*Before we begin, I’m giving a warning of a few medical photos included in this post. If you are queasy of things like stitches, you may not want to continue!
In November, I had hip surgery; a hip arthroscopy to be exact. My goal with this post is to share my story in case anyone reading will be undergoing this surgery in their future! When Indie was diagnosed with hip dysplasia after she was born, I shared this post all about our experience and it was incredibly helpful for so many people. As a result, I want to share about my recent surgery in hopes of continuing to help others. And no, coincidentally, mine and Indie’s hip issues are not at all related!
Towards the end of my first trimester being pregnant with Indie, I started to have some pain in the front of my left hip whenever I would run. It eventually became so significant that I decided to seek medical attention. I began with physical therapy for about six months, which did help decrease the pain but unfortunately did not eliminate it. As we neared my due date, we paused PT to see how things might change after giving birth and resting/recovering for the first few months after.
Against my hopes, my pain actually got worse after giving birth. We tried PT for a few more weeks and eventually my provider decided it was time for x-rays and an MRI to get more information. The MRI confirmed I had a torn labrum in my left hip and after many appointments with hip specialists and my eventual surgeon, it was decided that the best course of action for me was to surgically repair the labrum. Since I was about to start wedding season, I would need to wait (which was okayed by my surgeon), and I got a steroid injection in my hip to help with the pain and get me through our insanely busy 2021 season!
A few weeks after my left hip MRI, my right hip started hurting … in exactly the same spot. An eventual MRI of the right confirmed that side was also torn! Yikes. Given the nature of the tear on the right side, my surgeon strongly advised that I actually do the right hip first or else it would worsen over time and, if left untreated, could result in an eventual hip replacement. Since this was not the case for my left hip, we kept my surgery date for November but switched it to my right side instead.
I have learned a lot about labrums in the past year (you have them in your shoulder and in your hip!) but I want to make it loud and clear that I am NOT a medical professional and I am writing this post based on the memory of my experience and of what has been shared with me in my many, many appointments.
Your labrum can tear for a multitude of reasons and it’s actually pretty common! Apparently a LOT of people have minor tears in their labrums but never experience any pain and hence never know. The cause of both of my tears was due to a bony issue, though the issue was different on each side. Essentially, I had a bone abnormality on either my femoral head or pelvis that caused the bones, over time, to cut into my labrum (the piece of cartilage that protects your bones in the hip socket from touching each other) and tore it. So now, I have bone on bone whenever I engage in any sort of deep flexion(squatting) position.
To correct the issue, my surgeon had to shave down / reshape the bones so that they are “properly formed” and no longer cutting into the labrum when I move! Then she sews up the labral tear and eventually, I am good as new!
The Surgery & Recovery
The procedure is actually an outpatient surgery meaning I was able to go home by the end of the day. I arrived to the hospital at 5:00 AM and left around 12:00 or 1:00. You leave with three small incisions in the front of your hip (which are shown in a photo below). My surgeon, Dr. Andrea Spiker, was INCREDIBLE. She is actually renowned for this surgery and I cannot recommend her enough. I am so thankful she is right here in Madison! She will also be doing my left side down the road.
Everyone’s recovery experience is different but I was on crutches, and could not put any weight on my right side, for the first two weeks. This was the most difficult time for me, having a 10-month-old baby and being so unable to care for her or do anything for myself. Caleb did EVERYTHING for our family in those first weeks as I was unable to carry anything (due to the crutches) or bend my leg for any “long” period of time. I spent a lot of time on the couch or in bed. I was obviously unable to do any sessions and I was also unable to drive since the surgery was on my right side.
I started PT two days after my surgery and went every week for the first 10 weeks. Now that I am coming up on three months post surgery, I go every other week. I was able to shoot a wedding two months post surgery and am now cleared to do pretty much anything except super high impact activity. That comes around six months.
Unfortunately, my situation is a bit different than most given my left side is still torn and also needs to be surgically repaired. I do still have a lot of limitations but only because of this unique circumstance. I cannot believe how GOOD my right side feels, just 10 weeks post-op! As I still deal with significant pain on my left side, I have so much hope that eventually, both sides will be pain free like I am experiencing on my right! Overall, I am SO happy I chose to have the surgery.
I don’t have a ton of additional tips from what the care team will provide you with. They definitely set you up for success! Aside from their professional advice and recommendations, I would just say that you WILL need help. I cannot imagine how I would have managed without Caleb’s care. Additionally, his grandma came down for the first week after surgery to help with Indie and Vivian so that Caleb’s main focus could be on me. Our neighbors set up a meal train which was such a gift because cooking and dinner plans were the last thing on our mind during that immediate recovery period.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I will respond as soon as I’m able! Cheers to health and healing <3