Labral Tear and Hip Arthroscopy 101

Thanks for checking out the blog!

Since I had my surgery, I have had multiple emails wanting more answers and thanking me for telling my story. I found that when I had surgery, there were little answers out there other than medical studies.

I decided I should combine the posts in one place to make it easier for you to follow. If you came here looking for the reality of what this surgery is like, you came to the right place. Not everyone’s injury and surgery is the same, but this should give you some guidance.

I was initially injured in January of 2013 at the 3M 1/2 Marathon. The pain literally brought me to my knees in the middle of the race and my hip was swollen within a few hours of finishing the race. I struggled with IT band and glute issues for several years, and I now wonder if it was all coming from the issues in my hip.

I had an MRI with an injection to see if the pain would go away and was given PT for 4 weeks to initially see if it was actually the tear or weak glutes causing the pain. IMG_2931

The pain did not go away and I then had to get a hip arthogram and have dye injected into my hip and have another MRI. I didn’t really trust my doc at Emory and decided to find another one who came highly recommended, Dr. Jon Hyman (he trained under Dr.Byrd who is one of the experts in hip surgery/issues in Nashville).

Within a few minutes of my appointment with Dr. Hyman, he told me what I didn’t want to hear. It was time to have surgery. The pain would never go away, it could flare up and be painful or be okay…but if I didn’t have surgery I would have to spend the rest of my life running as best as I could with pain on and off. That wasn’t worth it to me and I decided to have surgery.

To be clear, RUNNING DID NOT CAUSE THIS INJURY. I had extra bone that rubbed against the labrum. I scheduled my surgery for April 9th, 2013 and Dr.Hyman would shave down the bone and the tear. I had a mild freakout before the surgery (and you can see pics of my MRI and the bone that was sticking out).

To say that the surgery sucked is an understatement (honestly, almost a year later I had forgotten how bad it was until I read my post again). Had I not had my wonderful family, I would’ve been way worse off. You forget how much you do until you can’t. I was very lucky that my labrum wasn’t detached and that saved me an additional 2 weeks on crutches (only had to do 2) and it made my PT go by faster.

The legasus. 3 hours a day and sleeping in it. MIZ.
The legasus. 3 hours a day and sleeping in it. MIZ.

The first few weeks were pretty tough, emotionally and physically.

I did my best to track each week post op so that I could follow my progression. You can see over time that I was able to add exercises and time to exercises (you will get tidbits of my life in some of these posts-not just hip info, so you may have to scroll through some).

Week 4Week 5Week 6

6/7 week check up with the doc

2 months post surgery– back to back workouts, time on the elliptical, and a one mile walk.

Week 9

Weeks 10,11,12– up to 35 minutes on the elliptical and the go ahead on pool running and private pilates.

Week 13 and Week 14

Week 15 and my check up with Dr.Hyman

I was old I could start pool running. It wasn’t my favorite way to exercise, but it got me back into a running routine. If you have to have this surgery and your PT/doc doesn’t suggest pool running, ASK for it.

Pool running. Not my fav part of the year, but I worked hard to get back in shape.

Week 16 and Week 17. In addition to pool running, I was able to use the AlterG. If you can find one in your area and you have had this surgery, get on this machine. It may be a bit pricey, but it’s worth it.

And just like doc predicted, it would be August before I went running. I went for my first run/walk at the end of August 2013.

My final appointment with Dr.Hyman was in September of 2013 and I was free to continue on as I wanted.

In October of 2013, I was able to get rid of the run/walk and just RUN.

I finished out 2013 with a relay race in October and then a half marathon in December. There was some pain in between but it all worked itself out. IMG_5376

As of February 2014, my speed is coming back and I am adding speed work back in. I have added in tempo runs and hill repeats and will add in yasso 800s when the chiro gives me the go ahead (I would guess the next month or so).  I will run half marathons through out the spring 0f 2014 to build my base and will run the NYC Marathon in November of 2014.

For me, almost a year later, the key has been to maintain chiropractor appointments, get sports massages, cross train, LISTEN TO MY BODY, stretch REALLY well, and do my hip exercises AT LEAST 5 days a week. My hip still gets tight here and there (mainly from work and driving a lot) but I can 100% say that having the surgery was totally worth it. 

