I was born with congenital hip dysplasia and walked around with a completely dislocated hip until 2 years old when I had major pelvic surgery (osteotomy) to reshape the right hip joint. I was very active throughout childhood and as an adult- cheerleading, running, skiing, what I now know was excessive yoga, mountain biking/ spin classes. I was pain free until age 25 when I was (mis)diagnosed with a “right gluteal strain” after skiing in Colorado in March 2016.
After zero results with physical therapy and worsening pain, I got an MRI arthrogram in July and was diagnosed with a combination of pincer and cam impingement and labral tears in both hips. Around that time I started experiencing lower back pain and pain on the left hip as well as the right. I was in pain all day at work, home, weekends and it seemed totally random- unrelated to sitting, standing, activity, taking medication, lidocaine patches, injections- nothing worked! My initial orthopedist recommended hip arthroscopy and I got a second opinion with a sports medicine doctor who recommended the same thing and I scheduled my surgery for November.
Working in healthcare, I’ve seen the results of jumping into surgery and the research I found was not compelling that hip arthroscopy would even work. I was so stressed about taking off so much time from work for surgery and being in pain I traveled to get a 3rd opinion. He was more conservative and suggested holding off until I eventually needed a hip replacement and continuing to strengthen the muscles around the hip to stabilize the joint via strength training (this surgeon did his fellowship with Dr. Phillipon in Vale- basically the inventor of hip arthroscopy).
After losing faith in physical therapy, I had begun doing a program I had found online called the FAI Fix since mid May (2 months after injury). I was desperate and followed the program diligently. The tissue work portion helped a ton with the tightness, and I always felt better after exercises but I was still in pain/ a slave to my foam roller. I saw that Matt, one of the authors of the FAI Fix, offered Skype sessions. I started seeing him truly as a last ditch effort before committing to surgery mid August and he instantly added A LOT of weight to my program. It turns out I had been doing a lot of the right things but I had gotten stronger, so what I was doing was not enough to stabilize the joint without weight.
Literally the first week of doing the new exercises my back and left hip stopped popping. I have now been 90% out of hip pain for 4 weeks and 100% out of back pain for 6 weeks after constant suffering for 5 months! I have the occasional twinge but now I know some exercises to help stabilize my hip during the day. I have a very active job as a pediatric speech pathologist so I am always running around, sitting on the floor, etc. all without pain. I even went horseback riding and mountain biking!
This has not been a linear recovery at all and I have suffered a couple setbacks but Matt has always helped me trouble shoot and figure it out. He includes videos with every exercise so I can review and make sure I’m doing every thing correctly. I will post another update on my recovery status as more time passes!
—Updated March 2017—
It has now been about 11 months post injury and I am doing really well. I still have to maintain strength with the exercises Matt gave me (which I know I HAVE to do because I cut my thumb really bad in December and slacked off for a few weeks resulting in regression, but I was able to bounce back quickly when I got back to working out). I knew I was recovered when I was able to go on a hiking trip to Colorado in October and hike up a mountain for 8 miles with no pain. Now I am back to all my old favorite activities- yoga, spin, etc and it feels great!!
I still have to listen to my body and be careful not to over do it as well as balancing fun workouts with hip exercises. It still takes a lot of hard work, self-monitoring, and consistency to maintain being totally out of pain but it is SO worth not having a risky surgery! THANK YOU MATT! : )