FAI Hip Impingement Surgery… my next “adventure”

I’m always one up for new experiences and adventures. I have completed a section hike of the Appalachian Trail with my friend Jenni, run numerous races, primitive camped at Cumberland Island, started CrossFit, survived acrobatics and even enjoy zip lining.

Unfortunately, there are sometimes setbacks and delays to the things I want to do, see & experience. As a result, I’ve been a little quiet fitnesswise. Thought I would explain why in case anyone else stumbles across this blog and finds it helpful.

In high school, I tore my PCL in my left knee which I never had surgery on. There just isn’t a great surgery for the PCL and the recovery is rough. It’s like ACL surgery but way longer and slower and may not even make things better. 

A few years ago, I had a tweaked hamstring that grew into a clicking knee. I didn’t know at the time, but this was due to a muscle imbalance. It finally resolved itself after I dialed back CrossFit and other activities. I really missed running though.

 A few weeks after this cleared up, it led me right into a severe case of Plantar Fasciitis that knocked me out for two years

Once I finally recovered from PF, I found myself with six months of bicep tendonitis which was sharp pain in my shoulder. For that, I stopped all overhead movement: clean and jerks became just cleans, no pull ups, no dips, no push press. Finally that went away. I woke up and suddenly it was gone. 🤷‍♀️

I suffered from lower back pain. This seemed to get better as I got stronger and as I kept loose with stretching and light yoga. I added daily planks and core work to my programming. I also found an awesome mat pilates class at the local YMCA which I did for 6 months until my instructor moved away and the class wasn’t replaced. 

Then I tweaked my hamstring again. I was out a month from that. Then insert a month of Achilles tendonitis. During this time I quit my official CrossFit box as I was just tired of being injured. I don’t blame CrossFit, but I needed to take a step back and work on some basics and consistency. 

Finally, the stars aligned, and I was realized I didn’t have a single injury. I joined Street Parking, an online fitness program with an incredible community. I really enjoy the programming, and found myself completing their daily wods 3-4 days a week.

Add in proper food prep, and I started losing weight too. I even did my birthday burpees for the first time in five years or so. 41 burpees! Woof!

After two solid months, I was tackling a day of yard work, when I suddenly felt a burning like I was about to tear my groin muscle. I know from many years of soccer, a torn groin is awful, so I called it a day!

My groin seemed recovered but continued to bother me off and on slowly getting worse and worse. I dialed back the workouts. I feel if you have pain, don’t do it. If there’s inflammation, give it time to heal.

I also saw several physical therapists for their different opinions.

PT A: diagnosis was hip impingement. Did several tests moving my knee and leg around to determine this. Main one is bringing the bent leg up to the chest, and twisting bringing the knee towards the other hip. Yup. That inched. Give it time to reduce inflammation. Could be quick, could be a slow process.

PT B: diagnosis was hips are out of line. This PT had me lie on a table on my back. Compared my leg lengths while I was wearing shoes which seemed odd, but I’m not in the medical field so this could be totally normal. Showed me an exercise I could do when my hip hurt to realign my hips.

PT C: I’d call this PT an expert with working with high-intensity athletes. Confirmed hip misalignment. Also diagnosed very tight right glute (hip w problem). Did hands on manipulation (incredibly painful!!). Would leave feeling amazing but definitely sore for 1-2 days after from all the manipulation.

I went home from PT C with a series of exercises to work on with the goal to take the stress off the right glute and hopefully keep hips aligned properly. I did these exercises religiously for two months. I worked my way up to 60 each per leg of single leg glute bridges, clam shells, and bird dogs. 

In November, the inflammation seemed to have finally cleared. I was left with an achy hip. I had sharp groin pain “near the no no zone” and slowly had worse and worse back pain with pain varying around my hip. 

At this point, I was pretty sure there was something ‘not right’ with my hip beyond a tilted pelvis or tight glute that just didn’t seem to be getting better on its own. As a result, I schedule an appointment with Dr. Carl Freeman at Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute in Jacksonville, Florida. Doctors are obnoxious and don’t work on my schedule forcing me to wait two weeks to see him. 

Finally the day came for my visit and I met with Dr. Freeman on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I was pretty sure I had a torn labrum walking into the appointment. I met with his PA who immediately sent me for xrays on-site. 20 minutes later I was back in the room and Dr. Freeman came in. He’d already looked at my xrays and informed me I had a Femoroacetabular Impingement with labral ossification. (also known as FAI) with labral ossification. An x ray can confirm FAI but he required an MRI to determine if I also had a labrum tear and how severe if so. 

So now here I am, waiting to schedule my MRI appointment. Typically I was told I should receive a call within five days, but due to the holiday, I expect it to take a few days longer. Dr. Freeman requested I go to a specific place in Orange Park (apparently it’s a trailer in the middle of a field but totally legit) so I am really hoping my insurance accepts them. 

I’ve started researching online and reading blogs to get an idea of what to expect. I’m not sure how long I will be out of work yet. It sounds like 1-2 weeks. I definitely do not have this much vacation/sick time, so this should be interesting. Also, it’s my right hip, so I’m a little concerned with whether I will be able to drive or not. Once I have my MRI, I know I’ll get a lot more of these questions answered, so I just have to sit and wait… something I’m really not that great at.

Have you gone through anything similar? If so, please comment. I would love to hear about your experience. Even if you had a shoulder issue or some other surgery, I would love to hear from you!

Catch up on all the FAI & Labrum Repair posts:

2 thoughts on “FAI Hip Impingement Surgery… my next “adventure”

  1. Stacy, I will say one thing – you are a persistent, determined athlete (OK, 2 things). I’ve been sitting around bemoaning low back pain and having to surrender running while you surmount obstacles like the Bionic Woman! Keep us posted on your journey.

    1. Leigh – thank you so much for your comment. You said it perfectly. We’re all struggling with our own obstacles. Hoping we both overcome ours! 🙂

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