Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me about labral tear hip surgery here and hip arthroscopy recovery on the blog and on Instagram / Facebook. It seems like there are a lot of us with torn labrums who are seeking relief.
My right hip labrum tear was diagnosed in the fall of 2017 and I had surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in April 2018. I also have a tear in my left hip labrum, but have not had surgery on that side yet. Now that I am one year out from hip labrum surgery on my right side, was it worth it?
I’ll recap my whole journey in this post, and offer my experience with labral tear surgery. Along with the history of my diagnosis and recovery, I also offer a bunch of tips about hip surgery preparation and hip arthroscopy recovery. I honestly had no idea what to expect after my own surgery, so I really hope this helps answer a few questions you might have.
More links to more specific articles about my hip labrum surgery and recovery:
-How to prepare for labral tear hip surgery
-Read about my hip labral tear diagnosis
-Day 1 after hip labrum surgery
-Day 5 after hip labrum surgery
-One month update after hip labrum surgery
-Six month update after hip labrum surgery
Memory foam seat cushion, $39.95
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Before my two hip labral tear diagnoses, I was really active in the gym and especially loved lifting legs. There was nothing more exciting to me than leg day! I was also a spin instructor for several years and taught 1-3 classes per week at my peak of teaching.
However, a few years ago, I started to notice that I could not lift as much weight with my legs, and that my leg strength wasn’t progressing like it used to. I would also have super tight glutes, hip flexors, and piriformis muscles on the right side of my body. I also had a lot of low back discomfort.
I would use the PVC pipe to “foam roll” my tight hips and legs since it was the only thing that would loosen up those muscles. I never considered that anything could really be wrong; I thought I was toning my muscles and that’s why they were tight. I kept on going to boxing classes, taking leg-focused HIIT classes, and using the Stairmill at the gym. I’d also lift upper body regularly and do yoga often.
However, after an outdoor fitness class in June 2017, I could barely walk. I had so much pain in my right hip, standing up and sitting down was excruciating. I also started to develop sciatica in the right leg, which was both painful and annoying. Whenever my piriformis was tight, my leg would start to go numb all the way down to my toes.
After that outdoor fitness class, I sought help and advice from my primary care doctor and a physical therapist as a first step in the summer of 2017.
We thought my pain and tightness could just be muscle weaknesses and imbalances. In physical therapy we did a lot of bridging, leg raises, one legged squats, planks, clam shells, and band walks. I could tell my muscles were getting stronger, but I’d still have lots of tightness and tingling.
The physical therapist communicated with my primary care doctor and told her I was not really improving and she thought I should see an orthopedist about the hip. Since my PCP was located at Mass General Hospital (MGH), she referred me to one of their well-known orthopedic surgeons.
As a first step, I had an X-Ray of the right hip and a dye injection with an MRI in December 2018. They also injected a steroid treatment into the hip. I didn’t really find the steroid injection to be helpful; mainly because the majority of my pain was stemming from my muscles being so tight. They really felt like hard rubber bands and the only thing that would loosen them up was rolling on the PVC pipe.
My orthopedic doctor could see in the MRI that I had a hip labral tear on the right side. He also tested my leg strength with a serious of manual tests. For example, he would press down on the top of my leg and have me try to raise it. Or push my leg to the right while I push left.
Based on the fact that I had a hip labral tear and a lot of muscular imbalances, he thought I would be a good candidate for hip labral repair arthroscopic surgery. I agreed, because at that point I had been in pain for a long time and knew I couldn’t ever heal the torn labrum on my own without surgery!
This particular doctor is also doing a stem cell research project where they extract your own stem cells from your bones during surgery and re-inject them into the hip cavity after he fixes the tear. The theory of the study is that the stem cells will promote more rapid and lasting healing. I signed up for the study because, well, it was free, and also why not?
So we scheduled my surgery for April 17, 2018, and I was left to my own devices for the next few months. I went back to PT to keep prepping my core and glutes for surgery. Strangely, I was pretty zen about the whole scenario, and wasn’t super stressed about the surgery itself because I was really hopeful that my pain would eventually end!
Physical therapy before surgery was a great way to prepare for hip surgery. We worked a lot on strengthening the muscles that would be unused for several weeks after surgery. We worked on all the things I mentioned above like planks, bridges, one legged bridges, and leg raises.
I basically stopped doing stadium stairs, HIIT activities, heavy leg lifting, and spin. Thank goodness I’ve always hated running, because I probably would have stopped that, too!
I started doing more walking, yoga, Pilates, upper body lifting, and body weight leg exercises. I noticed that I’d get sciatica if my glute/piriformis got too tight, so I really tried to ramp down anything that would cause that issue to flare up. I focused a lot on core strength and walking. Pilates was a huge lifesaver and it helped build up loads of strength before surgery!
My doctor did not provide much in the way of pre-surgical guidance. We did not even have a pre-op meeting, so he didn’t see me between December 2017 and the date of the surgery in April 2018. That freaked me out a bit. So I called and emailed his office to make sure things were still all good. They didn’t really give me any guidance for how to prepare for the hip labrum surgery. They also didn’t give me a post-surgical protocol until like one day before surgery. So I didn’t know what I’d need to do after the surgery. That was pretty annoying, to be honest.
Since I had so many questions, I’ve compiled a list of items that really helped me after my surgery:
List of items for hip labral tear surgery recovery.
I hope this list can help you, too! I updated it a few weeks after surgery to let you know what I really used or did not use.
This is only my experience, so yours might be slightly different.
The night before my surgery, I had to stop drinking and eating around 8pm. My “call time” was 5:45am with surgery scheduled at 7am. So it wasn’t too hard to just have dinner and stop eating for the night since I was getting up so early.
We woke up at 4am, and I showered and washed my hair, since I didn’t know when my next shower would be! We got to the surgical center in Waltham, MA early, and the staff began our check in process. It was mostly a lot of paperwork. They had free and open wifi at the center for my husband to use his iphone or laptop.
Next, they brought me back to the prep area where I removed my clothes and changed into a surgical gown.
Pro tip: Wear loose fitting clothes and easy to apply items on your surgery day! After surgery they will help dress you and you do NOT want to be wearing anything tight fitting like leggings. Wear loose sweats, slip on sneakers, and a loose top. You will feel like a baby while the nurse helps dress you, but it will make both of your lives so much easier.
The nurses walked me through some more questions, and the anesthesiologist came over to ask more questions. Then, the doctor finally came over with Ken and we were able to ask him last minute questions. He described the surgery a bit and what to expect. He then marked my leg with a pen so we both could see that he would be operating on my right hip.
Then it was show time! The anesthesiologist gave me the meds to put me under, and that’s all I remember until I woke up in the post-surgical bed. I honestly don’t know how long the surgery took. Maybe an hour or 90 minutes?
They tried to feed me saltine crackers after surgery since my stomach was still empty and they didn’t want me getting nauseous from the meds. But my mouth was soooooo dry from being dehydrated. I drank several cups of water and a few crackers. They put a little tab behind my ear, like an anti-nausea patch.
We talked a little bit about how the surgery went and what they discovered. It turns out my labrum was torn pretty badly and the flap had doubled over itself. I guess that’s pretty rare, so I felt famous (just kidding!). But it was cool to hear about the inside of my hip joint.
Then the nurse dressed me and I was basically ready to go. I did not get much in the way of post-surgical instructions (a theme, it seems).
They wheeled me out of the surgical center in a wheelchair and Ken drove us home. I don’t remember it.
Pro tip: bring your crutches with you on the surgery day. You will need them to get from your car into the house.
Here are a few photos of my torn hip labrum before and after surgery. It was pretty busted up before!
My one sheet of post-surgical protocol was really not detailed, and the main thing it stressed was to not work out or do anything, really, for 6 weeks after surgery. That includes physical therapy.
I thought that was crazy, so I still booked PT sessions after my surgery. I really felt like I’d need and want the extra care. Plus, my PT has treated lots of labral tear patients, and she was such an amazing resource for my random questions and for the 900 times I thought I hurt myself or re-tore the labrum.
You can read more of the blog posts linked at the end of this post to read more about my journey. But overall, I was basically in bed for 6 weeks probably 18-20 hours a day. I work from home, thankfully, so it was pretty easy for me to just lay in the bed and work.
I went to PT once a week where we would do simple exercises like stationary biking for 5 minutes, leg raises, and massage.
For the first 6 weeks I was on crutches, which was the most annoying part. I read on other blogs and websites that people were on their crutches for like two weeks or four weeks. But my dr wanted 6 weeks, so I did it. I am glad I did, though, looking back on it now. It kept me from trying too much or moving the leg in weird ways.
And in regards to pain, I did not really have that much! I was super surprised. My leg and hip were tight and crampy, but I was never in “pain.” I was able to just take Aleve to handle it.
I slept on my back for the first week or so after hip labral tear surgery, but then I was able to roll on my left side a bit for side-ish sleeping. I’d say after 3-4 weeks I could sleep on the left side with a pillow in between my knees. I did not stomach sleep for probably the full 6 weeks.
One thing I was surprised about it how weak my hip flexor was after surgery. I guess they have to move it or something to access the hip joint? But it was so weak after surgery, it was really hard to lift up the leg at all. I’d use my hands to pull my leg into bed. Wearing long pants is good so you can grab those, too.
You’ll also want light weight sheets and blankets on your bed because your leg won’t be able to lift them up easily if you try to move around under the covers.
Also make sure your floors are clear of clutter so you don’t trip over some random dog toy while you’re crutching around the house. I tripped over random things a few times and it scared me so bad because I thought I might re-tear the labrum.
The best thing I bought to prepare for hip surgery was the toilet seat riser. It made getting up and down so much easier since you can only use one leg to do so. I would also sit on it and put on my pants or socks–it made the process so much easier.
I was on crutches for 6 weeks. I could walk unaided after hip surgery after about 4 weeks but kept the crutches per doctor’s orders. I carried a fold up cane for the first week I was crutch free in case I got really tired or tweaky feeling.
After about 3 months I started to feel “normal” while walking, and started a jogging protocol after about 4 months. More leg strength training started at 6 months.
I just had my one year follow up with my doctor, and he said it can take up to 2 years for a labrum to fully heal. Especially one like mine, which had the “flap.” I was like “um, what?” Would have liked to know that before surgery, thanks!
But in reality, I can totally understand why hip arthroscopy recovery takes so long. There’s minimal blood flow inside a joint, so the tissue takes longer to heal.
Some people seem to recover much faster than me. I read blogs that people were running after a few months and going back to pivot sports like soccer. I don’t know if it’s just my situation, but going back in to high levels of activity seems a little scary for me, even at one year after surgery. I am just really protective of the hip now and don’t want to do anything to harm it.
Labrum surgery recovery is very tiring! Be prepared to be very tired by basic things like walking 300 steps per day on crutches, showering, grocery shopping, preparing meals, or basically anything where you have to stand and move. I can’t even imagine having kids and trying to care for them during this process. Hats off to all those parents out there!
Take frequent naps and just realize this is all part of the process.
The tiredness started winding down around week 4 when I was able to sleep more fully and gain some more stamina.
You will not want to shower for at least 2-3 days after hip surgery for a hip labral tear. Your incisions are still scabbing and you don’t want to get the medical tape wet. So just sit back and relax!
The first few days after surgery, I did not feel like I was super gross or stinky. Mainly because I was sitting in one spot and not sweating or anything. So I was able to go the first few days with some face wipes and baby wipes.
After several days, I was ready to shower. We have a low tub, so I used a crutch and Ken’s arm to help me get in. I used the shower wand to basically wash around the surgical site so it did not get wet. It was pretty tiring to try to balance on one leg and wash. Some people have mentioned getting a shower bench, but I didn’t get one. I tried to do the bare minimum shower and be as fast as possible.
