Surgery for Semi-Elite Marathon Runner with Hip Impingement & Labral Tear

What is your story about?
I'm a 33 year old male semi-elite marathon runner. In January 2019, I began developing FAI symptoms. They soon progressed to the point where I was struggling with daily life and was down to only walking about 3000 steps for my entire day. Therefore, I pursued corrective surgery to reshape my hip bones and repair my labral tear.
What symptoms did you experience and how did they progress over time?
Symptoms were present almost 4 months to the day of the surgery. I'm a semi-elite marathon runner so I could have pushed everything as quick as possible. I might have tried to avoid surgery, but felt my labral tear was too bad to do anything, but surgery. I was also developing a tendinopathy (changing of muscular structure) on the outside of my leg which was the final nail that made me stop running. I thought the groin pain was just tight hip flexors to that point.
Did you have any experience with physical therapy?
I've seen PTs for other ailments and they've always wanted to focus on my hip mobility and they would say that I was the most inflexible person they had ever seen and some didn't even know how I could run let alone fast. Unfortunately we never saw much improvement with stretches and exercises for hip mobility.
When was your surgery?
May 22, 2019
What was the procedure like?
Doctor said he had to used 4 sutures to repair the labral tear when he generally only uses 2 and occasionally 3. He shaved down my bone while he was in there. I had a 76 degree "alpha angle" and he likes to see less than 50. He got to 44. While I'm a math I'm not exactly sure what angle he's measuring, but did like the confirmation that I was outside of the ideal range.
How is your recovery coming along?
So far recovery from surgery sucks just like I thought it would, but I'm really not in that much more pain than I was pre surgery. I'm going to be off work for about 4 weeks, probably won't be able to drive for 2-3 weeks, will be spending 10+ hours a day on 3 different machines to move and chill my legs to avoid scar tissue building up and blood clots. I'll also have PT starting soon twice a week where I'm sure they'll give me daily exercises. My pain levels have been a 2-4 out of 10 since the operation when laying down. My pain level pre-surgery was probably 2-3 most of the day so it's reall ...(more)
What do you recommend for the recovery process?
Get someone to help you as much as you can even if it's them just being there 4 times for 15 minutes. Get in the continuous passive movement machine the same day and do it as much as possible. You'll likely have to have someone else strap you into it because you'll be wearing a brace which stops you from bending forward much. I feel like CPM has really made a world of difference in recovery for me. A couple things they made someone buy for me post surgery:
  1. Water Proof Bandaids: I got to replace bandaging about 48 hours after and shower
  2. Baby Aspirin: to reduce risk of blood clot
  3. Sto ...
Any tips on showering during the early recovery phase?
I have bathtub/shower which means a 2 foot step to get into the shower. If you have that a step stool would definitely be preferred. I somehow made it in, but took a lot of balance and arm strength. I took about 10 minute shower and balanced on one leg. I'd say there was slightly more hip pain when standing than laying.
Are you considering any future surgeries?
I have a similar impingement on my left leg, but don't have any real symptoms other than inflexibility so I'll probably have to wait till I tear something over there to do additional surgery.
What advice would you give others with your condition?
For people looking for hope on not having surgery remember that I had an extreme impingement, severe labral tear and was an athlete wanting to continue to push my limits. Even I saw some improvements with stretching and I made it 33 years before I tore my labrum severe enough that it effected both my running and ordinary daily life. If you're told you have a labrum tear and you're struggling with ordinary daily life then I personally would probably recommend surgery. I saw almost no improvement over 4 months and I was down to only walking about 3000 steps for my entire day.