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Where have I been? i.e. both of my hip labrums are torn

  • January 15, 2018
  • By Stephanie, The Roving Fox
Where have I been? i.e. both of my hip labrums are torn

Diagnosing a torn hip labrum: hip labral tear surgery recovery blog

Pictured: Before my torn hip labrum diagnosis, the last time I did the Harvard Stadium stairs in May 2017 


Hello, fair readers! It’s been a while since I’ve posted–mainly because as you can tell from the post title, I’ve been going through some health issues related to my hips: torn hip labrums on both sides.


To keep a long story short, I had been experiencing massive amounts of muscle tightness in my right glutes, hip flexor, and piriformis muscles. I thought it was just general tightness and was trying to stretch and foam roll my way into some relief. I should have known something was up, since instead of a foam roller I was using a straight up PVC pipe, but that’s neither here nor there at this point.


I lived with the discomfort for probably about two years. I was pushing through the pain, doing the stair stepper, weight lifting, and boxing at every chance. However, those were the things that likely did me in.
After a fun, but strenuous boot-camp class, I could barely stand up from a seated position or walk comfortably. I was also experiencing sciatica. That was the breaking point when I knew I had to get it checked out.


I started with physical therapy at Spaulding Rehab in Cambridge. I loved my therapist, but the pain was persistent, so they ended up doing an MRI, dye injection, and cortisone shot at MGH. The MRI showed that the right hip labrum was torn!
As the orthopedist described the labrum, the hip socket has two types of cartilage: hard and soft. The labrum is soft, like the cartilage of your ears or nose.


So it turns out the muscle tightness was stemming from the fact that my hip was unstable and the muscles were overcompensating to make up for it.


Around Thanksgiving, I started experiencing sciatica and leg numbness on the left side. “Here we go,” I thought. I got a second MRI on the left hip, and lo and behold, that side was also torn! It was probably a combination of overuse, like the right, but could also be attributed to the left overcompensating for the right.


For now, I’ve eased away from physical therapy and am doing home-based exercises like planks and leg lifts to build strength and stability in the hips and surrounding areas. I am trying to keep my weight stable as to not put extra pressure on the joints.


Since July I’ve ramped my activity way back and am just doing walking, elliptical, yoga, Pilates, and some light upper body weights. I have to be careful of over-stressing my back, too, since it gets a little tweaky from the instability in the hips.


Due to some personal and work travel, I’ve scheduled the first surgery for mid-April 2018, and hopefully I can get the second surgery later. Let’s just do this thing and get it all done in two fell swoops.


I’d love to hear from anyone who has had the surgery! I’ve discovered a few people who have had pretty good experiences with surgery. I am actually surprised that this seems to be a relatively common injury! I’ll try to keep TRF updated with my progress over the next few months.


Hip labral tear surgery recovery blog posts:

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, January 15, 2018
  • 5
  • Robin
    July 21, 2018

    I know you wrote these posts awhile back, but I just wanted to say they’ve been so helpful for me. I have a torn hip labrum and will be having surgery this coming week. I’m so nervous about the whole thing from the surgery to the recovery, but reading another person’s experience has been helpfuk

    • Stephanie
      July 22, 2018

      Aww, thanks, Robin! Where are you getting your surgery? I was really nervous before the surgery, too, but the recovery wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I actually might be getting the second hip done in the fall, so now I’ll have a better idea of what to expect.

  • Emily Szabo
    June 3, 2019

    Also super thankful for you blog! I torn my left labrum on active duty army orders and am getting surgery this summer. Reading your blog has made me feel so much better about it.

    • Stephanie
      June 3, 2019

      Aww, I’m glad! I have to say after 1 year and 2 months it is really feeling a lot better. I think it will always be a little tight, but my back pain is so much less now and I can do some squats and jumps at the gym. Please let me know if you have any other questions, especially right after surgery. And thank you for your service!

  • Kristin Berver
    July 30, 2020

    I am so frustrated. I also experienced horrible pain in my glutes down the back of my leg but instead of doing hip surgery, I have a labral tear in my right hip with hip and impingement the doctor did a piriformis release and also decompresed my sciatic nerve which I’m not having any more pain in my right side but now it’s moved onto my left side from overcompensating. I am going to be scheduling surgery on my right hip very soon. So frustrating because he did not think those issuers were due to my labrum tear as it is very small. Also they did an mri on my left hip and it is clear. Frustrating because he’s the best in Atlanta they say!!

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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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