When the tape starts falling off your incisions, just let it peel away naturally. Don’t pull them off because you don’t want to pull off a scab.
After the surgical tape is off, you will cover your incisions with regular band aids. Talk to your dr about using things like neosporin. I used it, as well as a Manuka honey wound gel, but that is just what I personally chose to do.
A few weeks after surgery your doctor or a nurse will snip out the stitches. It is not painful, but it feels weird, like a pulling sensation.
I was in PT for about 4-5 months after my surgery. I went once a week for the first several months, then every two weeks in months 4-5.
PT was so valuable because I could ask my therapist random questions. She’d also test my range of motion, pain, and muscle tightness. She massaged the hip every session to prevent scar tissue build up and to release the muscles if they would start to tighten.
We did a slow progression through stationary biking, leg lifts, and clam shells in the beginning. After a few months I was able to work in band walks, squats, one-legged squats, and elliptical.
Probably a little, yes, especially right after you get off the crutches. You will be babying your hip and leg and won’t want to put weight on it. I used a fold up cane after I was off crutches, especially when I was very tired.
But after a few days, you will build up more and more confidence in walking and applying weight to the leg again.
When I pushed myself too far, my hip would get really tired and I would have a slight limp. Even one year after the surgery I still sometimes limp when my hip hurts. But I’d say it’s very slight. 99% of the time I can walk perfectly normally!
One thing I didn’t know would happen after surgery was constipation. Sorry if that is TMI, but I want you to know it’s a possibility. I think it is the anesthesia that causes it. Couple that with the post-surgery laying around, and your insides just don’t work as well.
So be sure to drink lots and lots of water and take stool softeners like Colace or a gentle laxative like Miralax.
I had 5 small incisions on my right hip that looked like the letter “Z.” The surgery is minimally invasive, which is awesome. I couldn’t believe they fixed the inside of a joint through these tiny incisions.
The scars actually sealed up pretty quickly and with little fanfare. They were really red for a long time. Two of my incisions are white / you can’t see them much after one year. Three are still quite red looking.
I am a little embarrassed when I wear a swimsuit that they are visible, but that’s life. We all have scars and scrapes, so I try not to worry about it too much. I don’t try to cover them up with clothing or makeup or anything. I do religiously apply sunscreen to them when I go to the beach so they don’t get more discolored.
This is my personal experience, but did the surgery work? Yes and no. It’s hard to blanket say the surgery was great and life changing because honestly, there have been struggles, pain, and setbacks.
I’ll list some of the top pros and cons of hip labral tear surgery that I have personally experienced.
Hip labrum surgery pros:
-my lower back pain is basically gone.
-I do not experience “catching” in my right hip any more.
-I can do simple things like putting on socks without groaning.
-no more sciatica!
-I can walk 20,000 steps per day with no pain or discomfort. Since surgery I’ve traveled to Costa Rica, Disney World, Paris, Mexico, and Belize and walked all over.
-I’ve learned the value of regular massage and hot baths for relaxation and self-care.
-the surgeon surveyed me before and after surgery. My before score was 57 and my after score was 84. So they can measure a huge improvement in my levels of discomfort and quality of life.
Hip labrum surgery cons:
-long recovery: 6 weeks on crutches and still dealing with residual tightness one year after surgery. Using crutches for 6 weeks is a huge pain and it’s very hard to prepare food or carry anything with your hands.
-it takes a really long time to get back up to reasonable activity levels like running or weight lifting. And it takes a while to build up muscular strength again. My hip flexor is still a little weak and is prone to tightness.
-I am experiencing sharp hip pain at random. Not sure if it’s muscular tightness, something pinching inside the joint again, or arthritis. But it is concerning to have gone through this whole process and still have sharp pain.
-My glute and hip flexor are still really tight, so I am still using the PVC pipe to roll out the muscles. I was really hoping the surgery would allow the joint to work more fully and let the supporting muscles relax.
I actually have a torn left hip labrum, and the experience of having the right operated on is seriously making me consider whether I want the left side done or not. I feel like as long as the left is a-symptomatic, I can handle not getting the surgery done again.
My left hip does catch and feels loosey goosey in the joint when I walk. Apparently, the tear is actually worse on the left side, and there is a cyst in the left hip joint. But I started with surgery on the right side because the muscles hurt so bad all the time from being so tight as they stabilized my hip.
I am really curious about the sharp pains in the right hip and why they are happening. As long as I am having pain in the right hip, I will not have the other surgery. I would need to know that the right hip is fully recovered and able to support my body weight for 6 weeks on crutches.
For now, I am holding tight on the left side and continuing to focus on strengthening and stretching the right hip.
I hope my posts have helped you in some way to prepare for hip surgery or to learn more about my own experience with a labral tear.
Please leave a comment below if you also have a torn labrum or are considering arthroscopy. I’d love to hear from you!
More hip labrum surgery recovery blog posts:
How to prepare for labral tear hip surgery
Read about my hip labral tear diagnosis
Day 1 after hip labrum surgery
Day 5 after hip labrum surgery
Day 6 after hip labrum surgery
One month update after hip labrum surgery
Six month update after hip labrum surgery
Are Oofos shoes the perfect recovery shoes? An Oofos review
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Hey there, I am Stephanie, aka “The Roving Fox!” I started this blog to share travel tips with friends, and eventually started incorporating more info about my hip labrum surgery, beauty products I love, and restaurant reviews. Please say hi here on the blog, on Instagram, or Facebook!
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Sandy DodgeApril 22, 2019
thank you for sharing your story. I am a mom of two on the South Shore,Plymouth, looking at having this same surgery on my right hip. May I ask who you the orthopedic surgeon was at MGH?
StephanieApril 22, 2019
Hi Sandy! It was Scott Martin. My preliminary appts were at the main MGH campus but my surgery and subsequent appointments have been at the Waltham surgical center. Let me know if you have any other questions about my experience!
MonicaMay 23, 2019
I am about 2.5 weeks out from a left hip arthroscopy for a landslide tear and FAI repair. I enjoyed reading your blog!!! I have 3 kids, 2 dogs and I have been back to work for about 3 days now. I. Am. Exhausted. I also have just started PT and my hip is sore from stretching etc. It’s worse after PT than before. I’m hopeful, though, and determined to get back to running. Hope you are doing well now!
StephanieMay 25, 2019
Hi Monica, thank you for reading! Try not to push your hip too much in the super delicate time of healing you’re in right now! Really watch it with the stretching and doing anything aggressive like trying to lift up the leg or walking without the crutches. Take the time to heal now so you don’t flare up!
MonicaMay 23, 2019
*labral tear! It autocorrected to landslide!
RobinJune 20, 2019
I had surgery on March 28th I was only on crutches for 4 days per dr’s orders…. I am still having significant pain in my right hip and now in my lower back (getting and MRI on that in a couple weeks. How long after surgery did you still experience pain? I have done ton or reading an a lot of articles stat pain can occur 3-12 months PO. Any thoughts?
StephanieJune 24, 2019
4 days on crutches! That seems extremely short since the repair is so delicate at first! I was on them for 6 weeks and thought it was a little excessive. I think something like 4 weeks seems to be a good compromise. But I think the level of pain is all up to how much activity you want to incorporate back into your life (this is my personal opinion). I say this because I’ve heard of people who had a freak tear and didn’t work out before and don’t work out after, and they have no pain. But it seems like people who want to get back to working out/sport tend to have more pain. I think it’s because we are putting more demands on the muscles and joints. I still experience some pain at ~18 months. Not with every step, but sometimes I’ll get a sharp pain for no reason. I hope your appointment goes well!
Erin RoxburyJune 23, 2019
Thanks for posting extensively on your surgery process, I’ve been doing research and reading for months and yours has had the most information so far.
I had an MRI on my left hip done 7 months ago with a hip labral tear. I have been doing PT ever since and have seen minimal results. Lots of hip pain, catching/clicking, and now I just started having sciatica. Altogether I have had this injury for 2 years and am so frustrated with it. I used to be so active in weight lifting, running, biking, hiking (which is probably what caused all of this) and now I can barely go on walks. I just had my first son 11 months ago which is prohibiting me from going on with surgery. After reading your blog all I could think was “how in the heck could I take care of my son and recover at the same time?” Anyways, I am writing to see if you have any advice on my situation. Do you think it is possible to have the surgery and take care of a very active 1 year old? Or would I absolutely need to be bed-rested for the first 6 weeks?
StephanieJune 24, 2019
Hi Erin – thank you for your comment! I feel like your story sounds so similar to mine (from being active to just having to walk). It is so frustrating. I was on crutches for 6 weeks, but others have said they were only on crutches for 2-4 weeks, so I think it is all about what your Dr. prescribes. I would have felt ok walking without crutches at 4 weeks, but I think in your situation you would really need to watch bending over and picking your son up, and twisting. Especially things like installing a car seat or bending over with weight in your hands will be difficult. It takes longer for cartilage to heal than muscle or skin, so it does need a bit of time for the ends to “knit” together. I’d say try to get as much help as possible in the beginning so you can rest as much as you can within the first 6 weeks. I hope this info is helpful!
irmaJuly 1, 2019
I had surgery on my right hip for labral tear March 15,2019. When I read the blogs on this surgery and am so confused as to my post op directions from my doctor. I felt like they left my recovery to myself. Two weeks after my surgery I was told to start putting weight on my leg. I asked about when to stop using the crutches and was told to wean myself off the crutches. so after 3 weeks I stopped using the crutches and went back to work. I was walking slowly and with a limp. I started physical therapy after 4 weeks and everything seemed to be going ok but then I started having excruciating pain in my whole leg. everytime I went to put weight on it the pain was horrible! when I went from a standing to sitting position I just held my breath and went through the pain, it was so bad it brought tears to my eyes. i couldn’t even do physical therapy because it was too painful. They started just doing the stretches, cupping and needling. Still no relief, so went tack to the doctor after the physical therapist referred me back and they did an injection in my hip which did not give me any relief AT ALL! I was getting really depressed! they gave me a round of steroids to take for a week and after a week still no relief at all. I had to be wheeled to my car by my coworkers twice because i just could not move my leg. everytime I went to move it i had excruciating pain. They kept telling me that my IT band was inflamed. they gave me a second round of steroid pack to take and finally after two weeks i was able to get some relief. I went back to physical therapy and they did a whole new evaluation of me and started with loosening up my scar tissue. they dug into my leg at incisions sights and all around and used a metal tool to loosen that up…it was painful but worth it as I was finally able to move my leg better and less of a limp. Now I go to physical therapy twice a week and they do the same thing with the metal tool everytime digging into my leg and scar tissue to loosen that up. Then they roll the are around the incisions and the IT band. After that they do the cupping. Needless to say my thigh looks like I was in an accident with all the bruising from them digging into the scar tissue and the cupping. I feel like this recovery has been so long! I am very active and this surgery recovery is the worst i have ever experienced. I have had other surgeries but this by far was the worst recovery. Here at 4 months i don’t feel like i am anywhere near where i was before the surgery. They keep telling me that my IT band became inflamed. They sent me to get an MRI because they said my back could be causing me problems, but that came back clear. they did xrays of my back and hip again and said everything looks good there. So how my IT band got inflamed and why this happened to me is still unanswered! I feel like I put weight on it too soon and i should have stayed on the crutches longer…From what i have read on other blogs. Most people were instructed to use crutches for 6 weeks!! I stopped at 3 weeks! I was told to start putting weight on the leg the second week…and other blogs i see it was 4-6 weeks! I am not sure if this is what cause all the pain and my IT band to become inflamed! I do know this if i ever get a labral tear in the other hip i will NOT have surgery! I would rather just stop working out than to go through all this again!
Has anyone else experienced IT band inflammation? Please help!
