Signs and Symptoms...sort of.

My un-professional account of signs and symptoms based on my experience or described by others.

My impingement is a “pincer” type, which means there is a shelf-like bump of bone on my acetabulum (hip bone). This bony bump rubs against my femur (leg bone) and a deep aching in the groin, where the bottom bikini line runs from my outer hip through the pelvic area and back up and around the buttock. I also experience an aching knee, foot and lower back pain in the leg of the bad hip.

Imagine going to the doctor’s office and trying to explain this one. He/she asks, “so tell me where the pain is”…and I reply, “well, it starts in my knee but usually my lower back starts hurting at the same time, it works its way into my buttock and the side of my hip then settles into a deep deep aching and grinding pain in my groin. It feels like my bones are grinding together and popping and sometimes catching at the front like if I stepped another inch farther my leg’s gonna snap and that’ll be the end of me.

It took a while to get a diagnosis, not because my doctors were incompetent, but because I was pregnant the first few times I went to see someone for it, so x-rays were not an option. The first OS I saw did guess labral tear was a possibility.
So, labral tear occurs in the rim of that hip socket and causes a lot of pain. I can’t go into much detail on that because I don’t really know what else to say about it! All I know is my MRI arthrogram read that I didn’t have one. They’re often wrong (those MRI readings), so I’m hoping that mine was right because from what I’ve read those tears don’t have a real high success rate when repaired.

FAI affects people with very common lifestyles, for women they are usually around 20-40 years of age and have active lifestyles. Quite often they discover the pain around the time of pregnancy or shortly after delivery as well as during menstrual cycles or ovulation.

For men, it seems they are often highly athletic runners, cyclists, soccer players or professional athletes. Recently a first baseman for the Mets, C. Delgado was treated with arthroscopic surgery for FAI and I believe Greg Norman was as well. I’d have to double check about him, but it was some pro golfer.

Anyway, bottom line is the couch potatoes aren’t coming in with FAI. I read story after story of FAI sufferers who love the gym, to hike, to run or ride their bikes. These are individuals who cannot choose to live a sedentary lifestyle, but will not be able to do the things they love until the impingement is corrected. The only choice is surgery.

Activities often associated with FAI (almost all of which I have been involved in)
martial arts

Mostly sports that require a full range of motion in the hip and especially internal rotation...another major symptom, I think the biggest indicator in the physical exam. This would be when the leg crosses over the midline of the body, that hurts like a $%^&*@#!!!

I am trying to find alternative methods of pain relief because I’ve discovered how extremely dangerous the NSAID meds are, these are the ibuprofen type non steroid anti-inflammatory drugs like Celebrex. I recently read on a message board that 70% of patients begin to develop ulcers in their stomachs only days after starting NSAID’s and more than 16,000 people die as a result of their complications from the drug. That is more than AIDS or Cervical Cancer….WHAT???? Why is that not common knowledge?

The worse part for me is the emotional damage. We are an active group of people who are fueled and find happiness in activities that are banned from us. We are in general positive and healthy individuals who did not do this to ourselves by being careless or neglectful. It’s a chronic pain that is impossible to explain to someone not experiencing it. I hate hospitals and doctors and would ignore it if I could, but I don’t get to do that and now I have to be a new mommy on crutches and how we’re gonna have our once a week trips to the Zoo this spring I do not know…I’ll keep you posted.


stephwiese said...

I have been diagnosed with a labral tear although my MRI arthrogram came back mostly clear except some strnage mark that my OD wasn't sure whether or not it indicated a tear. It really is the strangest pain/problem. I slipped on the ice, fell on my hip then it popped really loudly (and painfully) two months later and here I am. This Friday I go to an OS to determine when and where the surgery will take place.

The limitations it creates are odd and frustrating. I can't get out of the car as easily, I can't side step to the left (my left hip is the problem), sex is nearly impossible and hysterical now, and I can't go running. I can't walk or sit for longer than 20 minutes at a time... ahhhhh!

We shall see...

Scatterpillar said...

Stepping to the side IS very painful, yes I can relate to all your problems. Have you had your surgery consult yet? If so how did it go?

pathservkm said...

I am the mother of a 12 year old girl (former gymnast) that has suffered from chornic hip pain for almost 2 years. She has been mis-diagnosed for 2 years and now has a new dx of pincer hip impingment. She has had 3 MRI's 2 of them with contrast, x-rays on hips, back, knees and ankles. We were told she had a groin pull, stress fractures of her hip and pelvis, juvenille RA, labrum tear, and now this. They believed that she had a torn labrum and/or loose bodies in her hip joint but now they are saying it is FAI. The problem is they are saying she has to wait 2 years for the necessary surgery to repair her condition. This has completeley changed her. She is currently in extreme pain following last weeks 3rd MRI. I am looking for answers and wondering if you have any ideas of websites that may be good for research. I have been unable to find any case studies for anyone under the age of 17. I am so concerned that by waiting more damage is being caused. The risks of the surgery may not outway the risks of waiting. Thanks

mamagirl said...

My 14 (now 15) year old daughter had arthroscopic hip surgery 10 months ago for a labral tear and an impingement(they had to reshape the head of the femur). We used Dr. Hal Martin in OK City so you might look for research done by him as well as DR. Marc Phillipon of the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Co. Also try Dr. Clohisy at Washinton University in St. Louis. All have published extensively are known as experts in the field. I don't have any of the sites book marked any more.
My 15 year old is nearly as good as new and has returned to all of her old activities-gymnastics, cheerleading, etc. However, my 12 year has been experiencing pain and loss of movement in her right hip. Depending upon on how things go the next couple of weeks, I plan to take her to the expert so she isn't in pain for as long as my other daughter was.

Scatterpillar said...

I had a lot of pain at that age too from cheerleading. I used to think my hip was dislocating. It's good to see you are finding answers for you daughters.

Anonymous said...

Hello. Not sure if this post is still running, if it is, I would certainly love to communicate with anyone with hip symptoms described in the posts here. I have actually had 3 arthroscopic labral tear debridements, and have been told I will need one more surgery on each hip for FAI. My heart goes out to anyone experiencing the painful sx of these hip conditions. I read the posts and can identify with the women whom you all have described about your sx and how they have carried into your daily life. I understand how the basic normal functions of life such as walking, sitting, moving at all, not too mention the sex, shaving of my legs, etc. have all changed dramatically because of my hips. Emotionally, physically, these hip conditions are draining. I wish the new mom with a baby all the best. My kids are 15 and 17 now and I have no idea how I would have managed if they were babies or toddlers. I wanted more children, the decision to not have anymore was made when my hip dx was made. I also have a daughter,15,a cheerleader, with hip symptoms and probabl labral tear. It is a long road and at times a lonely road, as no one seems to understand. Finding a diagnosis was a long journey and the hip pathology is a new field exploding every month my doctor told me. I am here to listen to anyone, share my story, look to help others and offer any help of how I have learned to manage my sx both pre and post surgery. Take care, God Bless,

Vanessa Lynch said...

Just saw your post, thanks for sharing. I was diagnosed a year ago, but only last week as I was shaving in my tub did it occur to me why I have always had such a hard time shaving!! All these years, I'm 34 now, I thought I was lazy, haha. But it is very painful to reach and forget shaving in the shower without a seat, not possible. Sex, driving for long distances, walking, loading the dishwasher...nothing is easy anymore. Please continue to share and find support here, that's why I created the blog because I felt isolated and was looking to hear the stories of others!

Good luck to you and your healing!


krista said...

im having the same problem with my hip. i have a torn labrum the thing is i have no insurance. i dont know what to do. i feel bad for anyone going through this painful experience.

marcie said...

Hi all, I'm a bit of a mixed case! I have FAI and acetabular dysplasia in the right hip. It is a tricky hip to treat and I've had labral debridement done by scope so far and am scheduled to under go open dislocation with femoral osteoplasty this winter or next winter (I also have to have a periacetabular osteotomy on the left hip). Does anyone have some insight on open dislocation? I'm still wrapping my head around all this. Was diagnosed in March, but have had symptoms for a good 5-6 years. I'm confused about how my right hip can both be dysplastic and have impingement at the same time. Does anyone else have this?
My heart also goes out to those of you facing this pain (esp with little ones!). I don't have children yet (I'm 28) and I'm definately going to get these hips fixed before I have kids!

Julia said...

