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6 Month Update After Hip Labral Tear Surgery

  • October 14, 2018
  • By Stephanie, The Roving Fox
  • 39 Comments
6 Month Update After Hip Labral Tear Surgery

Hip Labrum Tear Surgery 6 Month Update:

If you’ve been following my hip labrum tear surgery progress, you’ll remember that I had my right hip labrum repaired with arthroscopic hip surgery in April 2018. I had the surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital outpatient center in Waltham, MA.

Here are a few previous posts about my hip labrum surgery and recovery:

My diagnosis

How I prepared for surgery and a list of items that helped during recovery

Day 1 after surgery and semi-gross before and after pics of the labrum


Helpful Items for Hip Surgery

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Buy SKECHERS Skechers GOwalk Joy - Admirable Skechers Performance Shoes

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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended.


6 Month Surgery Update

This week will mark 6 months since the surgery, and I have mixed feelings about it, to be honest.

One of my main symptoms was the sheer amount of tightness in my hip flexor, glute, and piriformis muscles. Because the joint was unstable, the muscles were super tight. In order to release them I’d have to “foam roll” with a hard PVC pipe. It was literally the only thing that could break up the tightness.

Other than the muscle tightness, I had back pain. But I was not experiencing too much sharp joint pain.

During the surgery, the surgeon found out that my labrum was not only torn, but the torn flap had folded up in on itself (barf), and he also shaved down the bone to make sure it was smooth.

The recovery itself was mostly fine. I was on crutches for 6 weeks, and had a few scares when I would trip, but I did not experience much pain during the recovery.

I’ve also been in physical therapy since before the surgery, so it’s probably been almost a year that I’ve been in PT! I love the MGH Sports Therapy team, and my PT has been fantastic in listening to me and making sure that I am progressing at an appropriate rate.

That all being said, as I am incorporating more strength and running into my recovery program, I actually am noticing that the muscles in the hip are getting tight in the exact same way as before the hip labrum surgery. I actually had to roll on the PVC pipe the other day. That is concerning to me. I am just hoping that the muscles are getting used to their new activity and will start to adapt.

I’ve also noticed sharp pains happening in the hip. Sometimes it makes sense, like if I am stretching maybe too far, or after a running interval. But sometimes it hurts when I am just standing around. It’s weird. I especially notice it if I’ve been sitting for long periods of time. The doctor thinks it’s stemming from tight muscles. So I am curious to see how it progresses.

But in good news, my back pain is so much better. I am able to stand for longer without discomfort, which is awesome! I can also walk for a long time. Like recently in Paris, I was walking up to 18,000 steps PER DAY. And it was 90% comfortable!

But now the question is: do I get the hip labrum surgery on the left side? Yes, my left hip labrum is also torn!

The main symptom I was having on the left side was sciatica. The piriformis would tighten from activity and clamp down on the nerve, causing numbness and tingling on the left side. Since I’ve been doing less activity in general, the muscles haven’t really been tight enough to cause sciatica in the last several months. I can feel some clicking in the hip, but no pain or discomfort.

I am conflicted about whether to go through with the hip labrum tear surgery on the left. Especially since I am experiencing tightness and sharp pains on the right side! If I am not having pain on the left now, it’s hard to want to go through months of recovery. And then what if it ends up hurting more than now? Ugh.

Both the surgeon and the other surgeon I went to said it’s up to me if I want the surgery. They don’t think it will contribute to early arthritis or more wear, as long as I don’t go crazy with exercise (and to be honest, those crazy days are behind me at this point!).

I’d love to hear pros and cons from anyone who has had both sides done, or not. Thanks for following my hip labrum surgery journey!


More about my hip labrum journey:

How to prepare for hip surgery

Read about my 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

Hip labral tear surgery one year later: is it worth it?

