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Femoroacetabular Impingement FAI with Labral Tear

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  • Femoroacetabular Impingement FAI with Labral Tear

    I have just been diagnosed with Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) with Labral tears in my right hip. I've suffered pain in my hip and buttock area while riding for the past 3 years and I've finally gotten a firm diagnosis.

    I have been referred to a hip arthroscopic surgeon at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Has anyone else suffered with FAI and or Labral tears of the hip? If so, did you have surgery? Was it successful? How long before you could ride without pain.


  • #2
    Never had it-or heard of it. What is it? Anyway, good luck and hope you're better soon.
    Life is great when you can hug a horse.


    • Original Poster

      I guess it is basically bone spurs in my hip and torn "gristle" in the hip joint. I've had chronic pain when I ride - and only when I ride. I have very limited range of motion in that hip and the longer I'm in the saddle, the sharper the pain becomes in my hip and buttock area. I thought it was just old age creeping in, but I finally found an orthopedic surgeon who found the root of my problem via an MRI Arthrogram.

      Anyone else had this problem?



      • #4
        I can't even pronounce that ! (And I'm a medical transcriptionist!!)

        Best of luck with your surgery and recovery and hope it does what it's supposed to do for you.
        Last edited by Over the Hill; Jul. 24, 2009, 06:16 PM. Reason: missing letter
        "I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you..."


        • #5
          I have the same symptoms, and am looking at hip replacement surgery in the winter. I had a regular MRI and he said labral tear and arthritic changes. I never heard of the FAI stuff. Very interesting.
          There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.


          • #6
            I had a co-worker with an impingement in the shoulder joint. Sort of a narrowing or "catchy" area. Her surgery improved it somewhat - but she had a limited duty job that she liked very much - her improvement might have been greater had she been working toward something she liked. Good luck with the surgery.
            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
            Incredible Invisible


            • #7
              It is a relatively new "diagnosis"

              It is "basically" a condition where the ball side of the joint (femur) impinges on the front of the socket side (acetabula). Instead of the femur moving evenly around a central axis, it moves offset.

              Based on the assumption that you are middle aged....

              The pain in the butt is probably some loose bodies that have come off from either side of the joint.

              An arthoscopic proceedure is an excellent way to treat this. The loose bodies are removed, labrum trimmed and assuming no complications and this condition is the cause of your pain, you should be fully functional and pain free in a few weeks.

              The kicker is after this a mandatory 2-3 day a week hip focused strengthening program (side plank, glute extensions, etc).

              Having been there done that, highly recommend it.

              medical Mike
              equestrian medical researcher


              • #8
                My 31 yr old son has FAI with labrum tearing in both his hips, which is a condition of athletes - he plays hockey -or any repetitive side to side movement (riding!). Hockey goalies have been subject to this, and several baseball stars have had it. He is scheduled for AS this fall. Without surgery, he would be candidate for double hip replacement by the time he is 40.

                I suspect, at age 62, I also have this condition in my right hip, as the symptoms are the same. While riding can be somewhat uncomfortable, it is after riding that I really feel it - especially after riding my very broad Boo! Hip pains when walking after sitting, when I lie on it. Butt muscles and groin area can also be excruciatingly painful.

                Good luck with it! Let us know how things go. I wish surgery was in the cards for me.
                Form follows function, or does function follow form?




                • Original Poster

                  Thanks for the info. And yes - alas, I am middle aged. My first doc recommended a total hip replacement, but I don't think my condition warrants it yet - and I will (hopefully) outlive the new hip and need another replacement 10-15 years down the road.

                  For the meantime, my current doc has recommended that I quit riding until after my surgery. I have been referred from Duke to a specialist at Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital as there is a surgeon there who has perfected this technique.

                  I haven't met with the surgeon yet, so I am eager to hear what to expect from the recovery - how long I'll be out of work and how long before I can get back into the saddle.

                  And I dread the rehab!!


                  • #10
                    Just now saw this...

                    Had surgery for FAI/Labral tear mid-April.

                    Unfortunately, in my case I had been having strange back pain for 35 years or so, and thot it was just a wonky SI joint.

                    I got the 'way worse than we thot' message when they were done - and in my case - the arthritis appears to be taking off....talking to surgeon tomorrow - will probably convert to THR.

                    HOWEVER...I gotta say that the surgery wasn't all that bad, I didn't need many pain killers, and I was going great guns on the elliptical after 9 weeks or so.

                    So if you don't have a lot of degeneration in there - the 'scope is DEFINITELY the way to go!

                    If you can get a PT w/ one of those underwater treadmill things it helps a lot!


                    • #11
                      PS - my doc said back on the horse at 16 weeks.


                      • #12
                        Dragging up a very old thread...any post surgery updates from folks? I'm sure a lot has changed in four years, but I'm looking at bilateral FAI surgery, and would love to know, if your surgery was a success, how riding went after!


                        • Original Poster

                          I am the OP. My surgery was successful. However, the recovery process was VERY rough. In addition to repairing my labrum and shaving bone spurs, I had many micro holes drilled in my femur, which kept my on crutches for 10 weeks. I had to use a machine to keep my leg moving for 10-12 hours a day - for 8 weeks.

                          Unfortunately, my surgeon discovered that I have zero cartilage in my hip, so I still need a THR. I'm a surgical candidate for THR, but I have to wrap my head around it. The recovery from THR will be a breeze compared to the process I had in 2009.

                          Before my surgery, I could only ride 15 minutes without pain. Now, I can ride 2 hours. My pain is from a totally worn-out hip.

                          Bottom line, if you think you're a candidate for THR, I'd skip the arthroscopic surgery. Hindsight is 20/20...

                          Best of luck.


                          • #14
                            Having surgery 3/22

                            For a labral tear related to 11/2011 car accident. :-( Arthroscopic with some minor work to keep this from re-curring. Which, I dunno I can't see myself getting into another hellatious accident in the near future.... 6 weeks non-weight bearing...no riding till September. Have already been not riding for a couple of months... sigh... need LT support group meetings...
                            Shoulders back, hands down, leg ON!



                            • Original Poster

                              Mellsmom - Good luck with your surgery. Keep us updated on your progress.


                              • #16
                                I am trying to learn to ride a horse and basic dressage english riding. After four years of trying I have just had a horrible time of finding my seat in the saddle. My rising trot is horendous and my legs hard to find a happy place. I've recently discovered i have FAI. A mild case that doesn't bother me off the horse. But on the horse i can't drape my left leg on the horses barrel without it locking my hip. If i try to keep my leg on the horse, i feel disconfort every time he walks and my hips are supposed to swing with the movement. The way around this is to overly turn my left knee inward and point it as straight as possible, this frees up my left hip to open and close, but now my lower leg is off the horse. Also my rising trot is just awful. I think because i can't keep my leg on the horse and rise forward with my hips at same time. I was wondering if those here with FAI think what i'm saying sounds right. And can you see FAI keeping one from finding their position on the horse? Or am I just making excuses. I've always felt that every horse i've been on, i just drive them crazy and they aren't free to move forward.


                                • #17
                                  I have tears in both hips...

                                  I get hip pain when sitting the trot.. Posting the trot I'll feel fatigued, but sitting trot can get painful.. I have pain mostly when I'm not doing physical activity.. Sitting, walking sleeping etc... I'm also a collegiate athlete, which adds to further irritation..

                                  I'm not planning on getting surgery until I'm done with my collegiate sport..It's a long recovery and until then, I focus on PT exercises my teammates were given after getting the same surgery... It'll at least prepare me for an easier time after surgery and make my hips stronger..