StephanieJuly 1, 2019
Oh no, this sounds terrible! I am so sorry this is happening to you. Please join the Facebook group called: “Hip Impingement Awareness (FAI, PAO, THR).” There are hundreds of members who also had the same surgery and I am sure someone might be able to give you some advice or insight into their own experience on that page!
KatelynnAugust 7, 2019
Hello! Thank you for sharing so much about your labral repair journey. I have been dealing with a similar injury since Feb 3rd of this year. I was training for a half marathon, and during one of my workouts I noticed a terrible, sharp pain in my left back/buttock area that left me limping off the track. I have stopped trying to run since then, and have gone through multiple doctors appointments with various false diagnoses. This has to be one of the toughest conditions to properly diagnose… however, after finally finding the right doctor and getting the hip MRI yesterday, it is confirmed I have a left hip labral tear as well as FAI (hip impingement). I just scheduled the surgery for August 29, so of course I am researching every blog I can looking for insight! One of my main goals is to get back to running (which I know is a long term goal at this point), but I am also a PT student in my second year of graduate school. I am worried that the surgery will interfere with the beginning of this semester, but I have spoken with my professors and they said they will accommodate any way they can. I will have over a week between surgery and going back to classes, but I am prepared for a struggle those first couple weeks of class.
StephanieAugust 10, 2019
It sounds like you’re doing everything right for the hip! And you’re in a great profession to be taken care of by all of your classmates, haha. It does seem hard to diagnose in a lot of people, but it seems like it’s becoming more “known” in the medical community. Good luck with your surgery and make sure to get the crutch covers and toilet riser for sure! And join the Facebook group called: “Hip Impingement Awareness (FAI, PAO, THR).” Lots of people there with great advice!
kristenAugust 8, 2019
enjoyed reading your posts, i had my hip surgery in december 2018 and i would do it over again if i had to, i started my own blog and have contemplated doing my own posts about my experience =)
StephanieAugust 10, 2019
You should! I think a lot of people are looking for help and personal experience stories about hip labrum surgery. I am glad yours went well!
JackieAugust 9, 2019
Hi. I had right hip labrum tear surgery Jul. 23. I was on crutches for 2 days. The surgeon said I could bear weight if I could stand it. I was using a cane. It’s been 2 1/2 weeks and still using cane unless I only go a few feet I am able to go without. I have some swelling along with some pain….odd pains if different areas. Sometimes my femur hurts like a bone pain. I’m frustrated to say the least. I am a very active person and this slow motion stuff has been very hard. Getting up and down, showering, I can’t do with out the help of my spouse. I do steps with a cane every 3 days to shower but try to stay on my main floor. It’s a very slow process. I don’t know if these pains are normal. After reading your blog it helped. I’m exhausted….not a lot of stamina.
I won’t be starting physical therapy until my 6 week mark. I keep praying every day for improvement.
Would I bother this again….hmmm, NO. I am 59 year old female. i think I would opt for hip replacement.
StephanieAugust 10, 2019
To be honest, I am shocked you were only on crutches for two days. That seems like a disservice to your hip to put so much weight on it right away in this delicate recovery period. In the moment, I was annoyed to be on crutches for 6 weeks, but looking back it was a good opportunity to allow the soft tissues to heal. I think you will feel a lot better at 6-8 weeks, though!
LaurenAugust 9, 2019
Hi Stephanie! I just got surgery on my right hip 7 weeks ago at MGH in Waltham as well and had the same protocol of the 6 weeks on crutches. Now that I’m off the crutches and walking my left hip has been experiencing the same kind of pain that my right used to and is snapping/popping. I had never had a problem with the other hip until now, so I’m worried I’ll have to get the left hip done as well! Did you have this when you started walking again and if so does it go away with time? Thank you!
StephanieAugust 10, 2019
It sounds like you had Dr Martin, then?! My left labrum is also torn but it is not as symptomatic as the right side (thankfully). So for now I am not scheduling a second surgery. It could be that your other side is also torn, or it is getting tired from overcompensating from the right hip being out of service. Talk to your PT and see if they could do any massage on the left side to help it relax?
Sarah PalmerAugust 11, 2019
It was so wonderful to read your blog as I am considering this surgery on my right hip! I was curious if you were able to return (and how quickly) to teaching spin classes? I am a spin instructor, and currently recovering from an L5/S1 lamenectomy surgery, but I was just about to start teaching again when I found out my hip pain is due to the labral tear. Any advise would be amazing!
StephanieAugust 12, 2019
Hi Sarah! I have not returned to teaching spinning (yet). I stopped teaching before the hip problems while I was starting my PR business back around 2015. I am currently 1.5 years out from surgery and could probably teach 1-2 classes per week if I wanted to get back into it. I am sure some people would start back teaching earlier, but I am really trying to be mindful of my own limitations and not put too much pressure on the healing tissues. Good luck!
BeckyAugust 22, 2019
Thanks for writing this!
StephanieAugust 29, 2019
Thank you, Becky!
HilaryAugust 22, 2019
This post was so helpful! I’m trying to decide if I should have surgery for my right hip and I really appreciate you writing about your experience.
Also, go Blue Hens!
StephanieAugust 29, 2019
Woo hoo, Blue Hens, yes! Thank you for reading, Hilary!
Christy BroylesAugust 23, 2019
I have an appointment tomorrow to discuss my hip issues and if surgery is the best option. I have had pain for about a year. Did PT last Oct-Dec and things felt better but after adding exercise it started to flare up. Had an MRI and I have a labral tear and impingement. I did PT again for a few months and with PT and only bike and walking I was feeling good so I was told to go back to exercise class (barre class) to see what would happen. After class 1 the hip was tight, after class 2 it was sore, after class 3 it took 5 days to recover from the pain. I am thinking I will have surgery. I am 47 and in pretty good health. Even though without exercising I can get rid of most pain, it is not a good option to quit exercise and activity. Plus I have already met my deductible for the year. Your blog was very helpful on what to expect and also what to ask the doctor tomorrow.
StephanieAugust 29, 2019
Thank you for reading, Christy! I hope your appointment went well and gave you more clarity about your hip!
IsmaelSeptember 22, 2019
Thank you Stephanie. I tore my right hip labrum doing Karate last year and 6 months of physio did not fix it, it actually got worse. It is 9mm with a cyst behind it.
Saw a specialist and he said quick day surgery, crutches for 2 weeks then physio for 3 months. Not sure this is realistic.
The main reason for me to rush to surgery is I want to go back to Karate to get my black belt, and this will throw my whole schedule out especially if the recovery time is longer than advised. I also work full time and 6 weeks of no movement will land like a lead balloon with my employer.
Part of me wants to say no to surgery, but that would not get me what I want as I have to avoid Karate to give it time to heal. Or should I just power through and deal with the ramifications later.
StephanieOctober 1, 2019
I am not sure that you should expect to be fully back to Karate in 3 months, but that is just my opinion only! I say it because twisting and cutting motions tend to be off limits during healing. But you should ask your doctor what he or she thinks in terms of things like quick twisting moves, kicks, squats, lunges, and the like. So chat with your doc about the full recovery and activity process before deciding what will work best for you! Good luck!
RachelNovember 8, 2019
I have just been diagnosed with a left hip labral tear. Not sure how bad it is because my follow up appt is on November 18, 2019 for the actual diagnosis on how badly it is torn.
History about me: I gave birth to my 12th child 4 years ago, and I didnt know i had a problem in hip until I tried to sit on my heels 2 years ago and my right hip was touching my heel when i sat on my knees, but my left hip was not! The ischium was up in the air! That shows how bad my condition was, however, it took 2 years for the official diagnosis.
I have been doing isometric exercises for past 2 years and I can now sit on both heels, I still have popping and clicking and extremely sharp pain with internal and external rotation of left hip, however, the pain has been improving. So…….
I have decided NOT to have the surgery. I believe that I can heal the tear with exercises. Mainly isometrics and riding my bike.
Over the summer, I did physical therapy for the hip pain and for my diastasis recti which was 4 fingers width and is now 0.9cm They consider 2cm normal which I do NOT agree with. Women can decrease to less than 2 cm with the right exercises.
During the physical therapy sessions, I could not perform the isotonic exercises that the therapist was trying to get me to do such as planks or clamshells. IT was way too painful.SO I continued to perform my own exercises and I was able to decrease the Diastasis recti down to less than 2cm.
Anyway, I am going to tell my sports medicine doctor my plan.
HE will probably have me do physical therapy in which I will observe their recommended exercises and might do them, however, because the sharp pain is decreasing with the exercises I am doing, I think I will continue to do them.
My goal is to be 100% in 12 weeks. TO be able to play volleyball, run and chase my kids all over the playground without pain!
I will give up an update in 12 weeks to let you know if it works!
My plan is to have a repeat MRI to show the healed labrum.
StephanieNovember 15, 2019
It sounds like you’re doing a lot of great things to relieve your pain. I hope it all helps and keep us posted!
Chelsea CohenNovember 14, 2019
How can I get in touch with you?! I am 3 weeks out from my surgery WITH DR. MARTIN!! I am SOOO glad I just found your blog and would love to ask some questions as I just got so nervous.
StephanieNovember 15, 2019
I emailed you!
BeckyNovember 25, 2019
Thanks for the post! There are not many posts about life after a labral tear. I had a tear in my left hip with the bone being shaved as well due to a ridge on the bone back in the fall of 2013. Years later i have not regretted my decision as the pain presurgery greatly limited my active life… just walking was a problem. That being said, life is not the same after surgery as it was before pre-tear. I regret pushing myself to hard and not listening to my body which caused my tear. Now I will have good periods when my hip is fine and other times i might do one workout that inflames it and i take 50 steps back from what i worked up to. I recently ran into that. My hip had been feeling great for 6 months or more and i had been doing various beach body workouts. I tried a new program (t25) and the 3rd workout did in my hip (i had been working up to this workout). That was 3 weeks ago! I have learned to be more patient with working out and count my blessing that i dont have the limitations as i did pre surgery with the tear. My biggest regret is tearing up my hip in the first place. I have found that if you sleep with a body pillow and work on reducing pain during the night, it gets better. Thanks for the post and hope your pain gets better!
StephanieNovember 27, 2019
Thank you, Becky! I agree that I wish I hadn’t pushed my hips so hard in the first place to tear them. My good health is something I know I take for granted, and having to take a step back and be thankful for my overall health is something I need to remember every day!
JenniferJanuary 27, 2020
I was diagnosed with a hip impingement, labral tear and severe arthritis in my left hip last week. A x-ray and MRI with imaging. I was in a car accident back in 2003and I am assuming that this is the result. I have been dealing with pain for years but it has always gotten better and tolerable. In Nov. I was doing lunges at the gym with one leg on a bench and that was it. The pain got worse and never went away. My Dr. referred me to an orthopedic surgeon. They wanted to see my test before hand. I have had 2 doctors say they will not perform the repair because the arthritis is to bad. I am 47 years old and I faithfully go to the gym, hike, bike, ski and kayak. I did get an injection and it has helped ease the pain but I still feel pain and my range of motion is limited. I am currently waiting to hear from a Dr. at Rothman institute in Philadelphia to see if they will do the surgery. So I have heard several things from Dr office like we don’t do replacements until around the age of 57 or they basically cannot help me offering me PT and injection. I have tried massage, physical therapy and they do not work. I really do not know what I am going to do if they tell me that they will not do it. Anyone have this situation???
StephanieFebruary 1, 2020
I am so sorry to hear all of this! You should definitely join the Facebook group called “Hip Labral Tear Recovery /Private Group.” There are 5,000 members in that page who all have had labral tears, hip replacements, arthritis, physical therapy, injections, needling, acupuncture. You name it, someone in the group can give you their own personal story about their experience. I hope you can connect with some folks there!