Are Oofos shoes the perfect recovery shoes? An Oofos review

By Stephanie, The Roving Fox, October 14, 2018
  • 39
39 Comments
  • Amy Beth Strong
    April 4, 2019

    I had hip labral repair in March of ’18. Left side. If my right side were to tear, I don’t believe I would go thru the surgery and rehab again. It’s been a year and 3 weeks and anything over 3 miles gives me pain in the left side. I knew I would never run another marathon but was hoping for another slow half, but I just don’t see it. I’m thankful for my 3 miles and will make myself content with that. I’m 47, which I think is still young. But I gained 20 lbs in the last year or so and it’s harder and harder to get back off. These are my thoughts. Best of luck!!

    • Stephanie
      April 11, 2019

      Thank you, Amy Beth! I just posted a one year update, and I think I feel the same way about “fixing” my left side, which is also torn. It has been a long journey with pros and cons, but there are a few things that give me pause about the whole thing. Mainly, the very long recovery, continuing tightness on the right side, and sharp pains I’ve been getting in my right hip.

  • Mike K.
    June 6, 2019

    I had surgery on my right hip on December 10th 2018. It’s now six months later and I’m very frustrated. I play basketball, football, and softball, but after six months I still can’t run. I can do lunges and lift weights and my lateral movement is good but when I put extra weight on my hip it literally kills me. Do you know of anyone else that had this surgery and still can’t run after six months.

    • Stephanie
      June 6, 2019

      Hi Mike – I wrote you an email, but you should check out the FB group called “Hip Labral Tear Recovery /Private Group.” It’s a great resource for other hip-sters to ask each other questions and get advice!

  • Emily
    June 22, 2019

    Hi Stephanie,
    I’m 4 years post op on my left side and in hindsight I probably wouldn’t have gotten the surgery if I knew how I would be feeling even after so long. I still get the same symptoms I used to get, albeit less frequently, and actually ended up with limited mobility in my inner thigh/groin area. I’m so disappointed but I guess we never know how something will turn out! That being said, I wouldn’t do surgery on the other side if I was you, especially if you feel like you can function well and it’s not impacting your day to day activity. Just my thoughts!

    • Stephanie
      June 24, 2019

      Hi Emily – I feel the same way now! The right (surgical) hip still gets tight with sharp pains. The left isn’t acting up, so I don’t feel the need to operate on it right now. If the situation changes, I’d reconsider, but right now everything seems to be “good enough” for now. Thank you for your comment!

  • Jen Fitzpatrick
    August 15, 2019

    I wanted to give you the perspective of someone that has now had both sides done! I had my left hip repaired back in Sept of 2015. That tear, and the one in my right, occurred when I did a side split down the side of a mountain ( I do not recommend it! 🙂 ) Anyway, the recovery of the left one was quite bad, but within seven months, I was hiking with my son’s Boy Scout Troop and camping. The right side was not bothering me too much, so my doctor and I decided to leave it be until I knew it was time to do something about it. The goal was to never need it, but everything went downhill back at the end of January when I was out snowshoeing. Ended up having the surgery the end of February and while I was recovering slowly at first, lately I am slowly going backwards. MRI isn’t helping, so they are taking me in for exploratory surgery the beginning of September. They have a few ideas of what could be happening, but won’t know until they get in there. Guess what I am trying to say is that every repair is different and while you think you know what to expect, things could go differently than what you are thinking. I thought the right side would be a piece of cake and it is anything but….

    • Stephanie
      August 19, 2019

      That is so true, Jen! Each side can be totally different in terms of symptoms and recovery. I am hoping my left side will hold out, but I know that can change in an instant. Good luck with your surgery this fall. I hope whatever they find is not too serious or problematic!