Any more questions?? Feel free to email me! 

23 Comments

  • I came across while researching FAI/labrum tear runners. Your are right when you said there was not much out there regarding this type of surgery and running.
    My story is simple. I started running long distance only approx 2 yrs ago. Started with 5k’s just to get in shape. Then I was hooked. My right hip bothered me prior to running with carrying around about 23lbs of extra weight around my waist for 12 hr shifts in and out of the car – for 13 yrs now. I had a hernia operation about 5 yrs ago on that side as well. Finally I couldn’t take the pain and went to a hip guy in my ortho group. I say “my ortho group” cus there are about 25 doctors in the group that all specialize and I have almost met them all. Lol. Not actually but getting there unfortunately having had 8 surgeries (finger, elbow, 2 left shoulders, 2 right, both wrists (carpal tunnel). I am a regular there unfortunately.
    Anyways back in Jan ’13 I was up to a 10 k. I was working my way to my first 1/2 last April but after the diagnosis I put all that on hold. I had another issue. My right shoulder. I knew just by the pain it was torn. Had the left one done back in ’10. So now I needed 2 ortho surgeries. I eventually chose the shoulder. Had that done in April. After that long recovery I went back to running even after my hip diagnosis. The rest did it good. So in Sept of ’13 I completed my first 1/2 marathon in 2:01 with a 9:14 pace. Stamina was fine and the last 2 or 3 miles I tried to get under the 2:00 mark but my hip was shot by then. I could barely walk.
    Jan 7th I got my hip surgery. Had the injections and all that (painful) but doc didn’t bother with PT prior to surgery cus he said I was just prolonging surgery. As far as the surgery, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Well compared to the shoulders. Was on hydros then oxy for months. First week after surgery I started PT with my PT group (lol). I have been a regular there also over the years.
    Last week I finally returned to work. 12 hr shifts with that weight around my waist kills my hip. But I don’t have a choice. Out of sick time and since this hip isn’t job related I am screwed. Not burning my vac, holiday time so I have no choice. My doc said I can return to running after 3 months but in the long run I will just do more damage that will almost guarenee me a hip replacement 10 yrs down the road. I told hip life is to short and did want to have any regrets. He just laughed and told me he didn’t think I was going to stop. Hip feels ok though. Been doing leg presses, leg curls, elliptical, and of course treadmill. This past Mon I just wasn’t feeling it ( one of those up and down hip days) to even go to the gym but I did. Just leg presses and treadmill. This time though I ran on it for not only the first time in my life on a treadmill ( always uncoordinated) but ran since surgery. I would do 2 min running then lower the speed from a 6.5 to a 4.3 (quick walking pace) then after a few minutes back up to 6.5 or do and ran. Got the hang of it, even though I felt like a hamster running on one of those wheels. Lol
    So I signed up for the Boston Run To Remember 1/2 coming up at the end of next month (march 25th). So basically 19 weeks after surgery.
    As far as training for it. I have been doing strength training for about 3 week now on my own ever since I stopped PT. it has been hit or miss though cus as you know with the hip recovery is a long slow process that wears on you. I have roughly 7 weeks to train before the 1/2. This is the first time that I am having my doubts. But no choice. Already signed up. Roped my cousin into running with me, and paid for the room ($300). So this weekend is going to start my actual outside running. Rubberized HS track first. Maybe run a mile walk, run again etc. Not going to push it. Stamina isn’t going to be a problem but hip I am afraid might be. Just want to finish at this point.
    Anyways sorry so long winded for someone who doesn’t even know you but I just wanted to share my hip story as it mimicks yours. My was genetics also (cam impingement) and over time tore the labrum. My doc even shaved part of the socket so you could say I had both types of impingements. Also you are right when it comes to not having alot of stories on runners who had this type of surgery and went back to running. Maybe I should start a .com support group for runners with FAI/labrum tear and running before and after surgery. Well maybe next down time I have, but for now I have a lot of running to do. L
    PS….Good luck on your running and training for NYC half. Something that I have in my bucket list as I am only 3 hrs away from the city. I did sign up to volunteer this year and am awaiting the selections. Happy running/blogging!