JamieFebruary 4, 2020
Hey there! Thanks for your post. I’m a physical therapist and have had two hip surgeries myself. Just had my second hip done about two weeks ago. I did my right in 2009. I was non weight bearing for six weeks with my right hip. That was the most difficult part for me. I didnt feel like myself again until about 2.5 years later. It really took a while. The adaptive motion trainer was amazing for prepping for running. Plus a very specialized hip program I still follow. I had two big babies after my first surgery and no major issues with my right hip. My left hip however had become quite a problem. In 2015 I started the process of getting MRIs doing prp, which didnt help etc. My workouts were limited to biking between 20 and 40.minutes plus just upper extremity weights. I stopped running after my first surgery because it hurt my left. I waited until my youngest was four and essentially couldn’t wait any longer. So fast forward to now…totally different protocol from first. Immediate weight bearing as tolerated. This was a life changer for me because it .makes it so much easier to do life. That said I knew I needed help so I arranged for my parents to come help for 2 weeks. I’m pretty much using one crutch around the house and I can get lunches made for the kiddos. So for those who are looking at this surgery ( I had a massive labral tear/repair folded under the same way you did, and shaving of femoral head neck) know that it’s possible to do weight bearing as tolerated. It will absolutely depend on your surgeon. I chose him.bevause of his protocol and because hes amazing. I also found this great article that helped me make my decision. Yall should read it: “Hip arthroscopy protocol” expert opinions on post-operative weight bearing and return to sports guidelines” by Ehud Rath et al. It’s basically a survey of 26 high volume hip arthroscopy specialized surgeons regarding weight bearing after specific procedures. So for example a labral repair 10 out of 24 responders allowed immediate weight bearing as tolerated, a little less than 50% of these surgeons. That’s a lot in my opinion. And by week 3, 22 allowed weight bearing as tolerated. I still see a lot of protocols that are touch down weight bearing for 3-6 weeks. I have found being able to weight bear some has minimized the muscle atrophy that came with my first hip surgery. As a therapist I understand how significant the loading forces on the hip joint change when muscles like your abductor atrophy. Im.hoping down the road, 6 weeks will be easier this time around than last. We will see. Either way it’s been an interesting comparison. For those who are still struggling , give it time, and then more time. Strength train at least 3 days a week.focusing on core, abductors, and hip rotators in closed chain. Even if you’re running a few months out, dont stop strengthening those abductors. Cant emphasize bridging with a band around your knees enough!!!!! Good luck to all. And thanks for sharing your post. Always nice to see others stories.
StephanieFebruary 14, 2020
Thank you, Jamie for this detailed recap of your hip journey! I know a lot of people will be especially interested to read about having kids post-surgery or having little ones while trying to recover and use crutches. I’ve also found that core is huge and have been doing Pilates regularly since my surgery. And love bridges!! Thanks again.
NoreenFebruary 16, 2020
Hi Stephanie. Thank you for this informative post. I too having been experiencing similar pain/issues with my right hip and I do have a labral tear. I’m fairly active. I am an OT in pediatrics and I’m on my feet all day. When I get home its ice, heat and foam roller for me. I was referred to Dr. Martin by my physiatrist. After having multiple lidocaine and steroid injections, PT etc. nothing is working . I do have a very tight glute but I also have calcium deposit on my right glute which I will be having removed soon. I had calcium deposit on my right shoulder as well, had it removed and the pain has decreased significantly. BTW I also have a labral tear on my shoulder…One thing at a time. My IT band is always tight as well. I do stretching, yoga and weight training, band. No doctor has told my not to do low impact exercises but I feel at this point will not help but hurt the situation. sounds like you were on your own for post op instructions. That’s good to know. Your info about what to expect was helpful. Now I can plan for my surgery and after. Ironically I did have most of the equipment that you posted when my mother was alive but I got rid of it when she passed away. Didn’t think I would need a raised toilet seat at 52! Thank you again. I’ll update my experience after my surgery.
StephanieMarch 4, 2020
Thank you, Noreen! I hope you are doing well.
Anthony ChilaMarch 4, 2020
Hey I just had surgery on my left hip and I’m scared to have it on the other side. Is there a chance that the right side stays good and doesn’t have the same issue as my left because my right hip is starting to get frustrated already but I can’t tell if it is just from the traction of them pulling my other hip out of place that would hurt the other hip. Plz lmk if it is possible that the other hip doesn’t follow in the same path.
StephanieMarch 4, 2020
Hi Anthony, I can only speak about my own experience. I also had surgery on the right, but the left is also torn. The right was much more symptomatic for me, which is why I did that side. The left side is basically fine, with a little tweakiness here and there, so for now I am not going to operate on the left side. It could be that your left is getting tired from supporting the right as it heals. You might want to check with your doc or physical therapist to see what they think. Good luck! I know the road it hard but it will get better!
Kelsi AndersonMarch 9, 2020
I had surgery on my right hip in May 2012. During the surgery they repaired the tear in my labrum, released my psoas, and cleaned up small tears on my ligament of teres. I am in the military and had been dealing with hip pain for about 5 years before figuring out what was going on. Post surgery I was diagnosed with bilateral tendonitis and hip snapping syndrome, both of which I have learned to live with. I know when my tendons are annoyed and inflamed and make sure I don’t overdue it. Over the past 2 years I have really found a love for running. I have now completed the Army 10 Miler two years in a row and ran my first half marathon in September, finishing in just under 2 hours. Everything was going great, my hip felt strong and amazing, I was running around 120 miles a month and had no serious issues. Then came November. I began training for the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) which requires me to dead lift 200 lbs 3 reps. I knew my legs were strong enough but I didn’t overdue it. I started with a lighter weight and gradually worked my way up. Around this time I began noticing a familiar dull ache in my right buttocks and I was terrified. Next thing I knew I couldn’t get dressed without having to sit down. My hip was catching like it had never caught before and the pain was awful. Ugh, history is repeating itself only this time I am in the best shape of my life. In January 2020 I went to an appointment with an orthopedic, in Feb I had a cortisone shot, and last week I went back to the orthopedic for a follow up. Next week I will be getting an MRI with contrast and the following week I am meeting with a surgeon to go over the results and decide on the next step. As it stands it is very likely that I have torn my labrum again and am looking at surgery in the near future, which I will absolutely do. My previous surgery gave me 7.5 pain free years aside from the tendonitis. Before surgery I was in pain everyday and now I’m feeling all the same pains and then some. The past few months have been an emotional roller coaster. I can barely run at all and running was literally my sanity, my way to process anything and everything. I can’t even tell you how many times I left the gym in tears, not because of the physical pain but the emotional and mental pain. I was 25 when I had surgery and went through a year of PT, like you did, 6 months pre-op and 6 months post-op. I am now 33 and will most likely be doing it all over again, plus side though, my Dr. isn’t wasting any time by forcing me to do an annoying amount of PT. I went to 2 appointments, we checked that box and we’re moving on. I’m trying my best to keep my thoughts in a positive space and to find a different outlet since running is a painful choice, although I still do it from time to time. I have days where I think maybe it isn’t torn, maybe the pain will just go away, then I do something simple like putting new sheets on the bed….then it catches and my leg gives out. It’s definitely not in my head, but I wish it was. Fingers crossed for a positive outcome over the next few weeks. Thanks for sharing your story and all your little pointers (raised toilet? BRILLIANT idea!)
StephanieMarch 10, 2020
First of all, thank you for your service. I am really glad that you got those 7 pain free years, too! I hope they didn’t discover another tear on the MRI. Keep us posted! I haven’t donated my raised toilet seat yet “just in case.” It was so helpful, not just for bathroom needs, but also for putting on pants, socks, and shoes. So much easier without compressing the hip. Thanks again, and I hope you get good news this week.
NathanMarch 10, 2020
So I had my left labrum repaired on August 28, 2019. I had spent close to 2 years and 5 to 6 different doctors before being diagnosed with a “torn labrum” and FAI. It was not picked up on my MRI, but the last surgeon said I had “tell tale signs”, so I went ahead with the surgery. It was rough going for a while as I got a blood clot within the first few weeks which set me back, but I kept moving forward. I’m currently at about 6-1/2 months out and I’m quite frustrated…
BEFORE my surgery, I spent a year trying to figure out why I hurt when doing certain movements. I started with putting my wallet in my front pocket, but this didn’t help. I then worked with chiropractors and a friend who specializes with ART. All said that if I was unable to get to where I needed to be, the suspected “torn labrum”. I then went to PT for several months and they too said if I couldn’t get relief that they too would suspect “torn labrum”. I started going to doctors and one even suggested a shot, which did not help at all.
The movements that hurt both before and now after my surgery are 1. lying in bed (or standing) and then rotating my foot outwards. This causes pain on the inside of my groin. 2. the other movement is lying on my back with both of my knees bent at 90 degrees, which doesn’t hurt, UNTIL I move my knees to the right (with my left hip being the affected one). Hurts like the dickens.
I told my doctors and PT BEFORE the surgery about this and they said “labrum”. I now tell them that while I feel my hip is stronger, I can feel the pain in the exact same spot AFTER the surgery. My surgeon still doesn’t seem concerned and said it’s “normal to feel the same pains in the exact same spots, as you are healing there and this is where we worked”. He also said that he was a bit surprised that I’m not feeling better at 6 months, but that it could take up to 2 years… PT said the same.
My problem now is that I’m in pain doing certain things and I don’t know whether to continue to heal or start the process all over again. 2 years is a long time to wait.
Do any of you experience pain in those locations? If so are you this far out? I’m beginning to get very discouraged. Thanks for any thoughts.
StephanieMarch 10, 2020
I am so sorry to hear all of this! It seems like each case is unique and people heal at different rates, so I think there is still hope! You are still pretty “fresh” from the surgery. But yes, I also had and still have tightness in the front of my hip (right groin, hip flexor, psoas, tendons). I am not a doctor (so consult with your own medical team), but in my case, my pain and tightness in the front of the hip is related to muscle tightness and and overactive tendon. Since all of the muscles of the hip flexor and quad intersect right over the front of the hip, a lot of aggravation can happen there. Your incision areas could still be healing and tender, too, which might be causing the discomfort. Something that has helped me personally is getting “wet needling.” It’s the first thing that has provided muscle relaxation in the super tight areas. Maybe that could be something you could speak to your PT or Dr about. Also, massage has helped, too. I hope you are able to find some relief soon!
LeanneMarch 10, 2020
Hello, I had surgery for a labral tear and FAI this past Friday. My surgeon came recommended from an ortho surgeon I used to work for. My surgeon has said I am full weight bearing with crutches for 2 weeks for security. I will go to my 2nd PT appointment tomorrow. I am worried I have overdone things. I have a brace I have to wear most of the time. Sleeping in this is hard as I like to sleep on my sides and it hurts my back. The surgeon said I don’t have to sleep in it after 2 weeks, but wear it during the day for 6 weeks. I am glad to hear about some pain coming back as I have noticed some slight pain the last 2 days. I really hope I made the right decision with having surgery. I enjoy running and want to get back to it. Thank you for sharing your story.
StephanieMarch 10, 2020
Thank you for visiting the site! 2 weeks on crutches seems short to me (I was on them for 6 weeks), but every Doctor has their own protocol. I know some people get braces and some don’t (I didn’t, for example). It is probably normal to still feel tweakiness in the hip and muscles as they heal. Especially inside of joints where there is low or no blood flow to bring fresh blood and oxygen to healing cells and tissue. I actually wish I had taken it even more easy over my 6 weeks of crutches but I was eager to get moving again. There were several times I thought I re-tore it but it was just fine, and me being paranoid. So really take advantage of the fact that you can hopefully relax for a few weeks while it all heals. It will take a while! But your PT should know more about all of this, and I always say I’m not a Doctor so all I can do is share my own experience and research.
NathanMarch 11, 2020
Thank you for your reply. Sometimes I would get on here and read comments from yourself and others, just looking for some encouragement and hope. Thank you for your suggestions and also that I’m not necessarily alone in this lingering discomfort. Have a great day.
