and anytime I was sitting down and I would usually head to the gym late morning (Since I was off work for two weeks I didn’t have a set schedule- so nice!). They told me to stand up and do these very simple exercises three times a day- essentially I was lifting my leg up and to the front, out to the side and to the back. This was for hip range of motion, but also for glute and quad strengthening.

      Also during the first two weeks I could bike for about 5 minutes (hardly any resistance), stretch and do some core/upper body work with no weight or resistance on my hip. The second set of exercises (white shirt with black shorts) was about 8 months or so post op. I am completely (now I am a year post op) back to my normal running, biking, swimming and weight routine, but it did take a lot of patience and ART- active release technique.

      Hope this is helpful- best of luck to you!

  48. Charlie May 4, 2013 at 11:51 am Reply

    I just got my fao and labrum repaired on Tuesday at the Jefferson hospital by dr. javad parvizi of the Rothman institute. Surgery was 3 hours Long and was on both hips! It was also open surgery. He performs open so while I’m the midst of surgery he actually rotates your hip after repair to make sure it isn’t caughting anymore. I walked the day of surgery with a walker and will continue to make small advancements. My question is how swollen where your legs ? I look like a pro body builder lol? Thanks this post made me inspired to get myself fix so I can get back go my sport!

    • Jody May 9, 2013 at 11:47 pm Reply

      My leg was really swollen for several weeks after. Good luck with recovery!

      • Charlie May 14, 2013 at 4:45 am Reply

        My legs aren’t swollen anymore and I feel like I’ve almost got 85 percent strength in my legs.I was asked to start the exercise bike last week for 5 minutes or so and I’m up too 30 mins now no resistance no problem! With no pain After either is this normal!!!!!? Or I’m doing to much

    • Ashley Fleming May 20, 2013 at 1:11 am Reply

      Hi Charlie! Wow, both hips at the same time! How are you recovering? That is great that you were able to walk the first day. I was VERY swollen as well. My hips and lower abdomen and butt were HUGE. I think that a lot of it came from fluid retention from sitting all day and not moving much and I also had a lot of bloating and GI issues from the meds. I’m sure it will dissipate soon. Keep us posted on your recovery!

      • Charlie May 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm Reply

        Thanks Ashely this blog helped me build the confidence to do it and write my own blog at 1bushidolife.blogspot.com
        My recovery is going really well! I have had a walker or crutches since day 10 I walk , take shower with out chair , climb stairs no assistants, and drive 100 percent! I’ve also got on the exercise bike for 20 to 30 mins at a time no problem. I credit a lot of this to really strengthen my legs before Suregry and the way Dr parvizi performs his procedures! He Travels the world showing others how to perform the procedure. I got open hip surgery on both hips same day with labrum and bone shave.hopefully I’ll be back to martial arts in a couple months ill keep you all posted

  49. RobbieTheK May 12, 2013 at 10:39 pm Reply

    I was also diagnosed with FAI and labral tear in the right hip via x-rays and MRI. I had my procedure May 8, 2013. Well from my understanding from my surgeon Dr. Rodriguez, at Lennox Hill, I had more severe arthritis and a worse tear than thought so rather than treat the FAI he only performed the repair of the tear, feeling it was not worth the extra pain/rehab to shave down the cam and pincer lesions that showed on the MRI.

    Compared to others here almost every person I saw, from the PT, to the orthopedic I saw before Dr. R suspected FAI. I tried the cortisone shot which worked after about a week and lasted almost 3 months so much so that I thought I was cured! I was getting deeper into yoga poses especially hip openers. Perhaps I was actually making things worse!

    I also was wise to taking stool softeners and stopped the Percocets after 1 night. Just taking Alleve now but I am getting antsy/anxious just hobbling around. I’m barely even using crutch.

    Not sure if this helps others but in my case it appears the arthritis was considered worse than the FAI. And he says I’m 5 years away from a hip replacement. I’ve read that glucosomine/chondroitin have had some succes in people in stablizing the arthritis so I guess I’ll gonna give that a shot. But impact sports might be out of the picture for me unless I want to progres towards that hip replacement in my mid 40′s (currently 42). Bummer as I have a soccre field right across the street from me and softball nearby as well. Not so common in downtown NYC…

    FWIW, A-Rod (of Yankees fame) had FAI surgery in January 2013 at HSS with noted surgeon Dr. Bryan Kelley and is supposedly recovering nicely already on the baseball diamond rehabbing in Florida. And Lada GaGa tore her hib labrum earlier this year and had the surgery.