    Mike

    • Did you ever start that support group for runners with FAI/labrum tears? I’d be interested. My name is Jana….I had the surgery January 7, 2016 and I’m not recovering as fast as I would like. I’d love to have others to talk to!

      • I never did- but I probably should have! I have received so many emails the past few years that I know it would be helpful. You will get there- it just takes time.

  • Mike
    Great idea on starting a support group. I had the same surgery you did and it’s hard to find support groups or stories on how how long it will be before you can run again. I am in week three and am ready to start strengthening my hip again and came across this blog. Thank you both for sharing your stories and this blog was VERY helpful

    Robin

  • Thank you for sharing! I recently had arthroscopic hip surgery for FAI impingement/labral detachment and really appreciate reading about your experience. I am also a serious runner and this whole experience has been incredibly challenging!!!

  • Hi I couldn’t see your email anywhere I’m having the same surgery in a few weeks… freaking out. If you could email me that’d be great

    • I just had this surgery on Wednesday 4/13/16 I was wondering how you at doing. Thank goodness I vae across this forum. I got caught up in another one and it was one negative story after the next. I feel pretty good. I could probably walk without crutches if I wanted but I’m not allowed to put weight on my leg for 4 weeks. Keep me posted on your progress

  • I just had hip surgery a week ago. (hip repair and partial) I really never wanted to go through with it. But I was desperate for some help. This hip problem was setting my life back on so many levels. I couldn’t barley walk around a store or work around the house with being in tears. I finally made the decision to have the surgery (along with my husband insisting). Now I’m so anxious to put this behind and get on with my life. My husband constantly telling me that I’m rushing the process. He keep saying that it’s only been a week. I’m trying to be patient. But it’s hard when I’m use to doing so much and caring for 5 children. The doctor said this would be a long recovery process for me. So, I sit and then of how I can successfully shorten that process… I came across your story and this is very encouraging. Thanks for sharing!

    • I just had hip surgery a week ago. (hip repair and partial) I really never wanted to go through with it. But I was desperate for some help. This hip problem was setting my life back on so many levels. I couldn’t barley walk around a store or work around the house without being in tears. I finally made the decision to have the surgery (along with my husband insisting). Now I’m so anxious to put this behind and get on with my life. My husband constantly telling me that I’m rushing the process. He keep saying that it’s only been a week. I’m trying to be patient. But it’s hard when I’m use to doing so much and caring for 5 children. The doctor said this would be a long recovery process for me. So, I sit and think of how I can successfully shorten that long process… I came across your story and this is very encouraging. Thanks for sharing!

      • I just had hip surgery a week ago. (hip repair and partial) I really never wanted to go through with it. But I was desperate for some help. This hip problem was setting my life back on so many levels. I couldn’t barley walk around a store or work around the house without being in tears. I finally made the decision to have the surgery (along with my husband insisting). Now I’m so anxious to put this behind and get on with my life. My husband constantly telling me that I’m rushing the process. He keep saying that it’s only been a week. I’m trying to be patient. But it’s hard when I’m use to doing so much and caring for 5 children. The doctor said this would be a long recovery process for me. So, I sit and think of how I can successfully shorten that long process… I came across your story and this is very encouraging. Thanks for sharing!

