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

  • April 10, 2019
  • By Stephanie, The Roving Fox
Hip labral tear surgery one year later: is it worth it?

Hip labral tear surgery update one year post-surgery

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me about labral tear hip surgery here 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 recovery. I honestly had not idea what to expect after hip labral tear 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

Helpful Items for Hip Surgery

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.

My Hip Labral Tear Symptoms and Causes: The Backstory

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.

Hip Labral Tear Diagnosis

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!

How I prepared for hip labrum surgery for my right hip labral tear

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.

What to expect the day of hip arthroscopy labral surgery

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.

Hip labral tear surgery

Before and after hip arthroscopy. Photos of torn hip labrum

Here are a few photos of my torn hip labrum before and after surgery. It was pretty busted up before!

hip labrum surgery hip labrum surgery

Labral tear hip surgery recovery

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.

Hip arthroscopy recovery: How long does it take to recover from hip labrum surgery?

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.

I started to feel “normal” walking after about 3 months 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 healing 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.

Recovery is tiring

Hip 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.

how to prepare for hip surgery hip labral tear

Showering after hip surgery

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.

Physical Therapy after hip labrum surgery

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.

Will I limp after hip surgery?

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!

Constipation after surgery

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.

Hip arthroscopy incisions

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.

One year after hip labrum surgery, did it work?

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.

Would I have hip labrum surgery again?

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.

Do you have a torn labrum or have you had hip arthroscopy?

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

hip labral tear. labral tear hip surgery. hip surgery recovery blog

By Stephanie, The Roving Fox, April 10, 2019
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  • Sandy Dodge
    April 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?

    • Stephanie
      April 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!

  • Monica
    May 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!

    • Stephanie
      May 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!

  • Monica
    May 23, 2019

    *labral tear! It autocorrected to landslide!

  • Robin
    June 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?

    • Stephanie
      June 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 Roxbury
    June 23, 2019

    Hi Stephanie,

    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?

    • Stephanie
      June 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!

  • irma
    July 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!

    • Stephanie
      July 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!

  • Katelynn
    August 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.

    • Stephanie
      August 10, 2019

      Hi Katelynn,
      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!

  • kristen
    August 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 =)

    • Stephanie
      August 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!

  • Jackie
    August 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.

    • Stephanie
      August 10, 2019

      Hi Jackie,
      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!

  • Lauren
    August 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!

    • Stephanie
      August 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 Palmer
    August 11, 2019

    Hi Stephanie!
    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!

    • Stephanie
      August 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!

  • Becky
    August 22, 2019

    Thanks for writing this!

  • Hilary
    August 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!

  • Christy Broyles
    August 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.

    • Stephanie
      August 29, 2019

      Thank you for reading, Christy! I hope your appointment went well and gave you more clarity about your hip!

  • Ismael
    September 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.

    • Stephanie
      October 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!

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About Me
Hi, I'm Stephanie!
Welcome to The Roving Fox, a travel and lifestyle blog written and curated by travel blogger Stephanie Janes. The Roving Fox is my ramblings on the good life, including travel, beauty, and dining. Based in Boston, travels everywhere.
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