StephanieMarch 11, 2020
Hi Nathan, have you joined the Facebook group called “Hip Labral Tear Recovery /Private Group”? They are all very active with sharing advice and experiences, and I found a lot of comfort in the group when I thought I re-injured myself. If you’re on FB, you might want to check it out!
Dawn HartmanMarch 12, 2020
Thank you for writing this! Trying to do some research to see if I should consider surgery. I have a lot going on in my left hip: bursitis/tendonitis, labral tear/cyst, and osteoarthritis. I had a steroid shot in my hip for the bursitis/tendonitis 10/23/19 which really helped with the pain. Then, 12/31/19, I had a shot in my groin for the labral tear. That left me pain free, so I didn’t start my PT right away again. I began PT on 2/4 and the day I began PT, my pain came back. Now, my pain is constant, ranging from 3 – 8. I’m concerned that the shot didn’t work. I have another shot scheduled 4/14/20, but I’ve been told that if I get the shot, that I can’t have surgery, if I choose to, for 3 months. So, trying to figure out which would be best for me, to try another shot, or to attempt surgery. That’s how I found your blog, trying to research whether I should consider surgery or not. Thank you again for sharing your story!
StephanieApril 11, 2020
Hi Dawn, I hope you are doing well!
Andy TylerMay 26, 2020
I have done PT for four month three times a week; lots of lower back and hip pain for several months.
Finally got X-ray and MRI which shows a suspected torn left landslides test. Referred to orthopedic surgeon now.
Reading what your experience were have helped; I am all in for the surgery I need the pain to stop; at times feels like my left femur is a red hot poker inside my gluteus.
StephanieMay 27, 2020
Hi Andy–good luck with your surgery! I hope it gives you relief. The pain can really be so bad, so I hope it helps. My back also feels a lot better since I had the surgery, so hopefully it will help your hip and back, too.
AndrewJune 4, 2020
I’ve found this very imformative, thank you,
ive been injured for quite a few years, kept running with it as well, even ran a half marathon with this tear, I just dealt with it
Just like the many people that have replied to you I also have a labral tear in my hip, MRI has also shown a paralabral cyst, I think it will be surgery for me as I enjoy running and want it rectified as soon as possible.
I have a bit of a wait to get this done though unfortunately,(Covid-19 in Australia).and leave from work
my symptom is constant pain in front of hip and groin, incase other people feel this system
StephanieJune 4, 2020
Good luck with your surgery, Andrew, and I hope you aren’t in too much discomfort while you wait!
ShwetaJune 10, 2020
Reading this has terrified me to say the least as I’ve been searching on the Internet for any answers on how to deal with labrum tears. For me It started off with right knee pain and SI joint pain due working From home when Covid started. Thought it was just me being on my butt too long and not getting enough movement. So I started stretching my glutes with myofascial release and lower back praying for relief. Mild relief so I started working out doing Pilates to strengthen my core and next thing you know on a leg raise my groin spit out shooting pain on the right inside hip. Within a week of tolerating or not, the excruciating pain, I sought out PHYSICAL THERAPY. We noticed that my SI joint, glutes, and groin area were very tight and inflamed and no matter what we did for two weeks nothing helped. So I went to a sports medicine doctor referred from my physical therapist and long behold the MRA showed that I had a right labrum tear. The doctor gave me the run down on how surgery would be an option down the line as we wanted to try conservative treatment including the Cortisone shot and PHYSICAL THERAPY first. I wasn’t going to complain about that.At this time I told him I felt some pain on the left groin and hip area but it wasn’t enough for us to take a look at it so we put that on pause. Got the shot and boy those first few days were rough as the surrounding joints were not happy but it was apparently expected. I just started physical therapy last week and have been trying to do some of the exercises but then I started noticing that as the right labrum has calmed down from the shot, my left groin and hip pain now has become intolerable. Started off with my SI joint flaring up and gluteal pain (sounds familiar?) now leading to possibly a confirmed left labrum tear as well. I just called my doctor today and let him know that I’m having the same pain as I did on the right and we decided to not even waste time with another MRA because my insurance is very expensive. We are looking to do a Cortisone shot now in my left to be able to get me through physical therapy in the next week. I’ve been reading nonstop about different blog posts on surgery and It really is so different for everybody And not so promising. I’m an active woman at 28 years old getting married next July. I’m scared and crying feeling hopeless because there just isn’t enough information on non-surgery management. I don’t want to go down that route because I don’t think that I will be fully capable of handling it by the time my wedding comes next year. This has broken me in so many ways not being able to work out anymore as many of you have mentioned you felt. The pain that I’m feeling in the left hip is pure torture and I’m just praying that PHYSICAL THERAPY can give me enough strength and stability around my hip and SI joint to get through till next year. What a toll it takes on someone’s mental health. It’s awful. Any advice? 🙁
StephanieJune 15, 2020
Hi Shweta–that sounds awful and I am so sorry you’re in so much pain and discomfort. Not being yourself and having limited ability to exercise is definitely stressful mentally and physically. Especially when you’re young and love being active. I had my surgery on April 18 and got married on June 9, so I was off crutches and able to walk down the aisle and walk around the reception. So if you have a full year, you should have time to try non surgical options before going to surgery. I will say that actually having the surgery before the wedding was a blessing in disguise because I had all the time in the world to lay in bed and plan the wedding. I was able to work a little less, and didn’t have to run errands or do any other sort of house jobs. And nobody expected me to do housework or anything, so it was actually kind of relaxing to just recover and plan the wedding in a way. But a lot of surgeons won’t operate until you try PT and a shot or two to see if pain management can help. I am sure they also told you it’s common for people to have tears in both hips, which is really a bummer. But one hip will often be worse than the other, so some people just end up getting one surgery and some can change their activity levels and just go forever without surgery. In any case, I hope you are able to find some relief soon!
LoriJuly 4, 2020
Thanks so much for starting this blog. Really wish I would have seen it before my surgery or during the early days recovering as it would have eased my mind that I’m not alone in experiencing the challenges around surgical recovery.
I’m about 14 months post surgery for a right hip labral tear repair and femoral impingement. If you can get by without surgery consider yourself very very fortunate. I tried PT to no avail prior to surgery and suffered primarily from sharp groin pain, especially while sitting.
Surgery went smoothly but the recovery took much longer than I had been informed or anticipated. Crutches for 5-6 weeks for sure otherwise you are risking your recovery. You will need a lot of assistance during that time. My parents traveled to my home from out of town and stayed with me for three weeks. The raised toilet seat was a God send and I also purchased a seat for the shower. Camped out on the main floor of my home in a rollaway because I couldn’t do stairs for weeks. This is your chance to catch up on reading, Netflix and internet shopping which I thoroughly enjoyed!
I literally continued physical therapy after my surgery for a year. Primarily to help deal with piriformis muscular tightness (glutes) which continues today. The dry needling brought some relief although temporary. The best way I have found to manage the tightness is through daily stretching and by rolling the muscle on a foam roller that I purchased from my therapist.
The good news is that I no longer experience the sharp groin pain and I’m able to walk long distances and bike without pain. The unfortunate news is that even one year out certain activities cause my hip to tighten up. These include more strenuous activities like power walking on the treadmill and even yoga is still challenging. Also sitting for long periods leads to an increase in the tightness and discomfort.
Would I do it all over again? Absolutely. I wouldn’t want to but yes. My pain improved which has improved my quality of life. My advice is to do your homework before selecting a surgeon. The hip labral tear repair surgery is actually fairly uncommon and you want to select a surgeon with experience. There are a couple of surgeons in the country who only do this surgery and if you are able to travel it’s worth considering seeing one of these surgeons.
I would also advise that you check with your insurance company to ensure that the surgery is covered. My insurance plan didn’t cover it but I didn’t know this until after my surgery because my surgeon’s office didn’t pre-cert it. Still not sure if we’re on the hook for the full cost one year later. In spite of this, I still would have paid out of pocket for the surgery to have the pain relieved. Life is too short to suffer if surgery can provide long term relief.
Hope my post has been helpful. If you decide to have surgery just understand that the recovery will be lengthy and you’ll have to be very patient. But in my opinion it’s been worth it although one year out I am still recovering.
Best to you!
StephanieJuly 14, 2020
Hi Lori! It sounds like your experience closely mirrors mine — especially the love of the toilet riser, lol. I also just got into dry needling and it has really been transformational for the glute and piriformis tightness. Combined with foam rolling it feels so much better now. Good tip about the health insurance, too. I hope you’re off the hook, or just have to pay the co-pay/deductible!
MicheleJuly 14, 2020
I’m just finishing my appt with an ortho. Surgery was recommended. I’m a single mom to four with no shower in the downstairs level. I was happy to read that your pain level wasn’t horrific after, and I can only hope it’s the same for me. I’m a runner and have been unable to do that for four months now. My hope is that after this surgery and long healing process that I can get back to it slowly.
What is your status now? Do you still feel it was worth it? Are you back to normal activities? This was so helpful to read. Thank you so much!
StephanieJuly 14, 2020
Hi Michelle! Thank you for reading! I feel like I am about 80% back to normal. I still get tightness in the hip and glute, but with foam rolling and dry needling it’s gotten so much better. I have been able to return to my fun activities like boxing and some plyo. I haven’t really tried too much running since it’s not my thing, but I have been able to hike and do jogs/sprints in fitness classes without pain. I do think it was worth it, but the recovery has been longer than I thought it would be. Give yourself at least one year before trying to analyze the success of it since healing is slow. And get the toilet riser after surgery!
AlexisAugust 6, 2020
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I have tear but having another MRI next week to confirm. I’m definitely considering surgery, but worried about the recovery time. You seem to be very active and in good shape but may I ask how old you are?
AlexisAugust 7, 2020
Thanks for providing us with this information. I will possibly need surgery but a bit worried about the recovery time. I am not as young as I think but am in pretty decent shape. How old were you when you had the surgery?
StephanieAugust 11, 2020
Hi Alexis, I was 35 1/2 when I had the surgery.
DamianAugust 7, 2020
Great read Stephanie. Thanks for sharing! I reckon hearing real world stories about people’s experiences with hip surgery is awesome as the info out there can be a little cold and clinical.
I too presented with exactly the same types of hip pain and had the same surgery on my right hip with a FAI and ligamen teres repair. Recovery took a long long time. Almost a year before things started to feel normal again. About 1.5yrs after surgery I ran a marathon which was a really great feeling. Though not long after the surgery I too also had residual sharp pain that would criss cross between my right and left hip. After a few years I had an MRI on my left hip and it also showed high grade labral tears, a femoral head impingememt and tons of instability. Which meant back into surgery for the left which really sucked and was a real mood killer. I’m almost a month out of surgery and I can say after the second hip was done I’ve never been better. No glute pain, no lower back pain or sharp criss crossing pain. The recovery feels 10 times better and I’m already walking. I can’t stress how important it is to be fit going into your surgery. You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete but having some good glute strength was awesome. Pilates is a life saver 🙂 That’s my 2 cents!
StephanieAugust 11, 2020
That is great, Damian! I agree glute strength and Pilates are key. I didn’t realize how weak my glutes were and how much my other muscles were overcompensating. I hope your recovery is continuing to go well!
