Hip Arthroscopy and the Labral Tear

After everything that happened with Boston, my surgery seemed so trivial. I wanted to wait a few more days to post. 

Last Tuesday, my sister (and baby A) were fabulous and took me to the hospital at 5:45 am. Allison thought it was hilarious to see how much I hate needles and how freaked out I was by the IV.  I sat in a room for a while getting fluids and then was moved downstairs near surgery.IMG_3325

She also thought I looked awful in my “surgery outfit” and good lawd I will agree. Yall should be scared. Honestly, can’t believe I would even post it…but here ya go.  I was trying not to cry. I think. YIKES.IMG_3326The last thing I remember is going to the bathroom. I was out after that. I remember waking up and thinking that the nurse in post-op was a total witch. I vaguely remember the ride home, even though I proceded to take work phone calls, NBD, pretty sure lost a sale on that convo.

My mom decided to come up last minute. I honestly have never been more thankful in my whole life (more on that in a minute). I’m quite independent and way downplayed this surgery. She got to my house a few minutes after I got home.

The first day sucked. BAD. I don’t remember much, I was in pain, attempting to work, and felt sick as shit from all the meds and the anesethisia.  I barely got out of bed the first two days and had to have help going to the bathroom and getting in and out of bed. Below is a prime example of how I felt (mom took this one).IMG_3366I am incredibly lucky to have such fabulous family and friends.  Thank you all for your kind texts, emails, tweets, calls, etc. I continue to be amazed at my friends, especially my blogger/running friends (Corey, you outdid yourself).  You have given me support that I will never forget.  My local friends (you know who you are), thank you for the meals and company. I love you all!

IMG_3391
my get well goodies from Corey and sweet card from Kelsey
from family and work
from family and work

To give you an idea of what all the surgery entailed as far as recovery:

  • No weightbaring for 2 weeks. Crutches for those 2 weeks.
  • Couldn’t get the incision site wet for 7 days. My mother had to sponge bath me.  I had to wash my hair in the kitchen sink.
  • My vagina and leg was/is numb. Doc told me genitals can go numb for up to three weeks. Lucky me. Still working on that one, but getting better. Ladies, imagine not being able to feel when you wipe. TMI, sorry, but didn’t want to leave out a single detail. 
  • Living in medical compression for 2 weeks. I cheated the last 5 days and wore running compression socks. That medical compression started to itch like crazy.
  • Giving myself (really, mom did this the entire time she was here) blood thinner shots to make sure I don’t get a blood clot. 2 weeks, twice a day.
  • Using the legasus machine for 3 hours a day. Also sleeping in it for 2 weeks. I can’t roll over and get my leg/hip in my usual (fetal) sleeping position. I’ve slept on my back with my leg in the air for 2 flipping weeks. HELL.
  • Using the compression ice machine several times a day.
The legasus. 3 hours a day and sleeping in it. MIZ.
The legasus. 3 hours a day and sleeping in it. MIZ.
Blue container in background holds ice and water and "cools" the black thing wrapped around my hip.
Blue container in background holds ice and water and “cools” the black thing wrapped around my hip.

When I say I could not have done this with out my mom, that it a huge understandment. She brought me every meal in bed, helped me get in/out of bed, helped me up and down the stairs to my condo, drove me to my PT appointments, gave me all my meds, moved the legasus cpm machine and ice machine, bathed me, helped me go to the bathroom, wiped away my tears (more than once) and was such a lifesaver.  It definitely doesn’t hurt that she is a nurse by trade, but she is my momma. And sometimes that’s all you need.

I had my followup with Dr.Hyman on Thursday and he gave me images of the surgery. The only thing they didn’t have to do was stitch my labrum back together…this is huge news-it speeds up my recovery time and allows me to do a little bit more a bit faster.  I will explain each pic below. Sorry if they are too graphic.

Top Left: All that red is inflammation Top Right: He shaved it off Bottom 2: pic of cartilage I think. Said mine looked great.
Top Left: All that red is inflammation (but can’t remember on what exactly)
Top Right: He shaved it off
Bottom 2: pic of cartilage I think. Said mine looked great.
Top 2:I think beginning to show the labral tear Bottom L: above the silver thing you can see frayed edges-that is the labral tear. My bone was rubbing against it and causing the fray. That tiny little fraying caused a hell of a lot of pain.  Bottom R: Where he shaved it off
Top 2:I think beginning to show the labral tear
Bottom L: above the silver thing you can see frayed edges-that is the labral tear. My bone was rubbing against it and causing the fray. That tiny little fraying caused a hell of a lot of pain.
Bottom R: Where he shaved it off
Top 2: the not smooth bone. Not sure you can actually tell from the pics. Bottom 2: where he is shaving it off
Top 2: the not smooth bone. Not sure you can actually tell from the pics.
Bottom 2: where he is shaving it off
The 3 red ones: basically the inside of my bone. That will eventually heal and be white again (i think) Bottom R: while he was in there, he checked out my bursa
The 3 red ones: basically the inside of my bone. That will eventually heal and be white again (i think)
Bottom R: while he was in there, he checked out my bursa
and decided to take away the inflammation there too
and decided to take away the inflammation there too

I thought it would be cool to show yall what actually happened on the inside. What is crazy? That all of that was done through these two incisions.