Hi! I'm 20 years old dealing with hip pain that makes me feel like I'm 80. Ten years ago I was a competitive gymnast, and that's when my hip started hurting. I started the doctor search when the hip pain made me have to quit. I finally learned how to 'deal with' the pain my modifying and icing all the time, but the last year it has gotten so much worse! I was sent to Dr. Clohisy and 12 xrays and 3 MRI's later they still aren't for sure. They're pretty sure I've got a pincer impingment because all the signs and symptoms are there, but my radiographs don't confirm anything. My hip literally grinds when I walk, I can't do anything physical (which is very hard because I'm pretty active, especially when I'm stressed!), I can't sit longer than 20 minutes, I can't climb up the stairs to my appartment... I've got an exploratory arthroscopic surgery in October to hopefully find something and fix it! But it's been such a frustrating, long year. I would be interested to get any info on what anyone is going through and if anyone is seeing Dr. Clohisy! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

We have been everywhere trying to find out why our 14 year old daughter has been in so much pain for the last 8 years. UCSF and Shriners could not figure it out. Finally last Thursday a Dr. who did not even see her found the problem when he reviewed the x-ray (after we had been told by two others she was perfectly normal) This kid has been through hell, bike riding, running and working out after being told it was her weight, so lose a few pounds and you will feel better. I am so disappointed in all those Physicians who would not listen.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the post and all the comments. I was just diagnosed with FAI two weeks ago and off to consult the hip surgeon about arthroscopy monday, but apparently I have developed osteoarthritis, so my only option is to wait until the hip is bad enough to get a total hip replacement. I'm bummed it took the doctors 4 years to finally diagnose this and wonder if it had been diagnosed sooner if I would not have developed the arthritis. At any rate, I really resonated with your comment about the emotional damage. I can't imagine not hiking. I cry when I realize I won't ever feel the runners high again. I love feeling my body move in yoga. I love backpacking and climbing mountains; how can you just give that up?

Thanks for sharing, it helps knowing others share your pain.

Vanessa said...

YOU DON'T HAVE TO GIVE UP!!!! I have OA too! Many people do, but I still had the surgery and am improving everyday! My goal is to hike again pain free and it is in sight!! Where are you located? What is your age? If you are 40+, that might affect their suggestion to wait, but even so you can find a surgeon willing to do the hip scope if you need it. Your arthritis will only get much worse if left alone.

Look for a surgeon in your area who specializes and understands FAI, it makes all the difference in the world. I was lucky to be diagnosed by an OS who was willing to admit he was not experienced to treat the condition, but encouraged me to see an expert in that particular field.

Don't give up!!!!!!
Vanessa:) if you need more help.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone used a doctor for FAI surgery in New York City?

Vanessa said...

I think Dr. Kelly is in NYC. If so, he is one of the best, highly recommended on FAI message boards by patients.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I had arthroscopic hip surgery a year ago for FAI and a labral tear. I'm still having problems, and my surgeon has brushed me off telling me to give it more time. Well, I'm seriously considering looking into a second opinion. Does anyone know of a good hip doctor for this type of problem in Boston?

Anonymous said...


As I mentioned, which I don't really get where my message is, am I following different threads?

Anyway, yes Dr. Kelly seems like he is the guy to go to, but he does not take my insurance and my insurance pays doctors that participate very little, therefore, I will be paid their scheduled fee.

I cannot over the phone get a price for this surgery so I can figure out what insurance would pay and what would be out of pocket. I am sure whatever it is, it is more than I can afford. I am so depresed. His website is very informative.

I am so sorry that the doctor that performed the first arthroscopic surgery of hip failed to tell me that he probably has never done it before me. He really made thngs so much worse. I wasted months in recovering and PT. Than I finally said, this guy did not know what he was doing and went somewhere else. While my new doctor is a great guy he has admitted to only doing 7 FAI's and they are all open surgery.

I put in a call to a Dr. Davidovitch from NYU Hospital for Joint Disease to speak with him, to see how many procedure of this type he has done. He is dropping my insurance at the end of the year, that is because they pay so little.

I am so happy I found this site. My name is Fran. If I can ever figure out how to sign up I will.

Thanks so much for so much info.

Vanessa said...

Hi Fran,
It is a little confusing here, sorry! I started this blog never imagining how much it would grow, so it's not really set up to easily find comments, etc, but I'm working on that:)
Email me and I'll give you more info on insurance cost, etc. A lot of the insurance companies are starting to cover FAI, but unfortunately ours, Aetna, still does not, so I can share with you what we've done.
**and to sign in, register a google account for yourself and sign in that way, but you don't have can use anonymous and sign your name.

Anonymous said...

I am suffering from FAI right now; I have calcified cysts rowing on my left hip bone. I am having surgery this Thursday and am PRAYING that this will alleviate the pain because it has been excruciating. I can't turn my hip; put my shoes/socks on; cross my legs, sit Indian style and FORGET about shaving my legs without wincing in terrible pain. I will let you know how it goes and if it works.

Thanks, Katherine

angie said...

can you describe your specific symptoms? My doctor suspects this and I'm waiting to see an ortho doc. I have pain in my low back (around the SI joints that moves around), the hip, down my inner thigh and my outer thigh and my knee, and sometimes the back of the thigh. I'm constantly in pain. When I stand or get up it feels like my hip doesn't want to move and I limp. I do not have the popping/clicking I read about. I have lost my flexibility in the hip. I used to be extremely flexible with yoga and now when I cross my foot over my knee my leg is way up in the air.

I am desperate for some help and answers. i've seen a rhematologist and a neurologist who ruled out what they could. my x-ray and MRI of the spine/SI joints didn't show anything. I haven't had the MRI of the hip - doctor wanted to wait til I see the ortho b/c she said an arthrogram could be painful and she didn't want to order it if not necessary. If this guy doesn't find anything I don't know what I'll do. my activity is limited to limping from the parking garage into the hospital where I work and the walking I do at work. then I fall on the couch when I get home and hubby fixes dinner. that is it!!

I'm going nuts living like this for over a year and a half. I used to run, lift weights, do yoga, lots of walking/hiking, etc. I guess my main question is for those that had this what were your symptoms. did you all have the popping/clicking I read about? did anything show on a regular x-ray? did you get help??

thank you. I feel very alone and scared in this.

Vanessa said...

I will email you more specifics, but visit this popular post for a better description of symptoms:

Or go to the "popular post" box above and read a few of those links for better info.
First of all, yes I did and it is common to have SI pain, with the "moving around" feeling as well. Most common pain will be the aching deep in your hip (like where you would put your hand against your leg/hip/thigh area or bikini line in front. There are other symptoms that may vary from person to person...clicking and popping is not universal.

MRI's miss FAI a lot! Don't get an arthrogram ordered by your primary care or even an orthopaedic surgeon who is not experienced in treating FAI. There is a specific way in which this needs to be performed. If done correctly it will deliver a false negative and your troubles will linger. Where are you located? Maybe someone on here can suggest a good surgeon in your area.

It is frustrating, but there is hope.


Anonymous said...

I was just told yesterday that I had a hip impingment that has caused a bone spur and arthritis. I have been a runner fo fifteen years and have even completed a marathon. I have now been kept from running for the past five months. I had these same symptoms a year and half ago and was diagnosed with bursitis. The symtoms seemed to subside with PT and anti-inflammatories. The more subtle symptoms of lower back pain and groin pain remained. Now they are all back and are not respondign to any of the treatments. My doctor flippantly told me I could have arthroscopic surgery,but it is not covered by insurance. They are going to treat me for the arthritis, but I don't know how to proceed. I just turned 40 a few weeks ago and had hoped to run the NYC Marathon on my birthday, instead I spent it on the couch. Are there any activities people have found that don't make the symptoms worse?


Vanessa said...

I'm sorry this has happened, but glad to have you post here. First of all, some insurance companies DO cover the surgery. Who is your provider? Second, don't waste time with this doctor. Find an Orthopaedic Surgeon who is EXPERIENCED with treating FAI. You'll get a run around and a lot of frustration otherwise.

Honestly, there's not a lot you can do until it has been treated, but pilates will help your pain significantly as it builds and strenthens the muscles that have become weak and stressed without you knowing it. Glutes and hamstrings in particular. Physical therapy will also help.

Where are you located?


Anonymous said...

I think I love you! lol you have described perfectly the problem I've been having for the past 10 months. However, mine isn;t solved yet due to incompetent hospital staff. I will be printing this off and taking it to my GP appointment on monday morning because I've had just about enough of having to walk like a penguin and being able to do absolutely nothing, I can't even walk for more than a couple minutes, and up hill.. yeesh! not good when you live in a small city that's sat on the edge of mountains...

Jillze1 said...