AmyAugust 16, 2020
Hi, I just found your blog after researching hib labral tear surgery. I wasn’t very anxious about surgery until my Mom kept asking me if surgery is really necessary. I have a labral tear in my left hip that I found out about 2 years ago. I scheduled the surgery but then had to cancel it due to other health issues, then the pandemic happened, and then my dad passed away so I just recently went back to the hip surgeon for a re-evaluation to make sure surgery is necessary and to discuss with them my concerns. The physician’s assistant who works with my hip surgeon saw me and checked my “range of motion” and also checked my tolerance level. Well, when he barely pressed on my hip joint, the pain was so excruciating, and when he had me lift my leg and try to hold it while he was pushing down, my leg was so weak, I could not hold it up for very long. I also had him check my right hip, because I have been having pain in my right hip and also have a possible labral tear in that one. When I asked him if I could try physical therapy first for my left leg, he said at this point, surgery would be better because of how my left hip is so weak. He also said he could tell that my right hip and leg were bearing extra weight due to my left hip not functioning well. So long story short, I prayed about it and after talking with the physicians assistant and asking them some more questions, I decided to go forward with the surgery am scheduled for September 4th which is exactly in two weeks. Now that I am realizing that isn’t that far away, I am getting anxious. I want to be prepared for this surgery as much as possible. This is the first major surgery I have ever had. My main concerns are the following, how extensive is the recovery time? I am planning on attending a friend’s wedding the second week in October and my sisters and her husband and kiddos are coming and staying w my mom, my other sister and I for Christmas. I am concerned because last time they stayed with us, they left toys strewn everywhere, food out and didn’t clean up after themselves. I do not want to be burdened about this. I have tried reaching out to my sister to tell her I need to talk to her about some concerns I have but she is being distance and defensive. Do you have any suggestions on how to manage my stress, and also explain to my family how limited my mobility will be? I am worried that I won’t get to physical therapy appointments on time and will not have enough help. My mom is planning on starting work again in the fall and my younger sister is not always reliable so essentially I am worried that I won’t have enough help and support at home. I am considering postponing the surgery for this reason, but I don’t want to keep putting it off, because it means I will be closer to the holidays when I finally recover from it. Thank you.
StephanieSeptember 13, 2020
Hi Amy–thank you for your note and I am so sorry it’s taken me this long to get back to you! Did you end up getting the surgery? Is there anything you can do to help with the home responsibilities like hiring a cleaner to come? Or are you able to order some pre-prepared meals so you don’t have to cook? I’m a huge Costco fan, and they have lots of prepared meals you might find helpful for those times you don’t want to cook. Maybe you could be as specific as possible with your family and tell them you’re on a weight restriction, or that you will be on crutches and are scared about tripping and falling if there’s clutter on the floor. I hate to say it, but if they can’t agree, they should find another place to stay this year. The last thing you want is to step on a Lego and twist your hip. Keep me posted!
ChrisAugust 28, 2020
Another Dr. Martin patient here! This blog has been really helpful. I’m 6 weeks post-op and just had my check-up with his assistant. I complained about still being in chronic pain all the time and he waived it off, telling me that I needed to recalibrate my expectations. I wasn’t so happy to hear that, but it is a relief to know that my slow recovery isn’t unusual. I’ve had a few windows of good days and hopefully can get back to them soon. The pain is driving me crazy, especially because I thought it would be better by now.
I’m curious, Stephanie: do you know the degree of your tear that he repaired? Dr. Martin’s assistant pointed out that my tear was from the 12 o’clock position to the 9 o’clock position (75% torn?), very disheveled with “grade 3 breakdown” (out of 5, I think). When I check online (reddit, etc.) most people say they have tears from the 11 o’clock to 2 o’clock position, or 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock, etc. — which seems way smaller than my tear. Anyway, I think one problem with having a standard recovery protocol is that it doesn’t reflect differences in degrees of tear or the repair. As Dr. Martin said to me pre-op, “Every hip is different, so every recovery is different.” I just wish mine was different in the opposite way. ; )
StephanieSeptember 13, 2020
He waived off your concerns? I am shocked. Shocked! (sarcasm here). I don’t know about you but they didn’t really set too many expectations before the surgery. So how are we supposed to know what’s going on or normal? I think they told me how bad my tear was, but I don’t remember its position or severity now. Have you checked out the Facebook group called “Hip Labral Tear Recovery /Private Group”? There are some great folks in there who are willing to share advice and their own stories of what helped them after surgery. If you’re on FB, check it out!
Lindsie FrederickSeptember 13, 2020
Hello. Thank you for sharing. I was told that I have a labrum tear, missing cartilage and a cyst in my hip joint. I’ve been doing PT for several weeks and haven’t noticed any change. Doctor says my next option is labrum tear surgery and Microfracture surgery, which will create tiny fractures in my bone. Then the blood caused from the tiny fractures will then form scar tissue and mimic the cartilage that is missing. Of course nothing is guaranteed so I’m scared and unsure if this is the best decision for me?! Have you heard of anyone who has a experienced labrum tear surgery along with Microfracture surgery? Thanks again
StephanieSeptember 13, 2020
Hi Lindsie–have you checked out the Facebook group called “Hip Labral Tear Recovery /Private Group”? It’s a great group of folks who are super willing to share their stories and advice about pros and cons of surgery. And I am sure some of them have had labrum and microfracture surgery and could offer some insight. Thank you for reading the blog!
RandySeptember 23, 2020
I have a left hip labrum tear and impingement I have been in horrible pain for about 4 to 5 years it hurts so bad in my buttock, back of thigh all down my entire leg. I have had at least 30 injections which only made it worse. It feels like someone has kicked me in groin and in the buttock. I can’t set very long or walk, I get no relief no matter what I do. I think it is causing nerve pain. I am going to have the surgery soon. It cannot be any worse than what I am going through now. I have asked them to just amputate my leg because I can’t stand the pain any longer. It has worn me down to the point I don’t want to do anything at all because of the pain. I cannot take anti inflammatory meds because I am allergic to them. Sometimes I wished I would just go sleep and not wake up, and no I am not crazy or suicidal I am just tired and hurting When you go to bed in pain wake up in pain life isn’t to good.
StephanieSeptember 24, 2020
Hi Randy, I am so sorry you’re in so much pain. I hear you when you say you don’t want to do anything because the pain is so bad. I am a little surprised they acknowledge you have a tear and have given you so many injections instead of the surgery. It sounds like you really need it soon. I hope you find a great dr and can find some long term relief from all this discomfort.
RandySeptember 24, 2020
Most of the injections was done first they didn’t do the mri or cat scan for over 2 years they kept bouncing me from hip dr to spine dr then by the time they had done the scan I had done compasated walking and messed my sesmoid bones in my big toe up severely and had to have them removed a year ago and I am just getting better from that, which is very painful. I have 2 tears in the labrum. I am scheduled to go oct 8th to a better hip specialist to have my surgery scheduled. I fell for everyone who has this injury and pain. They also kept saying I had bursitis which I didn’t. They ruptured a tendon giving me so many injections. They seemed to not care about anyone’s pain just wanted insurance money from the dr visits and shots. Thank you so much for answering me back, and I am sorry about the correct spellings of some of my words. And I hope you and everyone else finally get rid of all of your pain. I know how it can drain you and take the life and joy out of you.
TinaSeptember 27, 2020
Thanks for sharing your experience! To everyone actually!
I was diagnosed with my right hip labral tear in Oct 2016. It was categorized as a FAI Cam/Pincer defect. In short, my socket bone had a bit more of an overhang on the outside edge, and the ball at the top of my femur was oblong vs round. With that combo for a joint, it was like a square peg in a round hole, and the soft tissue got torn up.
I opted for the surgery as soon as they could get me in that year yet. So in Nov 2016, I went under. Compared to other surgeries I had to have, this was the easiest to come out of because they gave me a spinal block and Verset (sp?) sedative. Don’t remember a thing but it sure was great to wake up a lot easier and NO nausea.
Recovery that first week was easy at first until the gabapentin stopped cold turkey. That night was one of the longest of my life due to the excruciating pain!!
Prior to surgery, I had a fair amount of bad hip pain, but what really brought me in was the fiery pain that traveled down my right thigh, wrapped around my knee, and sometimes went into my foot. Not sciatic type pain, as I know that well from a herniated disc in 2012, which resulted in surgery too. This pain with the hip was my femoral nerve that became extremely angry from all the tissue inflammation from my hip.
So after talking to a good friend who is a worker’s comp nurse who knows all the good surgeons and the best recovery protocols, she was in utter disbelief that they didn’t wean me off the gabapentin. In short, she said my already pissed off femoral nerve was super furious after the surgery. Plus, my surgeon’s protocol is to put you on that before surgery to calm the nerves in the area before surgery so post op isn’t so bad. However, when your femoral nerve was that irritated going into surgery, post op is even more miserable when the nerve pain med is stopped suddenly.
They put me back on it, with a gradual tapering, and it worked like a charm.
I don’t recall how long it was until I was walking without crutches, or how long I did PT, but my recovery is mixed.
Is the pain less? Yes. The femoral nerve is quiet, but sometimes I still require nerve glides (not fun but so worth it to relieve and prevent pain from sticky tissues/fascia). I do get hip pain that does appear when I stand around too much. If I’m walking at a brisk pace without a lot of start stop, I seem to do fine, but when it’s more standing around, the pain jolts within my hip can almost drop me.
I also noticed that when I’m laying in bed if I move my hip joint a certain way, it makes this horrible popping sound since surgery. It doesn’t necessarily hurt, but it freaks me out so I try not to move that way.
I am prone to tightness in the right side glute, and piriformis, which requires frequent stretching.
Am I improved from the surgery? Yes. Am I 100% better? No. Am I glad I had the surgery? Yes.
My left side has the same defect, though not as severe. However, in recent months, hip pain has started on the left side, I have noticed slight swelling in my left ankle, and tonight, the pain running between my hip and ankle is so much that I’ll be calling my surgeon on Monday to get an MRI to hopefully get the left hip taken care of soon. I don’t want to do this, but I’m not going to let this side go as long as I did on my right side. The painful sleepless nights are not worth it. And this time, we WILL taper off the gabapentin. And I’ll ask about stem cells as part of the treatment too, as that is new since my first surgery.
StephanieOctober 4, 2020
Thanks for you reply, Tina! Our stories sound so similar. I hope everything goes will with the left side, if you choose to do the surgery on that side.
MissySeptember 30, 2020
Your hip journey sounds like mine. I had a tear on my right side with FAI in 2017. Long road, and I was so hoping to have days without pain but unfortunately I have had issues almost everyday since the surgery. Fast forward, the pain has gotten so bad that I can barely walk. I have an appointment with a HIP specialist, 2nd opinion, tomorrow. I need relief. I love being outside, hiking, tennis and I haven’t enjoyed any of those things in a long time.
StephanieOctober 4, 2020
Oh no, I am so sorry to hear all that Missy! I hope the appointment went well!
Miranda ConnerOctober 4, 2020
Hi. Thank you for your blog post documenting your journey. I had hip labrum repair last Thursday (10/1). Reading your post and many other posts, I wasn’t sure what to expect…pain or no pain after surgery, everyone’s stories were so different.
I luckily have had no severe pain. I have been taking the prescribed anti inflammatories and extra Tylenol as needed and that seems to be managing it. Most of the pain comes when I engage my hip flexor…so I make a conscious effort not to.
I torn my right labrum moving a wheelbarrow Memorial Day weekend . A freak accident for sure. I am pretty active, Crossfit-walking-yoga. They first tried a cortisone shot, but that didn’t keep the pain at bay very long, one workout with a run and the pain was back. It stayed local to my hip and would bother me when I went from sitting to standing, squatted, or involved my hip flexor (sit ups, Russian twists). Once they said surgery, I began a prehab program focused on strengthening my hip and core to help with recovery and decreased the weights and modified the movements of my CrossFit workouts even more.
The doctor said I could be 30% weight bearing immediately out of surgery and on crutches, with the addition of a brace to protect my hip. I could have started PT the next day, but I it’ll be a week before I am able to get in. I have a family who has been great but my fierce independence doesn’t allow me to rely too much. I’m also allowed to drive as long as I can tolerate it, which is a blessing since life doesn’t stop when you have surgery. I should be able to move to 50% weight bearing at 2 weeks.