  • Erin
    October 9, 2019

    I am 6.5 years post surgery for my left hip. It went very well except for the arthritis that was not visible on MRI but discovered during the repair. It was strongly suggested that I do not run anymore, my whole goal by fixing it. I was very disappointed but pretty much followed the rules, I find even a short run causes groin pain, which I didn’t have before. Since I didn’t get what I wanted, I didn’t think it was very worth it and said I wouldn’t do it again. Fast forward to this summer and I got that old familiar feeling in my right hip (MRI confirmed), and then I realized how good my left hip actually is. I’d forgotten how annoying it is to be in pain. I’m currently deciding but am leaning towards fixing the right one too. I’m trying to focus on the mostly pain free eventually part, not the months of PT! And I totally agree with Jen above, no 2 surgeries are the same, but I am hoping for another positive experience.

  • Madelaine
    December 9, 2019

    HI Stephanie,
    I am a dancer and ballet teacher. I had a both hips done in August this year (2019). I’m heading on 4 months down the line , still having physio once and sometimes twice a week . My biggest concern is the fact that my natural turnout is just about non existing. I feel very negative . I need my turn out mowre than anything. Don’t know how long this will take , but it better hurry up already. I wish I could find other dancers who have had the same op with the same experience. If anyone has, please let me know. I need some words of advice,wisdom and positive vibes . Please !,

    • Stephanie
      December 9, 2019

      Hi Madelaine, wow you had both done at once? That is unusual! How was your recovery while on crutches? I put out some feelers to see if I know any dancers who have had the surgery and will let you know if anyone replies!

  • Jennifer Stropoli
    December 28, 2019

    Hi – I’m 9 weeks post-op on my left side. The labral tear did not show up on MRI for this side. Dr suspected it b/c the right side was operated 12 weeks prior for labral tear which was obvious on the MRI (tear, worn down, uneven and arthritic). If I initially thought the right side was hard to heal from, the left side is so much harder to recover from. The Dr said it’s easier to heal when something is removed (right side had 20% of labrum removed, smoothed out the ball to fit in the socket and moderate arthritis notated. Not 100% sure it will need hip replacement in the future) then repairing (left side had severe tear once discovered in surgery which the Dr stitched up). If my PT didn’t take me under his wing I’d still be on crutches and not able to walk 8 blocks in total. I’m still weak on the left side 9 weeks post-op. Dr said 6 months to recover to 80%. He was impressed at my 2 month post-op visit that I was doing better than he expected and anticipated but notated I was still not strong. With all this said, I left PT yesterday and walked a few blocks before I got a quick pain in the hip that shot to the groin on the left side. I’m freaking out! My PT said it sounds like I most likely aggravated a healing spot in the hip joint and it gave me a jolt of pain. It happens during recovery as you start to move and do more things, you put stress in the right spot of the healing tissue and get some pain. It was a buzz kill!! I’m already mentally up and down with this recovery. It’s still messing with my head and I’m overtaken with fear. What I’m asking is – is this part of recovery? I can still stand but feel more wobbly on that side one day later. I can contact the surgeon on Monday if I’m still insecure and/or have funny feeling on that side still. It’s a sensation running from the side of the hip joint straight down the side of the leg. I’m mentally freaking out and doing my own research to calm myself when I came across your blog.

    • Stephanie
      January 15, 2020

      Hi Jennifer, I am so sorry to hear about all this! Just from my own experience, I do think it’s normal to get sharp pains here and there. I got them right after surgery and at about the 4 month mark and I was freaked out, too. My PT thought it was scar tissue or just inflamed tissue that I tweaked. I don’t think I re-tore anything, at least, although at the time I was like “WHAT HAVE I DONE???” How are you feeling now?

  • Scott
    January 26, 2020

    Wow great information. I’m 2 weeks post surgery right hip feeling pretty good just scared to put to much weight I have 1 more week before I get rid of the crutches According to my Doc only needed 3 weeks of crutches. I’m about 220 6,2. My only issue is the numbness in the groin and privates. Just wondering if this is normal. Also the therapist said I was 2 weeks ahead of scheduling so to just keep rolling with protocol from the doc stretching and quad tension exercises. My repair was worst then the MRI revealed, according to the surgeon he’s about 80% happy with the results that kinda puts a light off in my head that I will still have the same pain just to early to tell.