Wow, up until a couple of weeks ago I never even heard of FAI! I have an appointment on Jan 11th, but I may have possibly been diagnosed here. Some of the symptoms here don't necessarily jive with mine, but wanted to get some opinions. My activity history is significant. I was a competetive figure skater starting at age 7. I skated until I was 18 and quit to attend nursing school. I first noticed some "catching" in my left hip when I did spirals and camel spins when I was 14. Once I quit skaing I had no problems. I got heavy into working out in my early 20s and became an avid runner and cyclist. I raced until I had my younger son who is now 13, so approx. 10 years. I continued running up until recently. I noticed that "catching" again when I was running about 6 years ago. To make matters worse, I started golfing this summer. That is when my porblems really started. Coincidence? Don't know. I was also in a car accident last spring and had a huge bruise on my left hip but no other obvious injury to note. Now I am not able to walk any faster than a slow pace without feeling like my hip has to crack. It feels like it just gets stuck and hurts terribly. I have to stop and rest for a minute before I can start again. I CAN cross my left leg over my right, but it is somewhat uncomfortable through my groin and my outer hip area. I do have some low back discomfort expecially on the left side and down my outer hip. The worse is that I canNOT abduct my hip (seems like most people are having trouble with adduction). I used to be most comfortable sitting "indian style" but now have to prop a pillow under my left knee to hold my leg up because if I let it fall naturally in KILLS me. Forget about sex. I can't bend forward with my knee out to shave my left leg in the shower. BUT, I have full flexion. I can bend my knee up all the way as long as it is right in front. If it is turned out at all I have almost no range of motion. If I am laying and turn my foot out I can abduct my leg about 3 inches before I get that terrible "catching" feeling. One night I moved wrong in my sleep and thought I fractured my hip! At rest I have a dull ache in my groin and outer hip area.
It seems that the major differences with me and what I have read from others is the adduction/abduction difference, and I have the ability to bring my knee straight up. My leg muscles are starting to spasm because they aren't being used and I cannot do the activities that I love to do. I haven't gained weight...yet, but the lack of activity is definitely effecting my physical fitness and I can't stand it.
Does this sound like what others are experiencing? Any info would be great. Thank you for staring this. Sorry for the novel. LOL.

Claire Black said...

Well, I have just been diagnosed with FAI after what seems like 6 long years of being overlooked by various doctors, osteopaths and physios.
My initial symtoms started when I was 23 weeks pregnant with my third child. I could barely walk, climbing the stairs could take half an hour and I can not describe the intensity of the pain. At this point I also had a 1 and a 2 year old to manage and a husband whom works away most of the week.
Pain has been pretty consistent since though differs in intensity-at times it is slight at other times it is intense. My pain is throughout my pelvis, hips, lower back, knees and sometimes extends to my feet. I am presently experiencing shoulder pain I think due to sleeping awkwardly. On a couple of ocassions I have been bed bound for a few days after picking up my children.
My children are now 8, 7 and 5 and the grind continues though I have never let it affect what I do-my pain management is grit my teeth and smile.
My diagnosis was a strange relief tinged with sadness that a) I had often felt ridiculed by doctors and their dismissive approach to my symptoms and b) the road ahead which leads to both hips being operated on. My x-rays were not too good - open surgery required and should take place within the next 6 weeks. My parents will have to live with us as the recovery is slow and my children need to get to school whilst my husband has to manage his job. I feel like I am whinging but it is a relief to whinge to people whom understand. Good luck to all.

Vanessa said...

Sorry to hear about all this! The thing about hips is they are very complicated. It has only been a little over 10 years that the tools available to really see inside the hip arthroscopically so the answers can be hard to find. Many, maybe most even, orthopedic surgeons are not knowledgeable about FAI and still some do not acknowledge it at all.

That being said, your symptoms are definately not classic FAI symptoms, but no doubt something significant is going on there. Likely a labral tear, possibly some type of fracture even maybe?

Most people with FAI or a labral tear have a lot of trouble with internal rotation, but not external so much. The best thing to do at this point is to find an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in hips. On this blog there is a link to the FAI Yahoo Group. There are always a lot of great people lingering around there who can recommend a surgeon in your area! Go there and ask your question. You may find someone who has had similar troubles.
Good luck to you.

Vanessa said...

Your not whining, this is very difficult. We all know how you're feeling and it is devastating to suffer this type of pain. As a mother I certainly can sympathize with you.

It sounds like you're finally getting some answers. Have you had an MRI arthrogram yet? Keep us posted!

Jillze1 said...

Thank you Vanessa. I didn't think it was a classic case here, and maybe not a FAI at all. It was my history of activites common to FAI and that catching type pain that made me read more. Along with my hisotry of sports injuries (LOL)I have been a nurse in the area I live since '86 so spoke with many colleagues and found an Ortho who specializes in hips and does hip arthroscopy and minimally invasive procedures. He was recommended as an excellent diagnostician as well. I am going to hang here with you all on the blog because, if nothing else, we all seem to be having problems with our ADLs due to hip pain. It is nice to have people that understand and not people saying things like "Oh, you are too young to have problems like this" or "It can't be THAT bad, you're only 40something"
Thank you again for starting this way back when. I will continue to follow and update here after my initial eval a week from Monday.
Hugs and a very Happy HEALTHY (and hopefully pain-free) New Year to all.

vanessa said...

Please do continue to update us. It's unfortunate, but people really don't understand how much the hip pain affects every aspect of your life. Especially mothers who are chasing after others, cooking, cleaning, etc. My husband had a lot of guilt after my surgeon told him how extensive the damage was he found during surgery:)

Not that guilt is what we're going for here, but it's nice to be acknowledged!

Jillze1 said...

OMG! I don't know how all the moms of younger kids are able to do this!!! I am fortunate that my older son is almost 17 and drives. He is very helpful to me. My younger is 13. I still have the cooking, cleaning, laundry up and down stairs (YIKES), etc., but God bless you all who have to do all this as well as chase the little ones around. My older son already told me not to worry if I have to have surgery because he will do watever I need him to. How sweet, though I think he would prefer that than spending that time at his dad's house. LOL.
My fiance is pretty supportive because this has effected a lot of things that we normally do together. I don't complain, but sometimes it is hard not to wince out loud if I accidentally move the wrong way.
I hope everyone's 2010 has been positive so far!!

Anonymous said...

Do I or Don't I??? After reading your blog I got really excited and scared at the same time.
Excited because after suffering hip pain on and off for the last 2years, I really do beleive I have FAI as my symptoms point to it and scared that too much damage may have been done because I am 63 years old.
I had xrays, an MRI of my spine and my hip,and a body scan in 2008.All reports reported mild and minimal degenerative changes and slight altered signal. I went to UCLA and a orthopedic
surgeon ( who gave me a simple physical exam and said he'd see me in a couple of years for a new hip) -both quickly dismissed it as arthritis.
The pain would really affect me mostly in my right groin and lower back especially after exercising on the elliptical and or bike. But then I went to NY this December and came back
with pain being much greater... feeling it more often from just walking, bending etc. My chiropractor chalked it up to the cold weather.
I knew something else was wrong so I revisited reading all those MRI reports and interpreted them through google. OMG!- smack dab in one of the reports the radiologist wrote a "borderline
component of cam-type femeroacetablum impingment with a sublte osseous bum on the femur. " None of the doctors said a word about this or suggested I check it out. The question is is it FAI and if so, is it too late to save the hip? I have only been feeling intense pain all the time for past few months.
Joanne (joannescaglione@yahoo,com)

Jillze1 said...

Hi there,
So I had my appointment with Dr. Raab here in Chicago burbs. My xray was fine. I don't have arthritis which I am happy about. He thinks it is likely a labral tear. I am going for an MRI/Arthrogram on Wednesday. He does not do hip arthroscopy and told me up front that he would give me a couple of referrals. I will definitely bring them here and to the Yahoo group for opinions.
My hip has not been good. With all the snow we have gotten, it has been very hard for me to walk through the snow and wearing my snow boots seems to have irritated my hip more. I am having the constant aching and the catching has increased substantially. Also, the muscles surrounding the area are starting to spasm. Im sure it is because they are not being used and are losing tone (I hate that!!!)
Dr Raab told me that he would suggest PT and NSAIDs before going in for surgery. I would obviously get that recommendation from the specialist I end up with. From what I have read, and maybe I misunderstood, PT can actually irritate it more and cause more damage. Is this correct??
I can't imagine going through PT right now!! Ouch!
Thanks for being here.
Hope everyone is doing well

Anonymous said...

I found this blog many motnhs ago when I was first diagnosed by an orthopedist who informed me that he didn't do hip arthroscopy and I wouldn't find a surgeon on my plan. He was wrong.

I just had the surgery to repair a labral tear and remove a bone spur. I love the hospital (NYU HospitaL for Joint Surgery) and my doctor, Dr. Meislin. He was not my first choice, but Dr. Davidivitch's schedule was full and he recommended him. He was terrific. He even called me himself the morning after to see how I was feeling.

I am waiting to start physical therapy and anxious to get my life back after eight long months of pain. Who knows, maybe another marathon is in my future. For now, I'll take a long walk.

Thanks to everyone who has posted especailly Vanessa.

Oliver said...

Hi every one,

Just here to share my story.
The pain is everywhere: Lower back (sacro iliac), groin, all around the hips, buttocks, knees, heels and mid back.
2 years of doctors not knowing what I had and prescribing NSAID with little effect until one asked for simple X-Rays of both hips: Diagnosis: FAI on both hips, CAM effect (most common in men I think).
First Arthro MRI on the left Hip: labrum tear of more than 1 inch and cartilage damages. I should have an MRI on the right hip soon.
Then it is surgery.
It was a long emotional journey of not knowing why the pain was there with most exams (numerous MRI, pelvis scan, scintillation camera...) not showing anything wrong.
I wish all of you good luck.
Vanessa, thanks for your very informative blog.

Anonymous said...