    • Ashley Fleming May 20, 2013 at 1:19 am Reply

      Thanks for the information Robbie! I hope your recovery goes well and you don’t end up having to have the hip replacement. Very interesting that FAi is becoming more diagnosed and in the spotlight with celebrities. I wish they would give more information about it when they mention that they have to have hip surgery. It would be really great and helpful I think if they talked about the condition. Anyway, thanks again and best of luck to you!

  50. Dan May 29, 2013 at 8:33 am Reply

    Hi,
    I just had FAI surgery and want to thank you for the rehab tips. Some good looking exercises.

    • Ashley Fleming June 3, 2013 at 4:21 pm Reply

      You’re welcome Dan! Best of luck with your recovery.

  51. Becky May 29, 2013 at 5:16 pm Reply

    I am so glad i found this website! I am a healthy 33 year old female that loves to run (half marathons) and I found out that I had a labrum tear/Hip impingment in August 2011. He said it was minor so I avoided fixing anything and I did yoga and strength training to supplement my running and it felt ok. This past May I had a major flare up and I can no longer run and barely walk without discomfort/pain. I have an MRI next week then I plan to do the surgery by the end of the month. I have mixed so both areas of bone will be shaved down. I am so nervous but I want to get this behind me! Thank you for all your posts!

    • Ashley Fleming June 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm Reply

      Good luck Becky and best of luck with your surgery! Keep us posted on your recovery process.

  52. Steve June 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm Reply

    After 8+ years of similar symptoms, I just heard about FAI today from my doc. Will be interesting to see how things progress. Nothing torn at this point. Nice to be told this is something more than bieng old & worn out. lol. I’m only 49 and plan an Irnman for my 50th, but the more I have tried to rest, stretch strengthen my hip has gotten progressively worse, even down to almost nothing at this point for the last 4 months, but no real change for the better. I’ve run through all kinds of pain, including a marathon on a recent ACL tear, but this hip pain is very unique. Thanks for your blog, well done!

  53. Dave June 5, 2013 at 9:20 pm Reply

    Hi, a brilliant article I had FAI surgery on the 21/5/13 in England . Had my two weeks follow up yesterday which went well and I am starting bike training along with stepping up my exercises. Dd the operation elevate all the pain which you had before the operation? Any advice or tips apart from the article above? Lastly I apologise upfront but how long was it until you could get intimate in the bedroom again?

    Many thanks

    • Ashley Fleming June 18, 2013 at 1:04 am Reply

      Hi Dave- sounds like your recovery is going well! I had a lot of pain post surgery and even a few months after (mostly in my groin), but the pain dissipated. I tried to list most of my tips in the post, but if you have additional specific questions, I would be happy to answer them along with your last question, via email. Best of luck with your recovery!

  54. Erik June 8, 2013 at 4:43 pm Reply

    There is great information in this post! Thanks. I am going in for surgery on my right hip on June 19 in hopes that it helps address SI joint pain I have had for the past few years. Was there ever a point you felt like you may re-tear your labrum during recovery? I had a labrum repair in my right shoulder a year ago and feel like I may have not pushed myself hard enough, as I was afraid of re-injury. However, I think this conservative approach really slowed down my recovery. Including yoga and other strengthening activities into the recovery you showcased is something I would like to pursue as well to expedite the recovery process.

    • Ashley Fleming June 18, 2013 at 1:19 am Reply

      Hi Erik- I felt like I was fairly conservative in my approach to recovery as well, but never felt like it was going to re-tear. I am now training twice a day for my half ironman and have sometimes worried I am overdoing it, but I think that is probably very normal of anyone having a major surgery. Best of luck with your surgery!

  55. Maisie June 14, 2013 at 4:12 pm Reply

    Thanks so much for posting. I really like your blog and will add to my blog reader. Reading these comments really helps. I started having pain on my outer hip with running and slowly it got so bad I couldn’t work out anymore. And it felt so good to get a diagnosis done. I had my hip scope done 16 days ago. They had to shave around the “neck” and also found a labral tear. They found 30-40% fraying which was trimmed down which apparently was what was causing all the pain.

    I was back to work part time after a week and I got my stitches taken out. I’m down from two crutches to a cane. I still walk a little funny but am feeling better.

    Thanks also for the mention on the groin pain. I find myself in between weeks 2 and 3 having all kinds of random pain throughout the day, but a lot in my groin which is i really weird since I didn’t have any of that pain before. I still ice when I can at home.

    Ashley, thanks for posting your workout. I think I’ll try to incorporate some of those when I’m back at the gym even if it is only a set or two. I was wondering if you did any other upper body exercises for your biceps, triceps, shoulders early on in your recovery, and if so, if you posted.