    • Stephanie
      February 1, 2020

      I hope you’re feeling better, Scott! Have you joined the Facebook page called “Hip Labral Tear Recovery /Private Group”? There are 5,000 other hip folks in there who often post their own stories and advice. From reading a lot of their stories, it does seem like numbness can be a symptom of surgery, but maybe they’d have more anecdotes to tell you about? It’s probably too early to start feeling pain relief, but I hope you heal quickly!

  • Jenni
    April 29, 2020

    I had hip labrum surgery in October 2019 and over the course of the last month, my pain has increased. Again, it’s waking me up at night like it has before. I have a follow up appointment with my doctor next Tuesday. I’m just hoping that we can figure this out. And I’m really hopeful its not torn again, but I feel as though it is.

    On top of that, I’m also experiencing extreme tailbone pain. It was never this bad until after the surgery. Just hopeful for answers.

    I love to walk outdoors and the pain and discomfort has inhibited my ability to walk comfortably.

    • Stephanie
      May 1, 2020

      Hi Jenni–I am so sorry to hear all this! What did the dr end up saying? Did you have to get another MRI or injection?

  • Sarah
    May 31, 2020

    For tight hips you might want to look into somatic exercises. I has SI joint hyermobility issues, an imbalance between rt and lt. The somatic joint routine helped me to stabilize there. Somatics are helpful for either too tight or too loose.
    I also think I have a labral tear. I haven’t done any surgery but I am looking into that because it’s very painful and I have no stability or flexibility at this point in the hip.

  • Nolan
    June 14, 2020

    Hi Stephanie. I am currently 3 months out from surgery. I breezed through the first month and a half without much pain other than the restrictive pains. Now, the past month has been pretty depressing. Seems like when I got back to my normal walking routine, picking up after the kids, driving or riding in a car, my glutes and hip flexor muscles decided to tighten. Same exact symptoms as before surgery. They told me to check in with a doctor about my si joint after showing frustrating with the progress last visit. I get the feeling the ortho is about to blame poor results from his surgery onto other parts of the body that may or may not have anything to do with this mess. To be honest, I’m at a lost, I don’t know what to do any longer. I can’t seem to stretch the glutes out enough to make me comfortable. Feels like the pirformis is pressing on a nerve at times. I’ve thought about ending PT because all they’ve done for a month is poke with me dry needles to loosen the tight hip muscles. I’m no closer to running again, much less walking pain free, even sleeping on that hip than I was before the surgery. Any suggestions on working out the tight glutes? It was an issue before and certainly a bad issue now. Thanks for your sharing your journey. Sounds like we’ve had similar results and I hope the future is brighter than today.

    • Stephanie
      June 15, 2020

      Hi Nolan–oh no, it sounds like you are in a lot of discomfort! Three months is still pretty soon out from the surgery. Things could still be inflamed and healing (although I am not a doctor and can’t give medical advice). Have you talked to them about anti inflammatory OTC meds and icing? It might just take a while for things to start to calm down. One thing I noticed was that when my glutes were weak they were also tight. Maybe you could talk to your PT about glute specific exercises like bridges, one leg bridges, and side leg raises. It took my glutes a long time to calm down. Foam rolling and Epson salt baths helped, too. I hope you can find some pain relief soon!

  • Casey
    June 15, 2020

    Hi Stephanie,

    I’m in the exact same boat! I mean exact same, had surgery at MGH (probably with the same surgeon), and I just hit the four month mark. I was doing sooo well until now, when the random pains and tightness have also returned. I think this is because I started upping the cycling to 1.5 hours. I used to be a cyclist, so this seemed like a totally reasonable amount to me, but I guess not. Currently sitting on my couch again, waiting for the “flare-up” to go away. Thanks for your blog post, gave me hope that I’m not alone in facing these setbacks!