I know the recovery will be slow but I’m happy I had it done.
In my research one of my biggest surprises was the multitude of recovery protocols for just this surgery. Some doctors have a fairly aggressive recovery plan, others not so much.
Thank you again for sharing you recovery story.
StephanieOctober 4, 2020
Thanks, Miranda! It sounds like you’re a great patient (already strong, got stronger before surgery, and working on a post-surgery protocol). Good luck with everything!
Gemma NotarangeloOctober 13, 2020
Thank you for sharing this blog, it’s really useful.
I was wondering if you’re still experiencing pain? I had my surgery in July 2019 and only started to feel good again around March/April 2020. Since then I’ve been able to go back to what I did before: lots of walking, HIIT, weight training etc. However, throughout the entire time I have a lot of tightness all in my upper leg. Also, recently I’ve been getting a lot of pain where my tear was, almost like how you’ve described (with the same ‘pinch’ sensation as pre survey).
I’m not sure what to do as I’m trying to stretch and foam roll daily, but I feel like any exercise I do is damaging it! Any advice you have would be great. Thank you 🙂
StephanieOctober 16, 2020
Hi Gemma! No, I am not experiencing pain any more, but it did take a while. Like a whole year! It’s possible you could have some scar tissue and lingering muscle tightness. Have you tried massage and salt baths? (my faves are epsom salt baths). Something else that REALLY helped was dry needling the orthopedic office did in my extra tight muscle spots. Maybe you could ask your dr if that’s an option for you?
AllisonOctober 16, 2020
I gotta say I am so happy I haven’t had experiences like some of you. I’m hearing a lot of it has to do with the quality of doctor and apparently I was lucky and blessed enough to have one of the top for this procedure. I haven’t had hardly any pain since surgery. Back pain is gone. Hip pain is gone. The only pain I have had 2 weeks post surgery was my groin got a cramp in PT after riding the bike at PT. THe worst part is I have a swollen foot on that side and potentially a superficial clot in the vein on top of my foot from the surgical boot they used for traction. (Well that and the severe constipation— use prunes!!). I started PT 3 days after surgery for range of motion and very mild manual stretching. I am almost 3 weeks our and now down to 1 crutch and getting off of them in 3 days. I am literally amazed at not having any pain. That was my biggest fear. My life is full of compression socks at the moment .. and elevations and ice on my foot. Now just trying to be cleared for driving. It’a my right hip .. I can lift my knee above waist height with out pain.
I had a pretty bad cam lesion on the femur and a clean labrum tear. I should have done this two years ago. I could hardly walk up until my surgery the back pain was so bad and I am a fitness trainer. Life has been tough. I’m hoping to be back to normal within 3 mos. at the pace I am going I think I will be close. I expect muscle weakness and tightness but here’s hoping!! Get the best doctor you can!! Research!! Go out of town if you must! That’s my best advice!! Dr. Paul Yau at (knoxville) tennessee orthopedic clinic (fort sanders regional) did mine.. he is the best.
StephanieOctober 17, 2020
Yay! That is great!
amandaOctober 25, 2020
Thank you for your blog. I’m about to have my second surgery. Left last time and right this time three years later. I’m not looking forward to all the awful parts again but I’m genrally better after my first surgery. I’mprobably 70% max of my pre-injury function post surgery and hoping for the same on this side. You are spot on with the lack of preparation details from surgery or post op care. I’m good woth that stuff from my profession but it would be a shock for most people. Thanks for sharing your advice.
StephanieNovember 16, 2020
Thank you for reading, Amanda! I hope your second surgery goes well!
HamalaDecember 5, 2020
Thank you for starting this Blog! I am going to have Surgery on December 11, 2020. Reading this is very helpful and the information for the Facebook page too! I will add that during my last 3 years dealing with my FAI and torn labrum was mentally exhausted, mainly because I saw 4 specialists, and they all had a different opinion -lol. I did join the VA chronic pain management program, and I have a pain psychologist; this is so helpful. At this point, I am mentally ready to accept surgery as a solution and hope my recovery is good – thank you again and everyone for sharing their experience!
StephanieDecember 5, 2020
I hope everything goes well, Hamala! Hopefully the surgery can help take away some of your pain.
Karla BuenoDecember 8, 2020
My daughter is 16 years old and will undergo this procedure on Friday. I am thankful that a friend emailed this article of what to expect. As I was reading the article it just reiterated what she has been going through. Remarkably similar to her situation in opposite sides. I have tried to research other methods to try to avoid this surgery, but nothing has worked. Thank you so much for sharing your experience; it is truly extremely helpful. I had a question; within the 6-week recovery period, you had no physical therapy or was it after the 6 week marker?
StephanieDecember 9, 2020
Good luck to her this week! I started PT after one week, and was really glad I did. My PT was a huge resource for every question I had and calmed me down when I thought I tweaked the hip. I hope everything goes well with her surgery and let me know if you have other questions I might be able to help with!
Rayna W.January 18, 2021
This is so helpful. I am 6 weeks post op. I just got off two crutches and went down to one. After just a few days, I am having a very sharp shooting pain in my hip/front pelvis area. It hurts enough that I used both crutches all day today, non weight bearing so I didn’t have the random searing pain. Did anything like this happen to you?
I greatly appreciate you sharing your story and feedback.
StephanieJanuary 18, 2021
Hi Rayna! Yes, that definitely happened to me, too! My PT thought it might have been scar tissue, but maybe you can ask your doc or PT what their thoughts are in your case? 6 weeks out is still really scary and fresh, so I hope your recovery goes smoothly!
SierraFebruary 7, 2021
Stephanie, how long did it take for the sciatica symptoms to go away? I am similar to you my right hip wasn’t what drew me to the Doctor in the first place it was the nerve pain from tight glute muscles. I am 5 months post op this week and still struggling with gluteal pain.
StephanieFebruary 10, 2021
The sciatica went away fairly quickly once the glute muscles started to relax a bit and the nerve could function more freely. I’m sorry you still have pain! Has your PT suggested anything that could help?
NinaFebruary 25, 2021
How long were you icing your hips and what kind of things did you do in PT?
I had both my hips operated on the same day for cam/lesion hip impingement and a labral repair in my left hip. I’m in my early 20’s so due to my age and weight my doctor said I would bounce by fairly easily and didn’t recommend me going to PT. I’m 6 weeks post Op and doing better than I thought I would be. I’m finally walking around better on my own, but my hips are pretty stiff. Because I don’t go to PT, I’m wondering what kind of things people were doing to help that. My doctor told me no cardio or running and jumping for about 4-5 months, so I’m not sure what I can do or should be doing. He gave me 2 exercises to do to help with strengthening my hips, and I try to go for 20 min walks a day to build up stamina, but other than that I’m pretty clueless? Would it be bad trying to do yoga in the next couple of weeks to start to regain my flexibility?
StephanieFebruary 28, 2021
Hi Nina! I am sorry your doctor didn’t assign you PT or give you a release plan. That sounds just like my doc! But I got an RX for physical therapy from my primary care doctor since I really didn’t know what to do or when to do it. I’m not a doctor or PT, but I don’t think yoga at this stage in your recovery would be advised since it can put the hip in strange positions (like pigeon, for example). I’d be more apt to starting with Pilates since many of the moves are similar to exercises my physical therapist assigned to me like bridges, planks, and leg lifts. But maybe try to get a few PT appointments referred so you can double check with someone!
KevinMarch 17, 2021
Hello, you mentioned your doctor said it could take 2 years for full recovery. I was a year in on my surgery in November and my hip was feeling good no pain and back doing martial arts. The sharp pains and tenderness has come back recently. Do you still have pain?
StephanieMarch 26, 2021
Hi Kevin, yes, sometimes I still do get sharp pains, but it is very irregular and most often tied to overuse. I try to roll and stretch every day to help prevent it!
Eman DomboskiApril 7, 2021
I have had two labrum repairs (left and right. The left, about 8 years ago and the right, 1 1/2 years ago. I would have to say that the surgeries were 80% successful. I no longer have the raw pain of bone on bone inside the hip joint. That is good. But, I also get the stabbing pains whenever I rotate on either leg. (Not good) and also, I constantly feel like I am in a vice. Both hips, constant pressure, constant pain. (It is maddening) have you experienced anything like this?
StephanieApril 7, 2021
Hi Eman! I haven’t experience anything exactly like what you’re describing, but I definitely still get these sharp shooting pains in my operated hip. They seem to come on randomly, and I can’t attribute them to overuse or exercise. Like sometimes I am just walking and BAM, sharp pain. That’s what gives me a lot of pause about getting the other hip done.
MayApril 26, 2021
Hi Stephanie, thank you for your post, my doctor says that I have a tear labrum in my right hip, I injured myself three months ago doing a side squat and for the first days it was very painful but then it got better, I had a cortisone shot and I’m doing PT, the pain is almost gone, except when I try to do squats and I feel the pain again, I don’t know if should go through surgery if the pain is not that bad as I’m reading in some post, I’m not sure is worth it for me if some pain might still come after surgery, I’m very active in sports so I’m struggling in making this decision.
StephanieMay 15, 2021
Hi May, I hear you! I still haven’t gotten my other hip done yet for similar reasons!
YelenaJuly 1, 2021
Has your glute pain and hip tightness bitten any better ?
StephanieJuly 1, 2021
Yes, it has! I still have to work on it every day with stretching or foam rolling, though.
Boon ThompsonJuly 6, 2021
Hi Stephanie, sorry to hear about the (2) Hips. Concerning your hips before the right surgery, when waking up in the morning was it hard for you to move your legs? My problem is the right hip. I’ll wake up on my right side, there will be pain but the real problem is I can barely move my leg. I call it having “Dead Wood” attached to the hip. In order to move the “Dead Wood” I have to roll-over to my left side. This whole process is very painful. FYI, I have clicking, sciatica and constant pain in my right rear buttocks24/7. My question is, are you going to have your left hip Arthroscopy’d? Thank you, Be Safe and Good Luck
StephanieJuly 7, 2021
Hi Boon! I’m so sorry to hear about your leg. I never had that experience, but I’m sure many others have! If the hip is not functioning it would make total sense to not be able to move the leg or sit up easily. Did you already get a diagnosis of a tear? I wonder if there’s some arthritis in there, too. At this point in time, I am not going to get the other side done since it’s been doing a lot better with regular Pilates, walking, and foam rolling.
Susan A StoyaJuly 13, 2021
I had my right labral tear surgery in June 2017 and my recovery wasn’t bad. I was never in bed and basically sat in a recliner or a chair most of the time.I actually slept in the recliner the first few days. I was older (56) so I used a walker instead of crutches, and later on I used a cane. I was able to get small tasks done around the house while sitting or using the walker I was back to work in 4 weeks, using the cane. I had a slight set-back getting into a low car, stretching my hip too much so I advise you to be careful getting in and out of cars. My PT started in a pool which was great and a year afterward I started doing aquarobics which immensely helped my hip! 4 years later, I am happy I did it. I’ve been able to walk without pain, snowshoe, hike,etc. My biggest problem is it flares up if I sleep in the wrong position so I have to be very cognizant of not sleeping in a position that splays my hip, even thought my body wants to sleep that way!
StephanieJuly 27, 2021
I am glad you’re doing so well! I agree about the car bit…I found higher cars much easier to get in and out of.
JoshuaJuly 15, 2021
Thank you so much for this journal!! I’ve already put some of the items you recommended in the cart. I am scheduled for surgery August 11th this year and to say I’m nervous is an understatement. It’s weird since my pain is come and go, I can go a week pain free and a week where I can barely walk, so my worry is the surgery may not solve this and something more is going on. I’m not sure how your med team treated the surgery, but they really just put it in my lap and I was like “wait I’m not the expert here LOL”. How are you feeling after a couple years now?