    I just started using the bike this week. I’m able to do it for 10 minutes (2x) per week. My doctor’s philosophy is to not start PT until the 6 week mark. My doctor instructed me to use the stationery bike and do all the work on my good leg and keep the bad leg along for the ride. I was wondering if anyone had pictures of doing this.

    • Ashley Fleming June 18, 2013 at 1:27 am Reply

      Hi Maisie! Thanks for your kind words regarding my blog- I’m glad it has helped you. I posted the main upper body exercises I did during recovery, but you could probably do most any upper body/arm exercise that your trainer would recommend. I made sure to work with my husband, who is an athlete performance trainer, on my recovery workouts. Good luck with your recovery and best wishes!

  56. Iris Reyes June 21, 2013 at 4:48 am Reply

    I was diagnosed with FAI and labral tears, I also have to others tears including ligamentum teres which connects the hip to tip of femur. Long story short I just had cortisone/steroid shot yesterday I’ve had minimal relief, if any at all. Unlike the runners, tri folks, soccer players, I study karate. I’ve training for about 9 years and just earned my black belt! It’s not something I can’t give up, it’s a huge part of life. We do a lot of pivoting on one leg. A normal class can be 100 kicks per leg. I’ve training in pain for a few months and just can’t you it any more. I took sometime off with PT and felt better, once I got back to training I was back in pain. I’m hoping this surgery can get me back in the dojo. I worry about the surgery because I have MS and in the past an atrial flutter that needed cardiac ablation .The flutters are mostly gone but do come back once or twice a week. I do a lot of cycling and thank goodness there not pain with that! I’m hoping this surgery will get me back to the dojo. I have good doc’s here in NYC and feel confident with them

  57. Jeff June 21, 2013 at 5:04 am Reply

    Hi Ashley,

    Awesome blog. I am 3 weeks post op on my right hip for FAI, cam-type. I found i had many similar symptoms as you, and the feeling of dropping to the ground after sitting for a long time or working out. Surgery took 3 hours as their was more damage than MRI showed. Significant amount of bone removal from femur, including bone spur on acetabulum, removal of some of my labrum as it was “chewed up”, microfracture procedure on both femur and acetabulum as well as some cartilage clean up with some cartilage totally missing from head of femur. I will be having left hip done sooner rather than later per doctor’s recommendation based on what was found in right hip, even though it is asymptomatic. I figured I have some lofty goals to accomplish yet and this will be the best way to give myself a chance at reaching them. I have been swimming since 1.5 weeks and started cycling at two weeks. PT is very impressed with my progress thus far. I too have started a blog as I have not found many other, with the exception of you, “non-professional” athletes at my level of performance having as successful of recoveries as I hope to have in order to reach my goals. I hope you don’t mind me posting the link here, as it seems everyone has different experiences and results. http://www.jdbfai.blogspot.com It is a work in progress! Good luck to you and your recovery and possible second surgery!

  58. Derek June 28, 2013 at 6:41 pm Reply

    Hello,

    What an awesome post you have created. On may 22nd I had surgery on my left hip. I was diagnosed w a partial torn labrum and hip cam impingement. ( I also have it on my right hip but no torn labrum…yet).

    So it seems like we have almost the same identical issue. I had open surgery, my scar is about 7 inches. The day after surgery I had no pain and my mobility of being able to move around was pretty good. I was on crutches and not putting any pressure on my hip. My Dr. told me not to put any pressure on it for at least a month.

    After about the 3rd week I felt okay to put pressure on and have been walking around with putting slight pressure on my hip. How long were you told not to walk? It’s been 5 weeks and I’m still not walking perfect. My biggest issue is when I turn my knee inwards ( as if im touching my left knee to my right knee) i still have a little pinching. Everywhere else feels fine, but there is definitely still some stiffness.

    I started physical therapy 2 weeks ago, and its helping, but I feel im getting generic hip exercises. I guess I’m a little nervous that I have plateau’d and my same symptoms will come back.

    I have done brazilian jiu-jitsu for 4 years and about a year into is when my hips started giving me trouble. Jiu jitsu is such an intensive workout for your hip, so I really need amazing flexing angles from every point in my hip.

    Thanks for any comments I receive!

    -Derek

    • Derek June 30, 2013 at 4:44 pm Reply

      Also to for to mention I’m 22 years old. So im sure I’ll have issues with my the hip the rest of my life.