After bouncing from one ortho to another in the sticks I finally wised up and went to see Dr Davidivitch @NYU. Thank God. I am 48yo and after 2 mri's I finally had one with dye at NYU that confirmed a tear and a fairly large spur that the other Drs said was "insignificant". I have been in pain wasting my time for 10 months. Scheduled for surgery in 3 weeks. 50/50 shot that a reconstruct will hold and will be able to put off a total hip replacement. The pain is incredible and now the other side is starting to ache. Can't sleep and can't wait to get this done. Good luck to all

Anonymous said...

hi everyone.i do hope these posts are still running? ive had constant agony in my hip,groin and lower back for 3 and a half years.i live in u.k and im under a brilliant surgeon called prof.schilders.all the premier league football players get sent to him,so thats how amazingly clever he is!!! unfortunately he cant seem to stop my pains...aaaaggggghhhhh!!! in all,hes done a hip arthroscopy,where he tightened my hip capsular as it had come loose.then the following year he did a bursectomy,which means removing the burser. (a huge ballon like inflammation) but 3 and a half years on my pains are still horrendous and worsening every day,hence i am now bedbound!!! im 39 and used to be soooo active.ive been in a standing job since i was 12,and loved my work.ive even worked 70hrs standing job on carnival cruiselines for 3 yrs!!! i used to love cycling;yoga;swimming;walking;salsa and skiing. my whole life has completely stopped because of my nightmare hip and groin!!! i last saw prof.schilders about a month ago and he said my only option now,is for him to do another hip arthroscoy(camera investagory procedure).problem is,he seems very puzzled about a diagnosis.altho my cartlidge has shown up abnorml,he doesnt seem to think that warrants the agony im in?!? also if theres a tear,he said i also wouldnt be in so much agony with that?!? i cannot bare waiting anymore for answers and am seriously distressed in bed all time!!! therefore out of sheer desperation,i have no choice but to go private,the op will cost £4,500 and he cant even guarantee it will show up the answer!?!?! theres no way i can stand waiting anymore with this constant agony in 3 places!!! if i wait for the op on nhs,ill be waiting at least another 6 months for the op!!! ive even emailed our local mp;nhs patient care and gp.ive begged and pleaded for help for 3yrs and i just get told top very worried that all this waiting is worsening the pain and whatever it is could be getting worse! my symptoms are stabbing,sharp nervy pains in my right hip and groin constantly.i never get any relief. these pains are when im laying flat!!! so as soon as i try to move its just off the scale!!! any help would be hugely appreciated!!! this is a very supportive blog,lets keep it going! cos its so true,people who've never had pain,will never understand,they havent a clue!?! i find its just too painful to even describe!!!
many thanks,faye

Nancy said...

I had total hip replacement 7 months ago. I'm doing well except for one thing. If I bend over to pick up something on the floor, I get a sharp pain when I return to the vertical position. It feels as if something is preventing the joint from unbending. Once I force my hip past the painful spot, the pain goes away. Anyone else have something similar? Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

I am scheduled to undergo FAI surgery in Atlanta with Dr. Jon Hyman. Does anyone know him? Also, how long after the arthroscopic surgery till you can get around without crutches or pain (your experiences) I have a shredded labrum, a bony cyst, and the CAM type impingement. Thank you!

Vanessa said...

time on crutches depends on procedure. if hipscope only, it can be just one or two days. If it's a labral repair rather than trim, expect 6 weeks with most surgeons in the US. I got off early at 4 weeks, but that's not typical. If microfracture is done, 8 weeks. that's worst case.

Anonymous said...

I have labral tears, pincer-type impingement and dysplasia in both hips; definitely confirmed by MRI w/dye. 3+ yrs ago I had arthroscopic surgery to cut out torn labrum and the surgeon trimmed off some excess bone on the femoral head to reduce friction/further damage. This surgery was a BREEZE... felt lots better for first two years but then it started back up again. Then I got ANOTHER stomach ulcer from all the NSAIDS and had to come off of them. I am 56 yrs old so the best option for me appears to be the total hip replacement. I am scheduled for my first one on Nov 29th. I'm now starting to have pain in my greater tronchater and also after reading this post I am stressing that the hip replacement won't fix all my problems. For example, I do not have any problems bending, I can shave my legs perfectly fine. Also, I can do the internal and external rotation with no particular pain. My pain is when I extend my leg (to walk, for example) and put weight on it in the extended position. Or if I stand up from my desk and start to walk, it feels like it 'catches' and I have to 'straighten it out' before I continue... It even hurts when I swim (i.e., breast stroke... when I scissor kick) I also have LOTS of pain at night... cannot get comfortable! And I feel like I can HEAR the grinding, I will ask someone walking next to me... Can you hear that?!? I don't ever have excrutiating pain (maybe I have high pain tolerance...?), but the pain has ANNOYINGLY STOLEN MY QUALITY OF LIFE!!!!! I'm sick of being physically limited and want to tuck my pelvis (instead of poking out my butt) when I walk!Can anyone relate to this? I get nervous when I read posts that sound so much different from my pain! I'm so afraid I will have a joint replacement and still have the pain, due to OTHER conditions!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm 27 years old and have experience hip pain for about two years, since the birth of my son, which was a long hard labor. I recently had xrays and MRI which showed labral fraying, but not a tear and an alpha angle over 60 degrees, which from what I've read can indicate an impingement. My doctor says he still thinks I have a labral tear because when I had a hip injection in the past the pain resolved for about 9 months, then came back. He wants me to have a hip scope but I am terrified of the recovery and having to take that time off work. The surgeon said that if he just had to shave down the bone/labrum, if would be a semi-quick recovery, about 6 weeks. But he said if he had to anchor the labrum down from a full tear, the recovery could be up to 3 months! But I'm starting to think it's my only option:(

Anonymous said...

I had a hip tear repair and debrigdment done in Aug of this year. I have the worst pain groin, hip, and knee. I have done everything that has been mentioned. Now in PT and after 1hr of that I can barely walk. My hip clicks and when I try to explain that it feels like the bone in my hip and right leg are fractured the Drs just look puzzled. Has anyone else experienced this after surgery. Back in June the pain was a 10 it is now over that range. If I step to quickly or move to the side I just about fall down.

Anonymous said...

I too have been diagnosed with pincer fai in both hips after suffering for a long time.I will be having open/arthro surgery on June 30 2011 and then 6 months later I will have the other side done. I am terrified,I have never had surgery,stitches or a cast in my life and now my first will be on both hips-grrreat.Also I live in a 2story house we bought which is when my pain started and now it's so bad we had to move downstairs into the guest room because I just can't do the stairs anymore.I'm actually waiting for a call back from my OS to see about getting the injection in the other hip so i have a pain free hip to heal on after my 1st surgery.I pray for speedy recovery for all of you out there suffering from this too,God Bless! Judi

Anonymous said...

ok. I am 31 woman with no children and I took an intense pilates class about a 1.5 months ago...hips started hurting and i went to see a doc. its actually getting better now (after 6 sessions of physical therapy) but i am still not comfortable and take pain killers at night. So today I went to see a hip specialist (one of the best ones in NY Dr.Ranuat at the HSS). He thinks it might be a labral tear and the impingement also shows on the X-Ray. He is saying I might need a cortisone shot. i am very concern since I've never had children if that would be harmful to a future child (sounds silly but i am scared). i wouldn't want to find out about any crazy side affects after the fact.... Please someone help! any advice is appreciated!

Anonymous said...

my 14 year old daughter was diagnosed with gas pain for 2 years. Found out she has impingment, torn labram, chewed up cartlaige and had a tendon release. We found this out on accident when she had a follow up visit for a knee injury. Before we left the room she had mentioned BTW my hips hurt! Had surgery 2 weeks later and now her hip is feeling great. On to the next. She isnt to much of an athlete, Doctor said hers was from development.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hi there,

Vanessa I am wondering if you still check or write on this blog? I have some questions I'd like to ask you about.


Anonymous said...

I was dealing with pelvic pain & due to being female everyone thought it was an obgyn issue. so I had 4 surgeries, everything from endo, to hysterectomy, to overy removal ect. Only to find out my pain never left.

I went to every kind of doctor from urology, gastroenterology, surgeons, multiple gynecologist, endocrinologists, all kinds of pain clinics, .till a spine specialist suggested it might be my hip.

since having the repair 9 months ago, I'm worse. my thigh & leg have this dead tingling feeling & the original pain is still there.

I don't know what to do, the doctors have promised to keep me on vicodin for the constant pain I'm in.

take care

Anonymous said...

Thigh & leg with tingling or burning feeling means that one of the nerves, most likely the Femoral nerve, has been affected by the FAI operation

Anonymous said...


I live in Cairo/Egypt and it seems this is not so common here. I am not sure if
i have it or not. I visited 8 doctors here and only two diagnosed me with hip
fai, one of them told me to ignore it and the other told me to go with
arthroscopy to remove it, what is confusing me is that I dont have any pain
whatsoever unless i do a leg kick in the air. thats what started to visit

X-ray shows an extra bone but i am not sure what to do now? MRI doesnt show
anything though.

Any advice? Is x-ray enough to diagnose this?

The below pics are from my x-ray:\

Do you guys know if a doctor can take a look on my x-ray. please email me any
contact of doctors that would be willing to diagnose this remotely.