IMG_3346So as of this past Thursday, I am using 1 crutch, doing some driving (it hurts and I can only go short distances right now), and I was able to stop the blood thinner shots. I will be able to stop wearing compression and bend my leg at 90 degrees on Tuesday.

The toughest part, doc said, is me being patient and understanding not to do too much (me? never!). While the outside incision may look good, the inside still has a lot of healing to do. My bone has to heal from where he shaved it down. To be 100% realistic, he said I won’t be running till August. MAJOR MAJOR BUMMER.

As for now, expect Madonna arms and rockstar abs by the end of summer-because that will be all I’m allowed to do.

Totally creep you out? Can you suggest any good arm workouts? 

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Elizabeth

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47 Comments

    • I just had same surgery today. Hellish pain 6 hours post op. 3 hour procedure. Elizabeth is a very strong woman. I hope many many people read her detailed story. I have had 5 surgeries in past 6 years, repairing various torn muscles. ( weightlifting heavy weights without any stretching for 30 years) read her story knowing tje incredible pain she was in. Thanks for posting, Elizabeth.

  • Dr. Hyman? Poor person.
    Oh dear, I was about in tears reading all the crap you’ve been dealing with. I know it’s for the best in the long-term but this really doesn’t sound miserable. All of it. You are one tough cookie though and imagine how much stronger you’ll be when you come back. Every time the running gets tough you can look back on what you went through at this time and know that you’ve gone through hell to get back to running. So you’ll be running again just as I’ll be starting maternity leave. I pray that I can bounce back fast enough to catch up with you schedule wise, and meet you for a race! SO EXCITED that we will both be qualifying for Boston in 2014 🙂

  • I swear by doing a buttload of pushups. Other than that, I’m not sure. I really, really hope your recovery goes well and that your doctor sneaks in an early approval to return to running!

  • Yikes, sounds like a tough recovery but can only go up from here?!? Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Upper body workout? I have no strength so am probably not any help there!

  • Hey E, Glad you are on the mend. The pics are totally nasty/gross but I am glad that you’ve got this one behind you. Rest lots and take it easy. Wonderful that A-Cat, A-baby and your A-1 mom could be there to help. xxxU L.

  • Oh, wow. I honestly had no idea the recovery from a hip arthroscopy was so bad. I’ll be thinking about that the next time I have a case that involves one. Keep an eye on that numbness, mmmk?

    I really hope you get better ASAP. I’m praying 🙂

    PS – how type A are you that you were working after surgery? LOL! 😉

  • I am super impressed that you are working and looking for arm toning stuff and not having a pity party every day (which I would do. I’m not tough). Can you be in push-up position? Alternating push-ups and plank holds can get the job done..

  • Thanks for sharing all the gory details and such. Having the same type of injury (labrum tear) it reminds me to slow down even at the slightest bit of pain or rest if it becomes a question of whether I should or not. The MRA for me was a set back so I cannot even begin to imagine how painful this surgery must be. I am happy to read that you’re healing well and living almost pain free. I hope you continue to progress well and the time passes quickly so you can be back on the streets again soon!!

    • yes! listen to your body. hopefully you won’t have to do this!! although, i’m happy to know that it won’t happen agan and i can run pain free in the future.

  • What a great mom!!! 🙂

    I’ve been thinking of you, girl and I hope the rest of your recovery goes nice and smoothly. It sounds like it’s been tough, but you are so positive and strong and pretty soon, this will all be in the past.

  • Friend! Holy hell, you have been through alot in the last 2 weeks! I loved catching up with you last week and just know I will miss you TONS this weekend 🙁 xoxo

  • I am so glad that the worst part is over and that your wonderful mom was able to come and take care of you. Hang in there, August will be here before we know it. Can’t wait to see your Madonna arms and smoking 6 pack! XXX

  • Zoinks 🙁

    It’s awesome that your mom was able to come and help, what a lifesaver for you!!

    No running until August means you get to skip long runs in the hot, hot GA summer – silver lining?

  • That was so nice of your mom to come and help you. I had reconstructive knee surgery and had to be in a very similar apparatus, it was NOT fun and 10+ years later I still remember how bad it hurt.

    Sounds like you have a great support system and sounds like you are doing pretty well. I hope you heal quickly 🙂

    • yes-not a fan of this machine. and now that i don’t have to sleep in it, i’m still sleeping on my back. so odd.

  • I always appreciate the surgery details. My mom is a nurse too and we’ve never been spared anything in the medical world. Glad you are able to do a little more this week. Hope you heal quickly!

  • So great to see you @PeachyRuns last night, even if it was on crutches! You looked fabulous. It’s going to be a tough few months for you, but I can’t wait to join you for a PAIN FREE run this fall. Get well!

