Stitch

From Physical Therapy to Surgery for FAI

Shared by ProbablyHasAS on May 31, 2019 (Written on May 29, 2019)
What is your story about?
I'm 26 years old and I've had FAI for 3 years. I tried physical therapy but did not see any improvements. Since MRI scans show damage to the cartilage in my hip joint, I want to make sure that damage stops and will be pursuing surgery as my next step. I do have some reservations about the procedure but have a ton of confidence in my surgeon.
How long have you been experiencing FAI symptoms?
I'm 26 years old and I've been in this situation for three years.
What was your experience like trying physical therapy?
I did PT for about 10 weeks and saw zero improvement in pain.
Are you considering surgery as a next move?
Yes. After three years of chronic pain at age 26, and no results with PT, I decided surgery was a reasonable next step. There is damage to the cartilage in my hip joint as well ("chondral delamination, per the MRI) which to me is evidence that the FAI is actively doing damage. I do have some reservations about the procedure but have a ton of confidence in my surgeon -- I may have chosen to just continue to suffer with the pain if I had not found someone with such expertise.
What reservations do you have about the procedure?
I wish there was more literature out there about the benefits of this procedure (particularly long term) and comparisons of the surgery to a sham surgery. The studies that are out there are promising though, and the procedure is very low-risk. I'm just baffled by studies showing that impingement and labral tears are very common observations even in people with no hip pain whatsoever. It isn't clear who should and should not get the surgery done.
Anything else that makes you feel surgery is the right path for you?
In my case there is some cartilage damage as well, which is pretty concerning to me. In the absence of that damage, it would be easier to shrug off impingement as just a normal radiographic finding -- but since there's evidence of it causing damage, I'm really looking to make sure that damage stops.