Also I was happy to see all the places you traveled in your year of recovery. After falling in love with Costa Rica, we’re scheduling a trip out to Belize about 5.5 months out from surgery as a thank you to my amazing GF for putting up with me the next couple months haha. We’re staying for 11 days (2 are travel days) so planning on 3 days inland – going to try to get to cahal, do the river/mayan cave adventure, go to the big nature reserve and try and get on some jeeps or side by sides for jungle tours. Then were going to the do the remaining time on the beach. Thats the hard part deciding between Palencia, Hopkins, or Ambergris Caye|Caye Caulker combo. Would love any suggestions!
StephanieJuly 27, 2021
Hi Joshua–I am feeling a lot better a couple of years later! I still have to stretch and foam roll daily (or several times per week), but the pain is mostly all gone now. I do Pilates at least 1-2 times per week and have found that it mimics most of the PT exercises they gave me (bridges, leg lifts, clam, etc). 5.5 months post op sounds totally reasonable!
JessicaSeptember 2, 2021
Hi Stephanie! Thanks for your story. I’m 3.5 weeks out after a labral repair. My biggest symptoms were like yours – those tight muscles compensating for an unstable hip! My piriformis was out of control. It would get aggravated too though and I wouldn’t be able to run/walk/sleep. I’m really hoping for a good result! How are you now that you’re so many years out? Do you still have occasional shooting pain?
StephanieSeptember 7, 2021
I do still sometimes have pain, but it’s gotten so much better! Maybe you can talk to your dr or PT about dry needling. That was the one thing I can really pinpoint that helped loosen the piriformis after surgery. It just wanted to grip forever, it seemed!
Sylvia NewmanSeptember 3, 2021
Nowhere did you mention your age. I’m 56, and my doctor says they usually only do this surgery on people 30 and younger, but it appears the you are older than 30 but probably younger than 56. Do you mind saying?
StephanieSeptember 7, 2021
Hi Sylvia! I was 35 when I got the surgery. My doctor said if I was over 40 he would have just done a replacement. Eek!
Alejandro RodriguezSeptember 14, 2021
Hello! Thank you thank you for sharing your experience, I had the exact same surgery almost 3 weeks ago on my left hip.
Everything had been going smoothly, im using crutches for 4 weeks and started physical therapy 3 days after surgery.
I’ve been doing stationary bike and CPM machine and what concerns me is that I am getting one of my common symptoms. A lot of tightness and pain in my left buttock and lower back area.
Did you experience this in your recovery? I’m very concerned.
StephanieSeptember 14, 2021
Hi Alejandro–yes, I did experience a lot of tightness in the same areas as pre-surgery. To be honest, I still struggle with lingering tightness and really need to stay on top of foam rolling and stretching to help it. But give it some time. It’s likely your muscles are so used to over-gripping, they need time to realize they don’t have to do that anymore. If time and PT don’t help, you could try massage or dry needling. But give it a few months of recovery and see where you are then. Good luck!
YelenaSeptember 22, 2021
I just had surgery two weeks ago and I am suffering terribly from sacroiliac joint pain on the side of my fixed tear . I had this pre op and was told it was most likely compensation … now it’s increased tenfold post op – my hip feels ok but my si joint is just on fire ! I’m 20 percent flat foot weight bearing and I am hoping that once my gait is fixed , the si will call
Down a bit . You mentioned you had lower back pain that’s now gone .: was it also your sacroiliac joint ? And if so how long post op did you notice a difference ?
Steven WilliamsOctober 16, 2021
I had right labral tear surgery and Hip impingement surgery 8 weeks ago. I am 34 years old. I have been on crutches for 6 weeks, and now I have been advised I can use one crutch if I need it.
Previous to surgery I was in agonising pain daily. Around the hip area, buttock, groin, and upper legs. Going to bed in pain, and waking up in pain and unable to go back to sleep due to the pain.
After surgery, I am having good days where I don’t need so much pain relief. But a few days a week I’m getting the constant dull ache around my hip area and buttock. It seems to get a bit better after taking my pain meds, unlike before surgery I would be up all night in tears unable to shift the pain.
I’m glad I went through with the surgery. Although it does take it out of you and still 8 weeks later I get exhausted easily. And the more exhausted I get the more pain I’m in. I find hot baths help me relax.
My only concern is that I hope I will over time get even more results from the surgery, where I don’t need to be constantly mindful that I can’t over do things, which sometime overdoing things can simply be doing the housework some days.
I was hoping to see what steps other people have taken if the surgery doesn’t quite give enough relief from pain? And how long do you wait before proceeding to the next stage? Does it involve requiring a full hip replacement. I just don’t know.
My surgeon said it would flare up and didn’t seem surprised that it was. And after 8 weeks I’m to continue with physio and to try and carry on as normal now, as best I can. I will be seeing him again in 4 months. Cross fingers I’ll have more good news for him.
For anyone that is in my position and the amount of pain I was in I would highly recommend the surgery. It’s no life being in that much pain, I couldn’t tolerate it any longer. Good luck to you all, my heart goes out to you
StephanieOctober 28, 2021
Thanks for sharing your story, Steven. The hip pain and discomfort can be so debilitating.
ShaunOctober 17, 2021
I waited to get my left side done until almost a year after. Thinking that strengthening my other side was the best option. When I went for the left side my surgery was 5 hours the labrum and fai were so bad. Get another MRI to see if its gotten worse. And if you tell them you are in pin they will so the mri without the injection, most times there isn’t a difference in sight they just use the dye to see it pass thru the tear. I have the same pin as before on right side after a year and my legs have turned out. Im thinking total replacement in the next 5-7 years 🙁
StephanieOctober 28, 2021
It’s crazy about how every hip is different and each one requires different things. Thanks for sharing your experience!
BobOctober 20, 2021
Find a good doctor with a good PT program before having surgery. The no-PT for weeks seems really odd. My PT started the day after surgery and I had five appointments in the first 9 days. The joint needs a lot of passive motion that only a PT can do. My doctor also requires a passive motion machine that basically moves my leg in and out without me using my muscles — once again, the hip joint gets the motion without any forces applied to it. (Four hours a day with the passive motion machine can get boring, but it tremendously helped the hip heal without scarring to lock up the hip long term.)
My hip surgery was two weeks ago and I am starting to wean off crutches already and riding a stationary bike with ease 40 minutes each day. I want to do more time on the bike, but doctor wants only 40 minutes.
As for age, I am 56 and the doctor never considered hip replacement because that only lasts 15-20 years.
Bottom line: find a very experienced hip doctor — one who specializes in hips and not much else. Also, the advice about Pilates long before surgery is also very good advice because a strong core helps with recovery.
StephanieOctober 28, 2021
Thanks for sharing your experience, Bob!
Elise HolcombNovember 19, 2021
I’m 25 years old and never thought I would be able to say I had hip surgery at 24. I was T-Boned in 2018 and could not figure out what was wrong with my leg. Pain started showing in the knee and grew to hurt in the hip. Got cortisone shots in both knee and hip but it never really helped. Finally Feb 2020 I had surgery to see what was wrong and found two labral tears and that I have “pre-dysplasia” aka loose hips. I found this article because I am almost 1 year post-op and due to the level of work I have right now my hip is hurting again. I appreciate you sharing your experience, it helps to know we are not alone. I have the random shooting pains as well but right now I just think my muscles aren’t as strong because I am still weary to use my leg too much. I hated the recovery process as I am strong willed and independent so laying around and needing help with basic things was awful, though if needed I would have the surgery again.
LayneJanuary 9, 2022
I am about to get my license and am probably gonna have to get the surgery. Your posts are soooo helpful but how much did it affect driving?
KarinaFebruary 8, 2022
Surgery tomorrow, slightly nervous, don’t know what to expect but your article has helped and the conversations in the comments are also very helpful.
Brian StarrMarch 8, 2022
Your documented journey is amazingly helpful. I am only one week post surgery and man is it a struggle. First of all I saw Dr. Brian White of Western Orthopedics in Colorado. He is one of the best in the country and several doctors who do this surgery have trained under him. He also has teamed up with a few other doctors and provided some long term research on this subject. Now my story in short. I am an obsessed road bicyclist, biking almost 10,000 miles a year. In November of 2021 I was hit by a car while cycling which caused a significant tear in my Labrum and a full tear of the Ligamentum Teres. After PT and MRI I had the option of a Labrum repair or a full Labrum Reconstruction. Through research and my activity level Dr. White said if I had a labrum repair (at age 41) I would have a 30-40% chance of it failing over time. A full labrum reconstruction (cadaver tissue) would put the chance of failing at only 5%. I obviously chose the reconstruction because of my goals, even though the recovery time increased. I did a lot of research on preparing for the surgery so I set up my room well and bought things to make life easier for the first several weeks. Dr. White is extremely strict with post surgery protocols and I couldn’t agree more with it. I’m on crutches (30% weight baring) for 4 weeks. I’m in a CPM (continuous passive movement machine) for 8 hours a day, 3 weeks. It started the night of surgery and prevents scar tissue from building up. I had to have my first PT appointment within 3-5 days. He wrote a PT prescription, which my therapist liked. He broke it down in to phases of recovery. Phase 1: range motion and preventing scar tissue, 3-4 weeks. Phase 2: strengthening, which is evaluated and determined based on the individual’s progress and goals, usually 4-6 months. Phase 3: sports/activity targeted training, also based off of the individual’s goal and recovery time. He told me I was looking at a full recovery period of anywhere between 12-18 months for what I do. Sleeping is a real struggle right now. I’m a side sleeper and am not allowed to do so for 6 weeks. I try to sleep in my CPM machine to no avail. My feet naturally bow out, which is horrible to do post surgery so if I don’t sleep in my CPM I have to wear foam boots that strap together with a pillow in the middle to me from rotating my hip joint (bowing out). When laying in bed I have to keep a hard pillow to the right of my foot, again to keep my foot from bowing out. I hope I can start finding sleep somehow. I got of the pain meds quick, which were making me pass out the first few days lol. Icing is also a huge deal so I bought the machine that flows ice water to a hip pad, strapped around my waist. I ice all day and night with breaks in between. It would go through too much ice so I fill quart size freezer bags with water and freeze a ton of them. After use I just refreeze. To prevent blood clotting I take one aspirin a day and wear compression calf sleeves on and off throughout the day. They are rechargeable and squeeze the calves, on and off continuously. I do get up a lot and am extremely independent. I do laps in my upstairs hallway, go up and down my steps a lot, cook, clean without bending, etc… I carry a shoulder bags every time I go downstairs for ice, food, or whatever else. I keep a Yetti cooler in my room for ice, plenty of water and healthy snacks, and some books and art materials to pass the time. I also put a tv in my room for this adventure. I am out of work (Law Enforcement) for 3 weeks. Then I’m on a light duty status for a long time due to the nature of my job. In the near future I’m also going to put together a blog as well soon. I played hockey my whole life until 5 years ago and I’ve been cycling for 6 years. Your journey has been so helpful and I’m hoping mine will be as well.if anyone has questions I’d be happy to chat. [email protected] Thank you.
Tina AllenMay 23, 2022
I know your post is from a few years ago, but I just stumbled across it. I just had my right hip done two weeks ago Thursday. I’m sure someone else may have mentioned in all the comments…that I did not read, lol.. I am working from home and going back and forth reading about your journey and focusing on work. One item that I am so glad my mom brought over right after my surgery was a shower chair… I read about your struggle getting in and standing on your good leg! A shower chair makes taking those showers so much easier. I also have to get my left done. I only have 3 incisions, had 3 screws put in and bone shaved. I hope it doesn’t take me so long to feel back to normal, although I wasn’t very active with exercising before. My issues are more structural and not an athletic one. But, maybe after I am fixed, lol, I will be able to add more exercise in.
StephanieMay 25, 2022
Thanks for the comment, Tina! I hope your recovery goes smoothly!