  • Glad to see I’m not the only one that is having the same experiences. I had the same procedure, but the incisions were more in the front, not on the side. Thank god I had no numbing except in my feet and right leg. My nerves are all sorts of messed up right now, and it feels like it’s burning. Kind of like when your foot falls asleep for a long time, but with a burning sensation. I never had to get the compression pack, my doctor in Atlanta told me I could just use a bag of pees. Thank GOD I don’t have to sleep with that giant thing. I would not be able to sleep. I am able to get on my side with a pillow between my legs, but not for too long. I had to also wash my hair in the sink the other day, and I think tomorrow I’m able to shower. I just had my procedure last Wednesday. My ball and socket were shaved down, but they didn’t take pictures of that. They put an anchor or two in my labrum because it was completely detached, and I had a few tears in there. I wasn’t able to get out of bed for the first few days, and I felt horrible from everything also. My mom is my life savor right now, and I wouldn’t be making it through. I’ve shed a few tears so far from being completely helpless, but I know it’ll be better in the end! Thanks for sharing your story, it helped me tremendously to know that I’m not the only one. 🙂

    • Hi –
      Thank you so much for blogging about this surgery. I stumbled across it because I’m facing the same thing and I’m terrified. I have a 3-year-old and 1-year-old and it couldn’t be worse timing. Thank you for sharing! Also – Katie G. – who was your doctor in Atlanta? THat’s where I am, and I’m very interested in speaking to someone here who liked their doctor. I went to see Dr. Todd Schmidt with OrthoAtlanta today (but he is in Stockbridge, GA, like an hour away with traffic). Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  • I just had hip impingement surgery. The surgeon was unable to access the spur site and had to cut me (14 staples). You mentioned the numbness. I’m experiencing the same. How long did the numbness last?

  • I saw your blog about the surgery. I am also in the small percentage of those who experience longer than usual numbness.

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  • So, you are a year past it all now… How are you doing?

    I’ve been researching for the very information you had here. Sorry you had to go through it all, but the information is more than I’ve gotten from any one else.

    Best wishes for your recovery.

    Kim

  • Thanks for sharing and explaining your pictures! I just had the surgery this past week and was sent home with pictures, but I didn’t know exactly what they were of! It sounds like our surgeries were similar and I love reading about your recovery!

  • Hi there,

    I know you had your hip surgery a couple years ago, but there is VERY limited information online. And your blog is one of the few mentioning the ice therapy machine!

    I am scheduled for surgery in two weeks and the one thing insurance doesn’t cover is the ice machine. I was just wondering if you remember at all what brand yours was? Very few have the correct hip pad as I see in your picture. I am desperately searching for more options because even to rent it is over $400.

    I would greatly appreciate any help!
    Thank you!
    -Colleen

  • I just came across your blog, thank God you have your mother.i am a fit and healthy 58 year old and this is the worst thing I have ever gone through. I am married but my husband is always working so it’s just me. I read where you were numb across your vagina how long did it take for the numbness to completely go away this is been a real concern for me. God bless you for sharing anything you could advise me would it help is the tears, Pamela

  • I just had labral hip reconstruction surgery in Denver Colorado. I am 54. I have a three and a five-year-old and ran the Denver marathon in 2012 at 50 with the tear. I think I got the lateral hip tear by forcibly stretching close to the end of my marathon training. Big bummer! I waited five years to have surgery, in time the leg felt a lot better with physical therapy but I still could not run and sleeping was hard at night. So, I get a second opinion and he suggested I go get the surgery which I decided to finally do. I am now one week out. My husband works so I got HIM help with the kids in the morning and evening before bed. Most of the time I sucked it up and took care of things by myself! I got off the pain meds aka hydrocodone within a week and a half. I still take the anti-inflammatory and aspirin to prevent blood clots. I have a dull ache in my hip but it’s not that bad. Maybe I’m just tougher than some women. My mom is 88 so she was not there to help me but I did have friends who made batches of food and that helped a lot, especially for lunch. I got chewed out by my physical therapist for walking on the hip. I learned they want you to take time to heal and don’t want you to compress the work that they have done in there so I’m behaving myself again. Just wanted to see how it felt LOL. I don’t suggest doing things on your own. But some of us just don’t have a choice. The first few days I have had girlfriends come help me just by visiting.
    FYI one of the main reasons I did this surgery was because I didn’t want to get arthritis in the hip. After having surgery a physical therapist told me the possibility of arthritis works both ways! Once they have opened up the capsule the possibility of getting arthritis is there also that was a shocker to me. Nothing you want to hear after you’ve had surgery. If you do too much too early there is a possibility of getting tendonitis. There’s lots of new information out there if you search for it. Good luck!
    I posted my house rental VRBO 216133 so you can get a hold of me if you would like to. I love to ski in Breckenridge Colorado and both horseback riding and skiing or not an issue before the surgery. Running walking steps and sleeping we’re definitely issues that made my decision for me.
    Thanks for the information Elizabeth!

    Elizabeth, it would be nice if you could do a follow up to let everyone know how you were doing four years later. Are you running again? Do you still have pain?

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