It’s been over two years since my hip labrum surgery for labral tear and complex FAI. I’m happy to report that I am still mostly pain free and am back to most of the activities I did prior to my injury. I say “mostly pain free” because there are days and weeks that my hip reminds me that it’s not perfect, and I have to be diligent about getting back to exercises that help it feel its best.
Because I am a Neuromuscular Therapist, I spend most of my work day on my feet. Standing long hours never bothered me before the injury, but now have to manage the number of hours I stand in a row and the number of clients I see per day. The weeks when I am extremely busy at work, are usually the weeks that getting to the gym is difficult, which usually results in some sort of pain. I also have a tendency to do more things than I should, because the constant pain is no longer there to limit me. This usually results in me icing my hip the next day, treating my piriformis muscle with a tennis ball, and getting on the elliptical for range of motion. Others who have had the surgery who sit for long periods of time for their jobs have reported the same pain and a need for changing positions often to stretch the hip and find relief.
Exercise has been the biggest change – I am constantly finding a balance between too much and too little exercise to keep my hip happy. I recently started doing yoga again regularly, which was a big goal of mine. I wasn’t able to do yoga for a year after surgery because of the extreme hip flexion of some of the poses. Downward dog, pigeon, and some warrior poses were too much for my hip, but I’m steadily able to do more and more as time goes on. In a recent class the focus was “hip openers”… I almost got up and walked out, but decided to stay to see what I could do with modification. I did most of the class with minor modifications, and instead of feeling bad about how limited I still was two years after surgery, I was proud of what I could do. 🙂
Having been on the other side of surgery for a few years, I can honestly say that I am glad I did it. Was it difficult? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes – both because of pain and instability, but also to prevent more degeneration in my hip and stave off an early hip replacement. Would I do something differently? I wouldn’t have waited so long to get the hip evaluated – I should have listened to my body earlier when I knew something wasn’t right. What do I have to remind myself of daily? My hip will never be perfect, this is my new normal, but most days I feel 99% and that is GREAT!
I created these blog posts so that others can learn from my journey and be prepared for this surgery and the stages of healing and recovery that follow. I have heard from so many who have found benefit from my posts, so wanted to write one final piece from the two year perspective. My overall advice is: Find the best surgeon, find the best PT with hip labrum rehab experience, do not rush your rehab, and always listen to your body.