    • Stephanie
      June 15, 2020

      Hi Casey, I am glad you have been doing well for the most part! 1.5 hours of cycling seems like a lot to me, but I guess it depends on your speed and resistance! It is probably just a flare, like you said, and I hope it calms down soon. You must have gotten your surgery in right before quarantine!

  • Steven Lott
    June 29, 2020

    I had my left hip done on July 23rd of 2019, I could bend over but as soon as I would start to come back up it was excruciating! I had it fixed and everything went really well! I have no problems out of the left side. Two months after I went back to work the right hip started doing the same exact thing. Had surgery on it January of this year and everything went really well until I returned to work. It has started popping and everything is super super tight. I started pt again and my therapist is really disappointed in how it has progressed this time around.

    • Stephanie
      July 14, 2020

      Hi Steven–oh man, that stinks! I am sorry it’s still tight and popping. I hope working with your PT helps!

  • Steven Lott
    June 29, 2020

    Also the more I do the tighter it gets, the pain is slowly getting worse along with the popping.

  • Kristin Berver
    June 30, 2020

    I had piriformis surgery Oct 2019. I also have a tear in my right labrum with hip impingement. He did that surgery because that’s where I was having the pain. After reading all of this. I’m thinking he should have done the labrum surgery because now my left hip hurts from overcompensating. So now they are doing another mri of my right to see if it’s gotten worse. I’m so frustrated. He’s supposed to be the best in Atlanta!! 🙄

    • Stephanie
      July 14, 2020

      Hi Kristin! I am so sorry you’re in pain. Hopefully you have a good physical therapist to lean on to build up the muscle strength in both hips and glutes! I started PT one week after my surgery and went once a week for about 2 months. I had to restart later once I got a lot more tightness, but that initial recovery phase was about 2 months of PT.

  • Nick
    July 13, 2020

    Hi Stephanie,
    I’m really glad I found your blog! I’m about 8 months out from having my left side done, I’ve also had two cortisone shots, and I’m feeling pretty helpless. I have been able to strengthen the muscles around my hip and I can get out on the mountain bike for a couple of hours every couple of days, but my pain is still pretty much there 24/7. I feel like I’ve just had to learn how to live with it as opposed to recovering to the capacity I was at before my injury, which is what I was expecting out of the surgery. I haven’t had it confirmed yet, but my right hip cracks a lot too (as I’m sure everybody here is familiar with) so I suspect my right has a very minor tear. At this stage, if I have it confirmed I’m really not sure whether I’ll opt for surgery, some nights it does flare up when I’m trying to sleep, but I think I need to give my left hip another year or so before I can feel confident in making my decision on my right hip.

    On a positive note, like Casey I am a bit of a cyclist and I do find that riding my bike is about the only thing I can do comfortably, I find that I can have my seat at a nice height, work within a comfortable range of motion and at least get out into nature for a while.

    To say the least, I was expecting much more from being 8 moths post op…

    Thankyou for sharing this blog, I’m going to bookmark and check in! It’s good to know that I am not alone in this recovery 🙂

    • Stephanie
      July 14, 2020

      Hi Nick — I hear you about feeling like you’d be more “recovered” several months after surgery. I feel like there’s a lot of glossing over the reality of recovery in some cases. Like maybe a surgeon will say you’ll be good to go in 3-4 months, but not tell you there might be residual pain, tightness, scar tissue, or anything else we’ve all seemed to experience after the fact. I think it just keeps getting better with time (hopefully), so I hope you’ll be able to do more and more with each passing month.

  • Kristin Berver
    July 30, 2020

    Hi there!! I just saw your reply! Thank you so much!! I am getting the labrum surgery on my right hip now due to the constant pain in my left from overcompensating. I am so sorry I left you another message as I did not see your reply. I am so happy to see that you are doing well. Hip pain really does suck especially when it makes it hard to even walk. I ran for 15 years I don’t care about running anymore I just want to be able to exercise as that is what I love to do most. It’s very frustrating as most of you know. I will let you know as soon as I find out. Unfortunately now I need to pay out-of-pocket for my surgery because I do not have insurance now which makes it very frustrating to me. I wish he would’ve just done the darn surgery.