Ahmed Maged

pain med not working anymore said...

so strange i dont see anyone mentioning the pariformis muscle, I ALMOST went in for surgery, but after years of hear my docotr tell to try massage, i did. I kept thinking what is massage going to do for me?? , this feels like bone on bone, the grinding the clicking, feelin glike it iwasnt in the socket quit right, but i dinally did it. the massage therpist said is was my pariformis muscle.this muscle is DEEP under the glut muscle, the one in your but.
it connects to your tail bone, goes around your hip and akk the way to the groin. it is so strong, that it can actually make your leg sit wrong in the sicket!!
I could not beleive my firt appointment. I felt so great for the first 3 hours, then imoved wrong, popped and went back to the same painful condition, BUT, it was the most and best releig I had in about 10 yrs.
i felt gaurded, but hopeful, i went again the next day, this time it last for almost 2 weeks. any after about 2 months of massage, it was about 80% better. I also learned out to work on it myself, and teach my husband and close friends how to work on it.
I suffered for years and years with this.
Im so glad that i didnt have surgery!
please please try this first if you havnt already and be diligent in your treatment of massage.
this needless suffering was such a waste of my time, I started hiking again and jogging again.
everyonce in a while, i feel it kick in, I can alsmot always figure out wht i did, to intigate the pain, getting in abd out of cars or chairs that are low to the ground are the worst thing for us, becasue we kind of twist and pusch up at the same time.
if you are tall, this is even worse, Im tall.
but now, i can treat me!
everyonce in awhile i still gor in for a massage, just for th epleasure of it, and to kind of have them give me butt tune up.
I hope this info can help someone, it truley changed/saved/ gave me back my life.

Elizabeth said...

I am a 21 year old female and reading all of the posts makes me feel so bad for anyone else dealing with chronic hip pain. I have what they used to call Chronic Congenital Re-Dislocation of both my hips. I was born with my hips dislocated and i have had 6 surgeries on my right to try and fix it. My last surgery was when i was 16 years old. They cut through my femur and tail bone and rotated my leg and then shoved it back up in to the hip socket. I will eventually need my right and left hips replaced. I have been in chronic pain with my right hip since my last surgery and the only doctor that will listen to me is my family doctor. I have only ever had male orthopedic surgeons and recently decided to find a female one thinking she would understand more since i just had a son 7 months ago via c-section(my hips couldn't handle a regular delivery). I also have very little Labral muscle left in my right hip. There is also a small tear in that muscle which causes my hip to cramp up and lock up which is very painful for me. My pregnancy also made the pain I've been feeling for 5 years worse. Recently i have been having a grinding issue in my right hip and x-rays have showed no arthritis in either of my hips. The doctor had successfully scrapped all of the arthritis that was starting to form in my right hip away. I have always been told i will know when the muscle is gone and its time for hip replacement. How do i get any of my orthopedic surgeons to listen to me that it is time to replace my right hip. I know im young still being only 21 but they could only guarantee me until 22-23 years old anyway. Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you all. Oh and i have only had closed reductions done on the left and it is still partially dislocated and has also been hurting more.

Matt said...

I'm surprised more people aren't being told to pursue more aggressive stretching routines as well. I used to be unable to lift my knees to my chest to get in and out of the bath tub/shower because my hips would pop painfully. Also, I would get very painful popping in my hips while sitting and moving my legs in certain ways. A lot of stretching like the commenter above and some specialized massage techniques made an incredible difference to my hip health. I am now able to run and play ice hockey without issues having spent a great deal of time stretching and reconditioning proper muscle balance.

A colleague of mine was diagnosed with FAI and had surgery and got no relief, but got substantial relief once she started on a regimen of proper stretching and muscle conditioning.

Anonymous said...

It's incredible to see all these stories after feeling so hopeless for 18 months. I was a major athlete in my teens and continued to play pick-up games well into my 30s. I took a hard crash on marble in January 2011 and landed on my right hip without breaking my fall. I've been diagnosed with IT Band tearing, glute-tears, hyper-extension of the groin, and bone bruising. I've been accused of hysteria, hypochondria, and pain killer dependency (from a sports-medicine student health doctor who also insisted that he had REAL athletes who haven't been on vicodin for as long as I have been on it). Finally, after my MRI with contrast and a new orthopedic surgeon they found multiple tears, a bone spur, a cyst, and areas where the labral tissue was worn through. He apologized for the obscene amount of time it took for a diagnosis...most of his patients only wait between 6-12 months.

Sometimes it's just finding the right combination. Sometime it's just luck. And sometimes Yelp is your best friend for medical advice and referrals.

Anonymous said...

Have read all of your posts and they both give me hope and make me feel hopeless. I am/was a runner and cyclist and hyperextended & twisted my hip in Dec of 2011 while running.I'm a 41 yr-old female. I have always had soreness on my left hip, but just chalked it up to normal aches and pains, and possible arthritis b/c it runs in my family. After my injury I self-diagnosed and suspected a hip flexor tear/injury due to the symptoms and consulting with my primary doc. After 3 months of rest and ice and no improvement I went to physical tx. After ROM tests they sent me to a specialist b/c I had only 50% ROM. X-rays, and contrast arthrogram/MRI at the OS revealed hip dysplaysia on the left side, labral tearing, loose bodies, and arthritis. On 4/20 I had arthroscopic labral repair with 4 anchors, removal of bone fragments, and microfracture of the femoral head. Immediately after the surgery I was pain free, never even took a tylenol. I could raise my bent knee to my chest and felt it was a success. 2 weeks later started having lost ROM even though I was following therapy protocol. I was non-weight bearing for 8 wks. Have been off the crutches and going to PT 3x wk, but still have horrible pain when bearing weight. I waddle, have developed referred pain in my right hip and lower back. Feels worse than before surgery....still cant climb stairs, put on socks, tie shoes, but I can touch my toes if my leg is straight, which mystifies the Physical therapist. After being stretched at PT (he says my ilotibial tendon has shortened) i can barely move the next day. Has anyone else had dysplasia/microfracture/labral tear? I go back to the OS on July 17, but have called him several times with my concerns and he told me that my procedures were as serious as it gets other than replacement, and it may take up to a year before I can walk normally. I continue to cycle and swim, but will never run again. I think something is still impinged in the hip, and the PT agrees....thoughts anyone?

Anonymous said...

48 year old with right hip/groin pain. I cannot cross my right leg, sit criss cross, pain putting on sock. When I try to cross my leg, I have terrible pain in my right groin area and outside of right hip. Hip X-ray showed bone spurs and coxa profunda. MRI showed abnormality thoughout osseous structures and bone spurs acetabular. (Whatever this means?). I have not seen an orthopedic surgeon yet and so far no one has explained these findings to me. My GP ordered these tests and sent me to a physical therapist. My PT has refused to do any treatment until after I see a surgeon. I am very nervous right now waiting for an ortho appointment. I need someone to explain the X-ray and MRI findings. Is this just early osteoarthritis or FAI?

Anonymous said...

I'm a 56 year old female and had terrible left hip pain, went on disability because I am a Secretary (I've worked FT since I was 18) and just couldn't bear to sit at a desk all day (I also have herniated discs in my neck and low back), it started suddenly so I just thought it was referred pain from my low back but it didn't subside after a month. It took 3 doctors and 6 months to finally be told by an excellent hip specialist that I have developmental hip dysplasia which caused an early onset of OA and I had a lot of bone spurs or osteophytes (that is what causes the pain, it's like your joints are bone on bone when they rub together). I had a total hip replacement July 2011 which took the pain away but it's been a long recovery. I get pain on the outsides of my thighs which my Dr. says is IT Band syndrome (common in people that have hip replacements). I haven't been able to do much in the way of excercise because my right hip hurts too and now I'm scheduled for a hip arthroscopy on that hip. I have a sinking feeling it isn't going to help much because I still have the dysplasia and the Dr. said if it doesn't work I'll need the right one replaced too. The simple fact he mentioned that leads me to believe he knows there's a possibility it isn't going to work. The only good thing about all this is I've been able to spend way more time with my granddaughters!! I was reading one post here where a woman said she walks like a penguin.....I don't know how many times I've said that about myself. It's one of the symptoms of hip dysplasia also. One fact I found out about HD is that is is most common in first born children that are females and the left hip is most commonly the worst.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading all the posts and my heart goes out to everyone suffering with hip problems and pain! I was 44 years old when I broke my hip last Sept. 2011 after quickly turning to get away from a vicious neighbor dog. I didn't get far, I fell and slammed my femur and knee onto gravel. I tried to stand up and kept falling, not knowing what was wrong, but screaming for help. I ended up crawling/standing and falling all the way home, down a dirt and gravel lane about 80 feet and hopped up my steps into the house on one leg. I got to the hospital and had emergency hip surgery to have 3 long screws put into my femur through to the ball joint. Before surgery, I was told that the femur bone can bleed out if it's broken in the wrong place, and if so, the bone can die over time. I never knew this before and I started researching all about it, just in case I was up against a dying bone. They discharged me 3 days later and I was told "no weight bearing" for 8-10 weeks, so I had to hop on my good leg while using a walker, after I could finally get up and try to get around. I constantly had awful pains as if the bone was freshly broken and nobody could figure out what it could be unless my bone was dying on me, but the CT scan showed nothing bad at 12 weeks along. I progressed to crutches, then down to one crutch then to a cane for months. My deep groin/hip pains never have gone away since day one. I had surgery again in June, to remove the 3 screws in order to do an MRI. The MRI showed mediocre results with a few problems in the hip but nothing that shows why my pains and symptoms are so bad. I may have to do a hip scope with camera and dye soon to check for any tears in the labrum cartilage. I am trying to avoid a total hip replacement at my age. I have been fortunate to have my 21 year old daughter back home and she has been the best care giver for me. The frustrating part is not being able to do things. I can walk with a cane for support, but slowly. I cannot just jump up and run out the door, I cannot get down to the floor to play with my dog and cats, I cannot work yet and had to leave my nanny job after 3 years of bonding with a wonderful family and I cannot see myself chasing kids again any time soon. I can relate to the other people in these posts re: shaving legs or NOT shaving legs very often...little things like that become major and everything in life is on hold. The unknown is frustrating. Not knowing what is causing the pains is so draining because I have no answers after 11 months. I know things could be worse, I just am glad I found this place on here to read about what others are experiencing and try to get info on what others have tried for their hip problems. I wish all of you the best and hope everyone's hips HEAL so we can all live life to the fullest once again.