  59. Ashlie Botello July 2, 2013 at 1:25 pm Reply

    Good morning, I am 16 years old & was diagnosed with FAI and a labral tear on my left hip. I’m scheduled to have my surgery in a few weeks so I’m doing all the research that I can to prepare for this surgery. I know that all FAI surgeries are different, but I was curious as to how big your scar was. My doctor is telling me mine would be 6-10 inches long. Thank you so much for all of your time & tips, I really appreciate it.

    • Glen July 11, 2013 at 4:28 pm Reply

      you need to see another doctor. The can do arthroscopic surgery to fix a labral tear. I had severe tears, cysts and bone fragments floating around and I had an arthroscope. You do need the surgery, but perhaps see another surgeon.

  60. Glen July 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm Reply

    I had FIA surgery on both hips at the end of 2010 when i was 30. I should have had the surgery when I was 25, but no doctor diagnosed me until I was 30. The surgery has improved my life and i have exercised as normal (gym, spinning, biking, hiking) but now, 2.5 years later, I am in severe pain again. Have you or has anyone reading this experienced this increasing pain after surgery? I had no pain after the surgery until now. I do have arthritis in both hips too due to the severity of the degradation in the hips, but the onset of the pain has been too rapid for it to be attributed to the arthritis. Any suggestions/help would be appreciated.
    I live in Canada now and there is free healthcare, but I have to wait about a year for an MRI to get my hips checked out!

    • Glen July 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm Reply

      Oh, and I had a Ganz lesion on both hips…

  61. Aliza August 7, 2013 at 7:39 am Reply

    Thanks for this post! I am in my second week post-op. Unfortunately this is my third time having the surgery! But I feel that this time I chose the right doctor and that he was able to REALLY fix the problem! I’m gonna keep reading your blog!
    Thanks!

  62. Michelle Ragland August 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm Reply

    Hi Ashley,
    Thanks for your blog. I am a little older than you (51), but I’d been doing triathlons for 6 seasons prior to a car accident in 12/2011. I have not been able to get back to tri training since the accident. I was feeling left groin pain ocaasionally after the accident and in 2/2012 I went to the ER because I couldn’t hardly walk. Unfortunately, they were looking for an pelvic or GYN problem and could not find anything. The groin pain & the sensation that my left leg was going to give out became more constant. Finally, in 03/2013 my doctor ordered a left hip MRA and it confirmed a left hip labral tear. In 07/2013, I went to an otrho specialist who added FAI as a diagnosis. I’m currently doing PT, I had cortisone injection to the hip and I’m trying to lose weight that I’ve gained since sitting since 12/2011. I’m hoping to have a labral hip repair before the end of the year.

    It was great of you to share your experience, so that others (like me) see that there is hope in moving forward and recovery from surgery.

  63. Sara September 26, 2013 at 7:15 pm Reply

    Thanks so much for posting. I, too, and suffering a cam impingement and am seeing Dr Maiers on Monday!!!! I knew I shouldn’t google FAI surgery but I’m glad I saw your post!!!

    • Ashley Fleming September 29, 2013 at 6:05 pm Reply

      Good luck Sara! I really like Dr. Maiers. Let us know how your recovery goes.

  64. Samantha October 2, 2013 at 6:37 pm Reply

    I’m so glad I found this posting! I have been having hip pain for a few months. When I would run it was fine, no pain, but afterwards I couldn’t lift my leg without pain. That part was the hardest to explain and I’ve been trying to find anything on the internet that was similar to my symptoms (to prove to myself I’m not losing it lol). I’ve done PT and a cortisone shot to rule out bursitis. Next step in an MRA later this week. Reading your story has helped calm my nerves. Thanks!

  65. Erin October 4, 2013 at 12:35 am Reply

    Hi Ashley!

    How refreshing to read an athlete that doesn’t have a negative take on this issue! I do a lot of weight training and running and am very nervous about losing a lot of my muscle mass while I am laid up. When did you start doing things like planks and rows? I was thinking that I could probably train my upper body without much issue… but planks would need some stabilization so I never even thought of it!

    I’m having mine done in Dec. I’ve been an NPC bodybuilding bikini competitor this year and really hope to get back to the tough training I was doing prior… so anything could help me!

    Thanks SO MUCH again for such a sunny post!