  • I came across your blog while looking for information in regards to the Hip arthoscope gold standard of care. I was one of those unfornuate ones that I didn’t have the same outcome as most. And most people really don’t think about what could happen.
    During my procedure, the surgeon removed excessive amount of bone from my hip socket when attempting to remove some bone spurs. This action after the hip scope lefted me bone on bone. And really I thought the pain was bad enough before the surgery, but once you experience bone on bone pain then you know exactly what pain is.
    Although the surgeon would never admit he did anything incorrect I did get a second opinion. This is when that little voice in the back of your head is saying “See your not crazy, there was something wrong in there”. I begged the first surgeon to check my hip out a week after surgery because something didn’t feel right. Of course I knew there would be swelling and pain, but your body knows when something isn’t quite right and was screaming it to me.
    The surgeon who I went to for a second opinion clearly stated that there was too much bone removed during the procedure and wanted me to see a specialist which also was a Asst. Professor at a major School of Medicine to see if they might have some new different procedures/ products available for my situation.
    Long story made short, I was forced to get a total hip replacement. The cup/ liner has two screws holding it in place and even today you can see on my x-rays the screw up the first surgeon made which made the hip socket incredibly huge compared to even this replacement socket that has been screwed in place.
    I guess the main thing I can add to your blog is anyone getting any type of surgery. Check out the doctors or even blogs like this. Ocassionally you will find a person who had a bad experience with a particular surgeron and maybe the next person can avoid that doctor all together. Humans hate to own up to their mistakes, but its even worst when those intrusted to our care fail at something and don’t own up to it.

  • I had FAI surgery in August 2014.
    Did PT, crutches the whole gamete. I can run 30 min at a decent pace, but every one in awhile my hip will give me pain/be crunchy again for a day or two. Is this normal? Sadly, my surgeon is no longer T the practice he was at, and so I am a bit lost.
    Any help is welcomed and appreciated

  • Thanks for your blog post. Im having surgery I. A few weeks and am trying to understand what the recovery will really be like. How long after your surgery could you manage stairs? I live in Chicago in a three story townhome with my two boys. Curious is i will be able to stay here.

  • Thanks for your post. I had bursitis, labral tears, a window cut out of my IT band, and a few other things done Dec 2015. NYE I had emergency surgery as the 2 out of the 3 incisions had become infected and I had a hematoma. It has been a fairly horrible experience emotionally as I was not expecting such a long recovery road. It was comforting to read that it took you some time to get back to running. I am now on the treadmill walking and attempt to run for a few minutes here and there. Some days are better than others, but I try not to feel too defeated when my hip can only bare running for 2-3 minutes.

    Hoping your recovery is still going well!

  • Thank you for sharing! I’m two weeks post op (FAI and multiple labral tears) and am chomping at the bit. I really appreciate a comparative timeline from someone who has experienced it. Hoping not to drop out of a half I’m registered for in October. Goals! 😁

  • Thank you for sharing your hip surgery experience. I had an injury six months ago and now am four weeks post op. The pain affected so many aspects of my life that I have forgotten how pain free feels like. Luckily after the Labrador repair surgery I finally get to enjoy pain free sitting, sleeping, and walking with shorter strides. Your story encourages me to stay positive and hopeful for a full recovery. Thank you so much!

  • I too had a similar surgery. Had to have 1/4″ shaved off all the way around and my labrum was torn and rolled back. After SEVERAL misdiagnosis within my community of physicians (yes, I work at a hospital and had several resources avail to me), I finally took the advice of a friend and went to Dr. Martin at Baylor in Dallas (GREAT doctor). After watching me walk, he knew exactly what was wrong. Did the diagnostic tests to be certain and scheduled the surgery. Prior to my injury, I was running 4 miles a day. Still have no idea what caused the injury, but fairly certain that running didn’t cause it (perhaps a 6 foot fall flat on my back on asphalt). Anyway surgery and rehab was successful. Had some sit pain along ischial tuberosity before FAI diagnosis and surgery, still have the sit pain and am on a journey to get that properly diagnosed and resolved (5 years and counting). Regardless of my other issue, I would do the surgery again in a heartbeat.

  • Hello

    I recently had my right hip operated on for FAI and a labrum tear.
    I had both cam and pincer bony growths that needed to be shaved down and my labrum was in poor condition but was managed to be saved. My surgeon used cargel to help regenerate stem cells to repair the cartilage and help repair the labrum. I’m 10 days post op and I’m doing well with the upright bike and my physio routine. With the use of cargel I’m
    Only allowed 20% of my weight on my leg for the first 6 weeks. Gonna be a long recovery but hopefully all goes well. Most of my pain has gone away but you can tell the hip has lost mobility and strength. My left hip is bothering me as well , and will eventually need to operated on as well. Should be a interesting year for me.

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