Anonymous said...

Four months ago I fell hard on my left side. Every since I have had high and low hip pain, groin pain, frontal thigh pain and pain in left buttock. There is also a pinching sensation at times and lots of burning. I have been on crutches all this time and cannot drive. I have to sit crossways in back seats and depend on others to drive. Shaving? It’s out of the question. Hard enough to do laundry and dishes. Occasionally I have such sever back pain with mid to upper stomach pains. Something that I hadn't mentioned to Dr's before until now was that since my fall I have been have some urinary incontinence. Feels like I have a large caterpillar rolling around inside my bladder and vaginal cramping, causing dribbling. I have pain all the time, it doesn't matter if I am standing, sitting or lying down. I have had 4 MRI's and one CT scan and they supposedly show nothing. 4 doctors say one thing three say another. I can't lie still long enough for tests due to severe pain and they have to redo parts of tests because of movement. Hip surgeon says to see my back surgeon and my back surgeon says to see the hip surgeon. Nerve conductivity tests were stopped by the Dr. due to not getting responses and now wants to send me to a neurologist. I was misdiagnosed from 18-30 yrs old with Dr's saying I had spastic colon, then irritable bowl syndrome. Come to find out after laparoscopy that I had Endometriosis so severe that I had to have a complete hysterectomy and appendectomy. From 24-34 yrs old I was told nothing was wrong with my back and neck. One Dr said I was a malingerer, after changing Drs once again I went to a Dr who specialized in Arthritis, he said it was not arthritis and order MRI's of cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. Guess what? I had moderate disc herniations at the c5-6, T-7 and L4-5! Proved my pain was real. But here I am again being put off by Dr's. Spine Dr said "I don’t' see anything I can cut on and you're already on disability, you don't have to worry about losing your job" etc. I could not believe it, so since I am already disabled that it's OK to let me suffer in more pain, be stuck on crutches and having bladder leakage?! The hip Dr says my problem is bursitis, but I have pain 24/7 in all areas that bursitis usually does not effect. I am at a point of giving up; I am hardly getting any sleep and have to sleep sitting up with leg extended propped up on pillows to keep it level and straight. From my own research, I think this is a Labral Tear. I hope it isn't, but if it is it needs to be addressed. The problem with that is that I have to put out for arthrogram and or surgery, because I can't lie still due to pain. I feel for all those posting here. Nobody wants to speed up the diagnosis of our injuries, I feel it had a lot to do with insurance companies holding up or refusing to pay for necessary test. The only time I get relief is when I go to the Chiropractor, but even he is having trouble getting paid from Medicare. At least he is trying and knows I am not after pain meds. I want the pain gone; I don't want it masked my pain meds. Good luck to us all.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your excruciating time you're having. I wrote the blog above yours and totally found this page again by accident, was looking for it for a few weeks now. I can relate to your story, I am frustrated at the lack of answers and solutions to major issues and pains. My hip and groin pain used to be only when I moved my leg in a certain way, even after two surgeries on the hip but now my pains are all the time. I cannot sit long enough in the car to go any place without having to tilt the seat back and adjust the seat belt 100 times, due to the fact that any pressure across my lower waist line KILLS my hip and groin. I am waiting to see if we will do another MRI, this time with contrast (dye) to check one last time for a labral tear because I am almost convinced that could be a big part of this pain. In the mean time, 4 months ago, my shoulder started acting up, with a major pain/tear or partial tear and they think it's from almost 12 months of using a walker, crutches and cane. I had a cortisone shot after finally giving in to it, hoping that would work and I got ZERO results from that and may have to have an MRI with contrast the same day they do the hip MRI with contrast. I don't take pain meds because so far, the ones I tried months ago didn't even touch the pain at all and on top of that, they make me ill. The only pain they barely helped was at the incision site. I'm ready to move on, but it's hard to do when I can't do much without jolting pains. Last night, I tried to get to the floor to hang out with my old dog who can barely walk. I was taking precautions and going one move at a time and talking my way through it while holding the cane, then the edge of the couch while tilting one leg slightly to take pressure off the bad leg and all the sudden, I felt a "breaking" pain and let out a scream. I have no clue what that was but I just don't know how long I can go like this with NO answers. I hope for the best for anyone suffering like this. It's not an easy road but I have no choice but to move forward and appreciate the fact that I can walk with a cane for now. Good luck to everyone out there, I feel your pain (literally)!

Craig said...

I hope you all don't mind a male jumping into the conversation. I am a 29-year old former division 1 track and field athlete. My sophomore year of college I started having severe pain in my left hip flexor region. Try as they could, our training staff could not get a handle on the situation, but the competitor in me just kept fighting through the never ending pain. I am almost positive that my issues are from heavy squats and can probably be associated to weak adductors. The pain was constant, nagging, and never ending for months. Then suddenly one day while I was home for summer break my hip popped and the pain was immediately gone. From that day forward, I always had hip flexor pain from sitting, standing or walking, but I could always alleviate the pain by contorting just right to make my hip pop (even getting good enough at finding the right popping angle that I could do it while sitting at my desk or driving. But, a few weeks ago I took a new job where I am walking and moving around constantly for 8 hours. Now, I can't getmy hip to pop at all and the pain is unbearable. Have any of you had this pain relief after being able to pop your hip? Do these symptoms seem to match your pains?

Anonymous said...

Hello. I started having hip pain last February after taking an exercise class in which we did rigorous squats off of a bosu ball. Not knowing what I was experiencing I began PT for a pulled hamstring. They quickly determined based on my symptoms that I might also have a torn labrum. I experienced a sharp, stabbing pain that began at the top of my hip (on the outside of my hip) and traveled around the back side of my leg into my groin. The pain was excrutiating when that happened, but typically I just experienced a dull, achey feeling in my groin and along the top of my leg. The sharp stabbing pains were made worse when I was running and once I stopped running it would take 3 or 4 weeks for the sharp pains to stop happening when I pivoted. I felt the sharp pains when I pivoted on my left leg, turned wrong, or rotated my leg up and outward. I had an x-ray that showed a cam impingement and the arthrogram MRI showed a labral tear. The surgeon was only certain that surgery would help me after doing an injection of novocaine into my hip joint to see if it would relieve my pain. It did, but only for less than an hour. I was told that I should have had relief for several hours, but a few hours later when I was home the pain was so much worse. This concerns me because the Dr. couldnt explain it! Typically now I feel a dull ache in my groin and lower back pain. I experience a popping sensation from time to time that is MUCH greater than any other pop I have ever felt in a joint before. There is also some stiffness in my joint. The abduction/adduction tests that the surgeon performed were fine for me and did not reproduce any symptoms. I wonder, however, if these tests would have shown more if I had them done earlier on as dong my PT exercises DEFINITELY helps manage the pain. When I slack off on the PT exercises I ache more. I am concerned about having surgery in Dec. and I want to know that it will be effective! I am an avid runner and I can't wait to get back into the sport again. I tried golfing for the first time a few weeks ago and was in MUCH more pain than I was before golfing but not as much as last spring before starting PT (I don't know what I was thinking - maybe looking for some affirmation that the surgery is really necessary if that makes any sense). I basically felt more sore and achey and was icing it nightly and taking Ibuprofen daily. I guess what I am hoping for from posting to this blog is that someone will connect with my story and confirm that their symptoms were the same as mine and the surgery helped! I feel in my gut that it is the right path, but talking with the surgeon made me doubt everything just because he painted the worse case scenario. I think I would feel better, too, if the novocaine had helped me for longer than it did and if my pain wasn't worse later on that evening. did anyone else experience something similar to this? Thanks for reading :-)

Anonymous said...