  66. Cody October 4, 2013 at 3:30 am Reply

    Hey Ashley,
    Thank you for writing about your experience. I am 24 and have played a ton of sports throughout my life and ran a lot and have been just extremely active and never really had any injuries except minor things. I was playing in a soccer game in February 2012 and experienced what felt like just a groin pull. For a year and a half afterwards though of frustration with pain in my hip when trying to be active I finally saw a doctor and was diagnosed with FAI. I had the surgery just a little over two weeks ago on September 16th. I am feeling pretty good. I am walking without crutches or brace. The only thing I noticed is when I walk my repaired leg still feels funny it doesn’t like to go back when I walk. It feels a little painful and stiff when I walk and my injured leg goes behind me it wants to jump forward and stay even with me or front of my body but seems to be getting better each day. My therapist said this was normal. Did you experience this sensation at all when you first started walking again? Also I have FAI in both legs did you get your other leg repaired yet?

  67. Nicole Askelson October 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm Reply

    Your blog is totally my life this past year.
    All the way down to having to go the Womens Center for pelvic floor pain. (Of which I knew was not my issue). Long story short. .. I had my surgery yesterday for labral tear and both FAI CAM and PINCER abnormalities. Thanks for providing your information.

    Respectfully,

    Nicky Askelson

  68. Nicky October 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm Reply

    I am now 1 wk post-op. Surgery was way better than I had anticipated. I have had virtually no pain. I noticed a lot of people asked about Drs. I had Dr Bruce Levy at Mayo Clinic Rochester and he has done hip arthroscopy surgery for many yrs and is very good. There are others(Drs)in the practice that do it as well. Highly recommended!!

  69. Sophie December 30, 2013 at 4:34 pm Reply

    I found this blog to be very helpful in educating me before I had my FAI surgery on December 5th, especially the strength training exercises. I wanted to briefly share my experience as well, as it seems that many of the FAI stories on the internet now are horror stories (not this blog though), and I had a very easy time with the surgery. I am a 28 year old woman, very active (golf, yoga, distance running for years) and first felt symptoms of FAI in my left hip in 2009. The pain went away and didn’t return until August 2013 when I felt a sharp pain in my left hip when running. It was highly debilitating and I was quickly diagnosed with FAI and referred to Dr. Chris Larson in Edina, MN. I had arthroscopic surgery on Dec 5th to repair labral tears and shave the bone down in my left hip. The surgery and recovery was MUCH easier than I anticipated based on what I read on the internet. I am now just over 3 weeks post op and have had very little pain. I was on crutches for 3 weeks and am just starting to walk with no crutches over the past few days. It gets sore in my hip flexor if I walk too much, but life has started to feel back to normal after 3 weeks. I was able to put on pants, socks & shoes 1 day post op (other people I read about couldn’t seem to do this for weeks), sleep on the surgical side after 3 days or so, & I am up to 30 minutes on the stationary bike with light resistance. I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Chris Larson – he is one of the top doctors in the country for this surgery and his team was highly professional. I am very pleased with the results, as my debilitating hip pain was gone immediately post surgery. I will likely have my other hip done as well, as it began to hurt since my original injury in August and I have FAI in that hip as well. I know surgery is different for everyone, but I wanted to share that at 3 weeks post op, life was feeling almost back to normal. I will never run a marathon again as I believe it was distance running that completely screwed up my body (I am 6’1″ and probably shouldn’t have been distance running to begin with), and I will take it easy with yoga, as I think this was also a contributing factor. But I am confident that I will make a full recovery and return to my previously highly active lifestyle.

  70. Dave Vincent January 2, 2014 at 12:03 pm Reply

    Hello, I am going in on Feb 13th for my FAI surgery on my left hip. I had a Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) when I was 15. They installed a screw to hold everything together. No issues until this year. (20 years later) I was in a bad car accident on April 1st, and had light back and hip pain, figured it was from rolling a car at high speed. I made a full recovery and in June, I did some heavy lifting with my left side of my body and after my hip was sore. (the constant pain started) it was a shooting, aching pain. I just brushed it off as over use. Well after months of poor sleep and Motrin was not helping any more, I saw my PCP. He did X rays and I explained the pin, and everything, that was when he suggested I see the doc that did the pin. To my surprise, he was still in business. It took 4 weeks to get into see him, by this time the local radiologist took a look at my x-rays and said there was nothing wrong, and it was just a little arthritis. I brushed him off and saw my ortho guy still. He looked at my x-rays for 5 seconds and said, “Yep, FAI. Seen this 1000 times. I know a guy who has been doing these arthroscopic for 10 years now. Best in the business!” (Dr. Bruce Lawerance in Flint MI) Another 5 weeks passed until i could see him on December 23rd. One look at my x-rays again, and we scheduled the surgery. I am excited to have this pain fixed. My main concern is recovery time. I see some people are riding an exercise bike 24 hours post op.. Others take weeks.. I work a desk job and sit 8-10 hours a day. I am not in the best of shape, but working on it. Is there anything you can recommend to help strengthen or prep for my recovery? Your blog is amazing. Thank you for sharing. My doc also mentioned crutches for 2 weeks with a hip brace, any one here have a brace?