  • Kristin
    September 8, 2020

    Hi Stephanie!! I am 3 weeks post surgery. They actually found I had a partial tear and a moderate tear in the labrum. I also had mild hip impingement. 2 weeks non bearing and yesterday 9-7-20 I started on one crutch. Feel a bit tight but I am having this clicking in the top of my right hamstring which I am thinking is scar tissue from my last surgery! Ugh. I’m so ready to be back to working out. I started therapy day 3 after surgery!! Hope you are well!!

    • Stephanie
      September 13, 2020

      Ah, good luck, Kristin! Every hip is so different, and likely to be affected by previous injuries and surgeries. You will get back to working out and living normal life again! Even though some days feel like major setbacks, you will hopefully be so much better because of the surgery.

  • Kristin Berver
    September 8, 2020

    Hi Stephanie!! I am 3 weeks post surgery. They actually found I had a partial tear and a moderate tear in the labrum. I also had mild hip impingement. 2 weeks non bearing and yesterday 9-7-20 I started on one crutch. Feel a bit tight but I am having this clicking in the top of my right hamstring which I am thinking is scar tissue from my last surgery! Ugh. I’m so ready to be back to working out. I started therapy day 3 after surgery!! Hope you are well!!

  • Hayley
    September 13, 2020

    I am so grateful for this blog and all the posts here. I am 30 and have had 3 surgeries this year including ACL repair on my left knee same side as my hip labrum tear… I’m happy about 2 of the 3 (not super happy with my bunion surgery) and so I’m very skeptical about this one. I think after reading this blog I’m going to opt out of surgery for now because I missed running and now I’m back up to 10 mile runs (I did Ironman’s before, which may have contributed to my Large complex tear but I think I mainly did it snowboarding)… anyhow definitely pain mostly in the gluteus medius area, but it’s not keeping me from running and daily activities and this point and no pain if I sleep on my back, so I’m thinking waiting is best. Please let me know if anyone would recommend differently. Thanks!!!

    • Stephanie
      September 13, 2020

      Hi Hayley! You can also post a note to 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. Thank you for reading the blog!

  • Jody
    October 8, 2020

    Hi,
    I stumbled upon here as I was doing some research for items that I might need after surgery for a hip labrum tear, (thanks for the advice. ) I had an MRI last week and I was in so much pain and discomfort that I couldn’t stand it. Got a call the next day saying I had a complex hip labrum tear! My primary said that I needed to see a specialist 3 hours away, I told her to find me one closer please, well I have an appointment in 2 weeks with one 45 min from me! Pretty sure surgery is in my future. I’m dumbfounded as to how this happened as I’m not very active but walking mostly, but hey we all have our qwirks! So, after reading this I’m noticing that time off after the surgery is going to be about 2 weeks and crutches at least 4 weeks, which is a concern for me, as I had to be on them in the past and it didn’t go well as I’m literally not coordinated enough to use them as I fell multiple times using them! Could a walker be better suited in my case? Thoughts? Advice? Suggestions?

    • Stephanie
      October 10, 2020

      Hi Jody, I am glad your appointments are all moving forward and that you were able to find a Dr closer to you! When they get in there, they might be able to tell if you have any imperfections on the bones that maybe have rubbed down the labrum until it tore (that’s what I had). If that’s the care, they will probably shave it down a bit when they repair the labrum. But check out the group on Facebook called “Hip Labral Tear Recovery /Private Group”. There are so many hip-sters on there with a variety of hip problems and solutions. I have read that some people do use a walker instead of crutches. I guess it’ll also depend if there are stairs in your house. Good luck!

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Stephanie Janes The Roving Fox blog
Hi, I’m Stephanie

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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