I am 18 years old, and very atjletic. My inner thigh, in my groin area aches, but once I start to walk it gets even more severe to the point that I can't harldy walk onemore step, or barely move. I have been to a doctor, and had an arthrogram, and an MRI, but nothing showed up. I have been on crutches for about a month and a half now, while in high school and had to miss my entire senior year of volleyball... And it is not getting anybetter, and my doctor practically gave up on me and said that there is nothing that he can do for me. On the MRI it showed that I could have a labral tear, but wasn't likely, and wasn't 100% possatove, so since nothing showed up on the MRI, the doctor said that there is nothing that he can do for me. I don't want to be on crutches for the rest of my senior year. I have already missed so much. But my pain is just unbearable that I have to find out what is wrong with me. I need help of what could be wrong with me!!

Anonymous said...

What a super site

So much information about a disorder which is not that we'll understood by many physicians.. This site has done more for me than all the other websites combined. For example sufferers sharing their symptons is enormously supportive and helpful to those looking for answers.

I've not been diagnosed yet.. 3 scans coming up but I'm pretty certain I have fai ..I thought this before reading this site but am now certain.

Good to hear that many find relief with surgery. I will,post again with more info.

Anonymous said...

to the 18 year old on crutches...I was told that MRI's can be extremely inconclusive. Many times they can show a tear and there is not one, and often they do not show a tear that is there. Has your surgeon tried injecting novocaine into your hip to see if that alleviates your pain? If your surgeon is not willing to keep trying to find an answer I would seek out a second opinion. There are a lot of different things that it could be and he should be more involved in trying to help you! Best of luck!


Anonymous said...

I had never heard the term FAI before but I did recognize the symptoms described in each and everyone of these posts. With every step I take and every deep "click", I can almost feel the swelling expand and the pain worsen. I'm 35 years old and feel like my life is over from this pain. I've been diagnosed with labral tears but it doesn't seem like any dr. wants to do anything about it other than put me on some NSAID. I would like a solution, not a cover up. I plan on going to the dr. once again to see if they will pursue some of the procedures that I see have worked for some of you. Thank you all so much for sharing, and not making me feel so alone.

Puget Sound/Bellevue area said...

Found this site by accident. Am researching my own hip pain and I'm a surgery scheduler for a group with an orthopod that does FAI surgery! I can sure relate to the stories on this site and my heart goes out to you all! Saw one of my docs after an injury that flared up my bursitis. The pain was still in my groin after the coritsone injection. Went for an intra-articular cortisone injection with no results. Next step is an appointment with my FAI doc and he's booked months out. This is a long, arduous, painful journey and I don't know how people do it for years before they get a definitive diagnosis.

From scheduling patients and talking with the office coordinator, FAI is hard to pin down and you absolutely need to go to an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in femoro acetabeular impingement - not just any orthopedic doc. There is no need to have an open procedure to cure FAI unless it is not allowed in your state by law. (You are being fed bunk by a doc that just wants to run your insurance costs up - and hip surgery is expensive not to mention the recovery time is is months longer with an open procedure versus an arthroscopic procedure!) Some insurances do have age limits (minimum as well as maximum) on covering the procedure. If you get a really good benefits authorization coordinator they can be your advicate to insure this is precertified with your insurance company. If they deny it, appeal it! Demand an independent examiner if the appeal is denied. Don't give up! It can take awhile to get the authorization - especially if you have to go a round or two of appeals. Each insurance company can want to ensure you've tried different things before they will authorize surgery (the only known cure for FAI) - cortisone injection, xrays, MRI, physicial therapy, NSAIDS, modified activity, etc. Don't be suprised if there is quite a waiting list for FAI surgery, either! Don't go with a doc that has an open schedule unless FAI surgery is all they do! NOT A GOOD SIGN! We have patients that are scheduled up to nine months out for their surgery. If one cancels for one reason or another, there is a waiting list to fill that open spot.

Good luck and blessings to all! I hope this has helped someone. You are not alone, crazy, hysterical, or just wanting drugs, and it's not 'all in your head' but rather your hip.

Saleem Shaikh said...


Anonymous said...

I am crying reading these posts... I have a scheduled MRI to find out if I have a labral tear. This pain has been going on for over 2 years now. Due to the fact I have adenomyosis the pain I have experienced has been been blamed on that and a hysterectomy was the best "advice". I feel it so deep in my hip during my period it is excruciating - beyond the dull ache that is constantly in my hip, side, groin, and down my leg. It can be debilitating. I am hoping for a diagnosis soon...but from what I've read it seems to be FAI.

Anonymous said...

Hi All,
My FAI was done in Maine, Portland area and My Dr was very poor. I lived in Pain for 18 months Post surgery and went back to Dr. Huffhead. He told me there was nothing wrong with my hip, come back and we can do some PT on your back now.
WHAT!!!!!!! These symptoms are the same pre surg. Cam Impingement, Labral tear, imflamation. Went to another Dr. in Lewiston Maine, Very respected and smart! He looked at my MRI and found another Labral tear. He also showed me that Dr. Huffhead did not get all the impingemnet out. Total Hip Replacement was the best way to go. Sign me up.
I had it done 12-12-12 and I am for the first time out of pain. Thank you Dr. M for your expertise and LISTENING to me.
Don't go back to poor docs seek out new.

Jtesa183 said...

I had a labral tear repair done in my right hip at New York Presbyterian a little over a week ago. My surgery was done by Dr. Anil Ranawat of Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. He is amazingly smart and specializes in arthroscopic hip surgery and joint repair. If anyone has the symptoms and is in the NY or NJ area, I recommend you see him. He takes a lot of insurance and he has worked with the Giants and the Mets. He's very good at what he does.

I started with knee pain, had an MRI of the knee which was normal. Then an MRI of my lower back which was normal. Had cortisone shots in my knee, no relief. This was all done by an orthopedic surgeon in nj since that is where I live. Finally he ordered an MRI of my hip and felt he saw a tear. I was fortunate to go to such a great orthopedic dr (Dr. Mark Puzzurro) Who was able to recognize the injury and refer me to NYC for treatment (since he doesn't perform this procedure himself).

Was referred to Dr. Coleman originally but he was not willing to work with my insurance and wanted $25,000 up front out of pocket. He referred me to Dr. Anil Ranawat and I could not be happier. He's been great. He is so confident in what he does. I am a little over a week post op and I feel great. I go to see him on march 5th for before and after X-rays and take the sutures out. I am still on crutches. Using a philipon hip brace all the time except to sleep, and a CPM machine at home 4-6 hours a day. I also rented a game ready which is used to ice the area and my best friend. Highly recommend renting this if you can. My insurance would t pay but I am paying out of pocket because it works wonders.

90% of your recovery is your surgeon and your physical therapy. Do your research before any procedure. I highly recommend Dr. Ranawat and also loved everyone at NY Pres and Hospital for Special Surgery. Everyone was I extremely pleasant and made a stressful experience bearable, to say the least. I will try to update in a few weeks. So far, I feel great.

Jtesa183 said...

What area are you in? If the surgeon does not seem to want to operate, maybe you are better off having the surgery done else where. I don't think it's good to keep masking the problem. This type of injury is in an area that gets little blood supply so therefore it will never heal itself. The only cure is to deal with the pain or surgery. Go to another surgeon. You need someone who is confident. This procedure is not done by many but don't feel like you have to live with it with no solution. I am 32 and can't imagine feeling the way I did forever. I am a week post op and I feel 80% better already. If you are in the tri state area there are a number of dr's at Hospital for Special Surgery who specialize in the hip joint and this procedure. Good luck and let me know if I can help in any way.

Anonymous said...

My FAI (mixed type) was done 7 weeks ago.I have not pain but i can't run ,so is not possible to see the improvement. I heard popping(cracking) many time a day, in general in flexion.(smaller than previous of surgery). I don't know if this will disparate with time. is not painful but i concerned about it. everyone has similar experience?

Anonymous said...

I've been having the same symptoms of grinding and aching in the socket of my femer bone and hip. I'm also 13have weeks pregnant and I do yoga often. I strongly believe in Chiropractors and I see one regularly for any type of pain in my neck, back, etc...I went to my Chiropractor today and he popped my hip and strectched and work my left leg to loosen my hip. So far it feels so much better, and he advised me tk come back one morw time until this problem is completely corrected. My advice to anyone with this problem would be to see a well known Chiropractor in your area before returning to pain meds and/ or surgery.

Sandra said...