    Thanks

    Dave

    • Nicky Askelson January 2, 2014 at 9:41 pm Reply

      Hi Dave,
      Glad to hear you have a diagnosis and found a good surgeon. My suggestion to you is find out where you will be doing your physical therapy and get in touch with them prior to your surgery and they can direct you as to what to do to help things ahead of time. I was still able to bike ride so I did that right up until my surgery. My guess is, they will tell you to do whatever you can tolerate.

      I don’t have a sit down job so I was consequently off for 3 months and spent that time seriously focused on my rehab. I was in the gym ALOT. Take the time off that they tell you too because even sitting can be intolerable. Amazingly, I was almost 100% painfree from the get go but I still followed the dr’s advice since it’s he that has done this surgery 100′s of times. He knows best. I had my surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN by Dr Bruce Levy and he is very conservative. I was not in a brace but was on crutches for 6 weeks(toe touch for the first 2 and then a little more weight each time and the last 4-6 weeks of crutches was pretty much just walking with the crutches). I have never heard of anyone in a brace but that could be due to your other hip issue. I am not a very good rule follower but I went into this surgery swearing that I was going to follow the rules because I want to be able to go back to running someday. I attribute my success to following the rules, having an awesome physical therapist(who also had the surgery)and laying somewhat low for 3 months. Hope this helps! I, like a few others on this blog am pretty certain I have the same thing on the other side so don’t be surprised if that happens. Good Luck with your surgery….you will be soooo glad you did it and I hope you have as awesome of a recovery as I did!!

  71. Jakob Sørensen January 28, 2014 at 10:04 am Reply

    Thank you for letting us know your experiences. So nice to read a happy one instead of All the horrorstories. People tends to forget about the good ones and only post when it goes wrong. Greetings from Copenhagen, Denmark

    Jakob -two weeks postop.

  72. Baylee February 4, 2014 at 3:49 am Reply

    Wow, thank you so much for this article that you’ve put out there! Im a 17 year old female athlete who has had hip pain for the past year and a half and am now looking at surgery for FAI as well, and this is after several several weeks of trying physical therapy as an answer. It is not the answer for me. I hope I can recover just as well as you did, thank you so much for this insight.

  73. Dawn February 4, 2014 at 5:25 am Reply

    Thanks for sharing your experience Ashley. Looks like I’ll be having surgery soon for the same issues. How’s your recovery going? Are you pain-free? All the best, Dawn

  74. Julian February 11, 2014 at 10:59 am Reply

    Great post. Thank you. 4th day post op and I’m heading to gym with some of your hints and tips :-)

  75. patty February 17, 2014 at 3:24 am Reply

    Ashley, thank you SO much for posting this. I am 99% certain I have this! I have dealt with it off and on for a couple years, but honestly, once I stepped up my cycling and then added running aging it got pretty bad. I just went to a new PT and explained all of it to her and told her I was a great stretcher, yoga, ART, Core strengthening, showed her everything I was doing and she ordered an MRI immediately! It’s mostly right, but yes, I feel a bit on the left as well. Thank you again, will let you know the MRI results!

  76. Tim March 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm Reply

    I also wanted to share a positive experience with an FAI surgery as I did a lot of research and only mainly found negative stories where patients took months to recover.
    I had my surgery on Feb 7th 2014 (in Melbourne- Australia), it took 3 months to get into to see my surgeon for an initial appt but reckon it was worth the wait.
    He shaved down the cam impingement and removed a lesion then stitched the labrum back together (right hip). I was walking a few hours post surgery (albeit with a limp) – spent the first week at home hobbling around the house, icing every few hours, panadol every 4-6 hours and the occasional endone when the pain was worse (usually in the afternoon). I only needed the crutches to go to the doctor to get the dressing changed (Feb 10) and the followup surgery appt Feb 13 where he told me the crutches weren’t required anymore. I was back at work the following Monday 17th Feb – hip was still tender but was manageable with some panadol and also started physio the same day. At week three I was walking normally with no(or very little) pain and the physio let me ride outside (1hr on the flat), felt no pain in my hip (only pain was in my knee which was injured before the surgery and looks to be made worse from the surgery – thanks to the traction bed!!). Don’t get me wrong there is still a lot recovery to go as I still have a lot of popping in the hip and pain when I more in a certain way, physio says I wont be back to proper riding for at least another 4-6 weeks but just wanted to add another persons perspective. Good Luck to all!!

