Surgery for Hip Labral Tear and FAI Lasts 11 Years

What is your story about?
I'm a 42 year old female. In 2008 I underwent surgery for a hip labral tear and underlying FAI. The recovery was difficult but the surgery gave me successful results for 11 years. Now, I'm experiencing pain again and expect to need to undergo another surgery.
What symptoms did you experience?
I had 2 tears; one in the front (anterosuperior) and one in the back (posterosuperior). I had pain the the front of my hip, deep down in the joint which radiated down to my ankle. It was miserable. I didn’t have any side pain or groin pain but I read that some people have that with labral tears depending where the tear is.
What surgery did you undergo?
In 2008 there were only 3 doctors in the country that would do this repair surgery. I was only 31 so a hip replacement was out of the question. So I went to see Dr Phillipon in Vail and he did the surgery. They sutured the tears and then shaved the head of my femur so it wouldn’t continue to grind on the labrum.
How was your recovery?
I’ll be honest, the surgery was hard for me because of a few reasons.
  1. I wasn’t mentally or physically prepared. They just told me to show up. Had I known what I was in for I would have built up my core and arm strength. I’ve been having pain again 11 years later, so I’m seeing a specialist in October. I noticed on his website that he has a pre-fitness program for patients before surgery. I think that’s excellent! Also, now there’s more doctors who do this surgery so you don’t have to travel as far.
  2. I had an infection and adhesion. Most people are back to normal activity in 6 months b ...
Did you do rehab following surgery?
Yes. PT was pretty grueling post-op. I remember going twice a day for awhile and eventually that thinned to 3 times per week. I think it’s important to find a therapist that’s familiar with your surgery. I was lucky in that regard. I would also encourage others to really work on their range of motion. I never got that back and its probably why I’m in the same boat again. I also developed post-op bursitis and it never resolved even 11 years later. I often wonder what I could have done better for those issues. I was referred to PT before surgery but that was prior to my diagnosis when they just ...(more)
Where are you now in terms of long-term outcome?
I haven’t had pain until recently so I definitely got my 10-15 years out of the surgery. I’m not sure if my sutures came loose or I’ve suffered another tear, but I believe I’ll be heading to surgery in one way or the other in the next 6 months. As for why I’m suddenly in the same boat I was in 11 years ago, I would imagine it has to do with my change in exercise routine. I cycled for many years and never had issues. Last December I joined Orange Theory and I think the running and rowing were too much for me. I won’t know what’s going on until I see the doctor in October (ridiculously long wai ...(more)
What advice would you give others with your condition?
Labral tears occur for 3 reasons; acute injury, structural abnormalities; or genetics. Well, I’m a structural abnormality person so this will be a lifelong struggle. It’s important to find out which category you fall into so you’re aware of your limitations. Additionally, my surgeon said people with labral tears should avoid treadmills the rest of their lives, but this was in 2008 when the treadmills weren’t as low impact as the newer ones are. I’m not sure his on his thoughts now, but here I am in the same boat again 9 months after tread running, so it could still be an issue.