OMG!!!!! I am in tears...You sound just like me. I have been suffering for almost three years now. I am 38 years old and my condition began in 2010. I feel so helpless. My kids are suffering right along with me and it's sad. I can't take them to great adventures or zoos anymore. Anything that consists of walking scares me. And I loved to walk and exercise.... so miss being my old self. I have been to so many doctors and emergency-room visits begging someone to please properly diagnose me. My boys were 5 and 4 at the time it started and my pain was so unbearable that I didn't want to live. Not to mention, I was also a full time student. Thank goodness for my husband and my crutches! I really had a melt down when a doctor told me it was due to depression and anxiety. If I could have stood up and drop kicked him in the neck, I sure as hell would have. This is SO frustrating!! I earned a degree and can't even seek employment because I would only last a week, if I'm lucky, before a few screams come out of nowhere. I have to keep my crutches on standby in the trunk of my car. I have had episodes where I walk in a department store and suddenly cannot put any weight (at all) on my left leg so I have the person who is with me go to my car to get my crutches so I can get out. When I call doctors to make an appointment, I now ask if their parents forced them into the profession. I have no faith in the medical system like I used to. I cry every time I have to tell my story to a new doctor. I have had CT Scans, MRI's, Hip MRI Arthrogram, Xrays, Physical Therapy three times, and Chiropractic care. NO ONE HAS ANSWERS FOR ME!!!! My last hope is NY Hospital for Special Surgery. If they can't help me then I don't know what I'll do. Maybe I'll go to medical school and figure this shit out myself.

Margaret said...

I am a 56 yo woman recently diagnosed with FAI. Pain is not a problem as much as severely restricted range of motion in right hip. I have trouble tying shoe, etc. Have always been very active but long hikes and walks are getting much more difficult. I am considering the ouptatient FAI surgery but I live alone and am concerned about the recovery. I would like to hear other's experiences. How much did you rely on someone else in the first weeks post surgery and for what sorts of activities? How long before you were able to be independent in your home? Any input much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Melinda. My symptoms are mostly like the opening post from a few years ago. A couple of years ago, I started having plantar faciatis in my left heel. I'd say over the past year and half I started having trouble bending over to shave, tie my shoe, put on shoes and also that "popping" or "catching" feeling mostly when stepping sideways unknowingly. Went to a chiropractor who was convinced it was an outer leg problem (forgot the name, someone above mentioned it), but the massage therapist disagreed with him. Nothing he was doing was helping. Anyway, it started gradually getting worse and I was having trouble sleeping. I've always slept on my left side mostly, but it was starting to hurt. I still feel like I might have bursitis too, but the Ortho doc say no, but if so, it is mild. My pain is mostly in my knee especially at night, it's like a constant dull pain and my knee won't relax. It's also a pain from my knee all the way up my thigh and to my outer hip. sometimes I toss and turn all night. Putting a pillow between my legs does help, but not always. It can also be uncomfortable laying flat on my back because then it feels like the muscle from my knee to the very top of my pelvis is being stretched to much and can't relax. Some nights I have to take hydrocodone or muscle relaxer just to relax. Sometimes 3 advil helps. Mostly this is all very annoying and the dull pain doesn't always go away and my knee bothers me most. It's actually easier to jog than it is to walk sometimes. Like today, I cleaned house all day, so by the time I got to the gym, being on the treadmill , my hip and leg were already too tight and tired so I had to get off. I can do leg press, but I have to be careful the first one or two to warm up the leg then I'm fine, but I keep the weights light. I can do squats and lunges, but it's a little sensitive with backward lunges, again I do one or 2 to warm up, then I'm good. Now since this bugs me all the time, my faciatis hardly ever bothers me. My doc did give me some steroids for a week and I actually did get an overall relief for about a month, but it's back. I'm supposed to be going to therapy but haven't started, guess this week I will and see if it really helps. Otherwise, I may be waiting till it gets so bad I have to get surgery for relief. I hope not. A few years ago I did several half marathons (just walking and jogging), I highly doubt I could tackle that now! I hope my symptoms help some of you. I am a 44 yr old female who never did intense sports, but I have done sports for fun and have worked out at a gym since age 17, and I walk a lot (mostly treadmill or dog walks). I did fall on my hip pretty hard as a teenager on the ice rink, but I'm not 100% sure it was the left, but I think it was. My dad also has had hip replacement for ostheoarthritis, so you never know. I have been diagnose with pincer hip impingement. Oh yes, and it hurts to bring my leg up to my hip, my range of motion is now pretty small moving either left or right. I have always been way more limber in the left side, but not now.

betty ayers said...

I am 15 weeks 6 days pregnant and I an having pain so severe I barely can walk or lift my 8 month old its bad I was to the main nerve in my back it both legs an goes on inner leg as well like the bone next to privete . It feels as if my legs are going to snap off I can't stand straight up. Someone advise please please please.

Anonymous said...

I have been misdiagnosed with hip bursittus for the last two years . Only to find out that I have a laberal tear and FAI . The pain is severe yet no one seems to understand . So frustrating and painful it has ended my Carrere at the age of 36 . Ssi application has been in for four months now ! Anyone collecting ssi from their disabling FAI ?

Anonymous said...

What could it be when I sit on my foot or cross my leg and/ or have weight on the top of the Bent leg (my dog) my hip feels dislocated when I go to get up. It's excruciating and slowly goes"back in place"?

Stuart Wadlow said...

I used to be a competitive athlete with my own coaching and personal training business. 3 years ago I developed a strange feeling in my left buttock. Had xray and physio convinced it was hamstring injury. Then lateral hip pain started and anterior pain too with a clicking on certain hip movements. Cortisone gave me some relief but wore off after a few months. Pain now so bad walking is not pleasant nor is bending over. MR arthrogram showed nothing but diagnostic injection of hip joint did instantly numb the pain. I await my a decision from surgeon. Three years and counting :-(

Anonymous said...

I am a 69 year old woman. I fell six months ago and landed on my right hip. I bruised my chin, my ebows and my knees especially on my right side. Both my knees were very swollen and I hurt all over. After about a week I started to have a terrible pain in the lower right quadrant of my abdomen and in my groin area and on my front upper leg. I even thought it was my appendix. I couldn't walk as the pain was terrible. I went to my doctor - he is something like a chiropractor but it is a different method. He said my femur was displaced. He gave me naproxen and a muscle relaxer and recommended rest and heat 3 times a day. Six months later I am much better but every time I go shopping or cook a lot or wash dishes I start getting pain again and have to go back to resting and everything. The pain has never gotten as bad as at the beginning and I have much more mobility but I still cant go back to normal. In the 6 months I have only been able to sleep lying down 5 days and the pain makes me sit up an sleep in an upright position. I still have trouble dressing and tying shoelaces, cutting my toenails, shaving, and a lot of other things are impossible. I can´t carry anything or move my leg sideways or walk on slopes or climb stairs or do anything that requires pushing or pulling. I see my doctor every three weeks and he says to be patient. He has now told me to go to a pool and walk in the water. Besides squeezing a ball between my knees, this is the only exercise he says I can do now. Sometimes I want to scream and I want my life back to normal but when I read your post I think I am much better than a lot of people. I don't want surgery - I don't believe that is the answer. I will have patience like my doctor says. Thank you all for this post.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I had the orthoscopic surgery in 2011. They shaved the bone because I have an impingment and labral tear. Still in tremendous pain and can't sit!

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Unknown said...

Just got the diagnosis of FAI CAM they have said nothing about any further test it surgery but want to give me a shot in the hip no idea what this shot is but I did ask if this is just masking the pain and the problem I was told yes! When ask how long the shot will last was told it all depends some never come back I have dealing with this pain for around 15 years.! Si is this shot a good idea or am I looking at far worst problems in the future! Please help they are do in this shot in one week HELP Cali.koranda@

Kyndra Benoit said...

My doctor told me that some insurances make you try a steroidal shot like cortisone before they will approve surgery. I asked if this would solve the problem and he told me that it sometimes does nothing and that in my case it would not help. I have FAI in both hips and severe Labral tears in both hips as well. On top of these issues I have an autoimmune arthritis as well. My insurance thankfully didn't make me try the injections first. I had my right hip surgery on 8/16 and will be getting my second one done 9/20. When they did my right hip they discovered that my arthritis had worn away most of my cartilage and my labrum was damaged more than they thought. To attempt to rejuvenate my cartilage they had to do a procedure called micro fracture in which they drill holes in my bone. This extended my recovery time by a month and half longer pn crutches and touch weight bearing. On top of that because of the surgeries I haven't been able to take my arthritis medication which I just started a new one a month before all of this happened. I can feel the cartilage wearing away in all of my other joints and it makes PT very difficult. I'm hopeful that the second surgery will be a tad easier because after the epidural it was incredibly painful that first day not bearing weight on my right leg but having the left one so painful too I was just stuck on the couch...


Anonymous said...

I hope some of you will look into muscle imbalance as the potential cause of your pain.

FAI can arise from having hip flexors (the front of the hip) that are too tight combined with gluteal muscles that are too loose. This commonly happens from sitting too much. Even if you have bone spurs, think about why they would have developed. If you have muscles pulling too much in the front, without an adequate counterbalance by your glutes in the back, your hip joint doesn't function properly.

Stretch the front muscles: Try warrior poses in yoga.

Strengthen the glutes: Single leg Romanian deadlifts, clamshells, donkey kicks.

Go to Google and look up how to strengthen the gluteus medius.

Also go to Google/YouTube and look for videos, using the search terms "hip pain FAI."

The above advice is more likely to apply to people who have not had an accident that suddenly led to hip pain.

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