    • Ashley Fleming March 6, 2014 at 11:08 am Reply

      Glad to know your recovery is going well Tim!
      Ashley

  77. Robert Hughes March 5, 2014 at 6:38 am Reply

    Hi Ashley, firstly, thank you for the blog, really well presented. My situation is that i’m almost 5 months post FAI surgery (I had both hips done at the same time) The one issue i’ve had is a recurring flare up in my left groin which has not abated at all over the time i’ve been recovering and my doctors have given me no explanation whatsoever as to what this could be. I went to one phsyio and they suggested that I needed them to manipulate the leg and massage the scar tissue which had been building up. Went back to the surgeon and they said to avoid this at all costs! lots of conflicting info out there. My right leg feels awesome by the way, but the left has held me back from anything close to jogging or even simple weightless squatting.

    In short, my question is: did you have this problem at any stage, and did you have a physio work with you on your recovery?

    Thank you to anyone who replies:)

    • Ashley Fleming March 6, 2014 at 11:07 am Reply

      Hi Robert,
      I’m glad your recovery is going well minus the groin issue. I did have pain in my groin post surgery, but it wasn’t all of the time- only when I did certain movements with my legs/hip. Mine was mostly noticeable when I would try and let my legs fall to the side (if my feet were pressed together sort of Indian style and then let them fall to the side to stretch)- it felt like something was going to tear.

      My physician told me it was scar tissue from where they have to pop the hip out of socket during surgery. I continued to work with my chiropractor who did ART on my legs/hip and worked on stretching me twice a week while working on the scar tissue. I now have full range of motion and it doesn’t give me pain to put my legs into that position, but it took a while. It is still not comfortable, but the good news is, I am not in that position often, if at all. That probably wasn’t much help, but I would take your physician’s advice. Every case is different and I’m sure each procedure is done differently as well which means the pain could be from something else.

      Best of luck in your recovery,
      Ashley

    • Jody March 6, 2014 at 2:41 pm Reply

      Robert – I had the same situation with re-occurring pain in the groin around month 5 post op. I had surgery in my right hip but that is where the pain occurred again. I thought it was just working out the kinks but by month 7, the pain shot to my knee again and I was back to rubbing out my right side/back. The MRI showed the labrum was still causing pain so in I went for operation #2 where he removed the labrum and shaved a bit more bone just to be on the safe side. I am now 7 months post op again and don’t feel any pain. It is wonderful!!

  78. Jo March 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm Reply

    Hi Ashley
    Thank you for an inspiring post! I am in the UK and had a cortisone injection in 2011 for FAI in my right hip – it worked really well and whilst I wasn’t able to go back to half marathons I have been able to regularly run 7-10k happily without pain, and regular swimming and pilates too without any issues. My ortho surgeon wasn’t that enthusiastic about surgery options and prospects of success. However last week I was in a car shunt, someone drove into the back of me, and my hip has started hurting again in the last few days. I have no idea if the two are connected or the effects of the steroid would have worn off anyway! So I am back to the ache in the front of my hip, with the pain after sitting too long in the car or at work and after exercise. It seems I am back at stage one of the process though as the surgeon says he wouldn’t consider another injection until the symptoms have been persistent over time. But I don’t want to be prevented from running for any longer than absolutely necessary! Has anyone else had repeated steroid injections for FAI?

  79. Carly March 20, 2014 at 10:55 am Reply

    Hi Ashley,

    I find your blog extremely motivating and hopeful. I am a 28 y/o female and have been dealing with FAI for 4 years now. I share a very similar story of being misdiagnosed and tried everything (PT, injections, etc) before finally deciding on surgery. My surgery is scheduled for this Wednesday (March 26th) and I am terrified. Mostly because I’ve never gone under anesthetic or underwent any type of procedure, not even my wisdom teeth! I feel very confident in my surgeon, Dr. Alfred Mansour of Houston, TX who focuses mainly on young people under the age of 35. I highly recommend him if anyone is searching for a doctor in Texas. Along with combined bilateral cam-pincer FAI, I have developed bursitis and tight/shortened IT bands. I am staring with my left hip as it is the worst of the two; during the procedure he is also going to clean out the bursa sac/inflammation and lengthen the IT band as the majority of my pain if located in my outer hip/thigh along with pinching sensation of the groin. Did you have either of those procedures completed during your surgery? I have also experienced pain of the mid back, chest and now right shoulder. I am unsure if it is related to not being active anymore (I used to be a runner/athlete), inflammation or altered mobility; Did you have any of these issues and if so, how did you help fix them? The best I’ve found so far is barre classes at The Bar Method of Houston although I am so limited due to my hips. I am a Forensic Investigator for Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences which tends to be a very physical job. How long were you on crutches? I can be posted on light duty which means I can stay in the office rather than respond to scene, what would your estimate be for returning to a “sitting at a desk” job for work? Thank you so much for your help, sharing and inspiration. The road seems long but I am excited to feel and act young again 

    Regards,
    Carly

  80. Mindy Speakman April 4, 2014 at 10:42 pm Reply

    I recently had an appointment with. Dr. Maiers and I am thinking about getting surgery for mild (cam) hip impingement. I used to run distance and I have had to stop. I am not in a huge amount of pain, but I always feel achy and have dull pain that is more annoying than anything. I was wondering if you have any pain still? Also, did you get any surgery on the second hip? Any advice helps as I am hesitant to have this surgery.

  81. Dave May 4, 2014 at 12:16 pm Reply

    Good stuff. Answered many questions. Scheduling FAI and torn labrum surgery this week at Rothman institute. Does anyone have experience with ice machines for additional pain relief ?

    • Charlie May 28, 2014 at 5:42 pm Reply

      Hi Dave I don’t have experience with a Ice machine but I do with Rothman and cam impingement , labrum repair. I had mine done a year ago and still haven’t been able to return to martial arts 100 percent due to a retear in left hip. I had both fermors shaved down and both labrums done. Doesn’t feel much better then before the surgery. Do you self a favor and explore other options and other surgery centers. HSS is very well know. Let me know if you have other questions also check my blog about it

  82. Jan May 22, 2014 at 9:36 am Reply

    Hi, there.
    Does anyone have experience with the FAI open surgery rather than the arthroscopy?
    I have the same issue. Now I´m like 7 months after the first surgery (open) and still feel pain in my groin especially when staying or having the full weight on it. The second surgery is due to be in the beginning of nex month. However, thank you for your postings in here to see the others ideas.
    PS.: Sorry for my English, writing from Prague )

  83. David V May 28, 2014 at 5:34 pm Reply

    I had FAI surgery 11 weeks ago. I still am not 100% Still some inflammation in my hip area, Naproxen relives it a little. I did not have much for Physical Therapy. I was really busy with work and life (I know, bad excuse) I am having a hard time getting full range of motion back.. I am having a hard time getting my sock on that foot. My hip does not flex that way anymore.. I am getting more range of motion back up and down. (Putting pants on, drying my legs out of the shower… Is this normal? I have not had anything past my 4 week apt. My doc keeps bumping my 8 week appointment back… I am not in pain, so “keep doing what you are doing” is what his PA says..

  84. Jess June 6, 2014 at 3:53 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing your experience! I have a very similar story and will be having surgery in a few weeks. It has been very difficult cutting back on my workouts due to pain and I have been concerned about the recovery and returning to my normally active lifestyle. Your post was helpful and eased my mind a bit! Thanks for sharing!

    • Ashley Fleming June 9, 2014 at 5:26 pm Reply

      You’re welcome Jess! Best of luck with your recovery. I am having my second hip done on June 25th, 2014 so I will be posting more exercises and other recovery tips I learn along the way my second time around.

      Best,
      Ashley

  85. Jenna June 19, 2014 at 8:00 pm Reply

    Hi Ashley,

    This has definitely eased my mind for upcoming surgery! I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to do anything like you mentioned above for months. I was wondering during what week you started incorporating your strength training?

    • Ashley Fleming July 21, 2014 at 8:07 pm Reply

      Hi Jenna!
      You can read one of my earlier posts where I go into detail about strength training, but I was (and have been with this surgery too) able to do upper body strength training a week after. Lower body came with my PT protocol about 4-6 weeks post-op. Again, every patient is different so ask your physician or PT what works best for you.

      Best,
      Ashley

  86. Wendy July 29, 2014 at 12:59 pm Reply

    Love the story! My 17 year old daughter is going through basically the same thing as you, bi lateral mixed FAI with torn labrum. For some reason I can’t see the pictures, can you email me some or maybe let me know if there is another place to see them. I was interested in the exercises mostly but curious about after pic so she can see and be prepared. We go to HSS in NYC on Friday to schedule surgery and I was wondering if you can suggest any questions that maybe aren’t obvious to ask. :) Thanks again

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