Everything You Never Wanted to Know About My Hips

Have you ever tried to catch an ocean wave using a small plastic cup? It’s an exercise in futility. There’s too much water and not enough cup to contain it. That’s kind of how I feel about this blog. I have too many thoughts and don’t know how this little space can contain them all. But here I am, holding out my cup…

Two weeks from today, I’m going to have arthroscopic surgery on my right hip. I saw an orthopedic surgeon at Vanderbilt back in September, and he was finally able to give me definitive answers as to what has been causing the hip pain that has been my constant companion for over a year. After looking at my MRIs and xrays, the doctor told me that I have hip impingement in both hips, and this has caused bilateral labral tears. Basically, the ball and socket of my hip do not fit together like they should because of the size of my femoral head, so there is increased friction, which caused the labrum, or cartilage surrounding the hip socket, to tear. (There’s a much better explanation of all of this here.)  The surgeon will shave down the excess bone on my hip and then repair the labral tear with sutures and anchors. The surgery is what the doctor called “deceptive” in that it’s an outpatient procedure that will result in my having relatively small incisions, but the recovery is lengthy and will require lots of rest, time on crutches, and lots of physical therapy.

My lame hip

                  My lame hip

The bad news is that because I have torn the labrum in both of my hips, I will need to have surgery on both hips, and the surgeries cannot be done at the same time. This means that I will have 2 separate surgeries, several months apart (the length between the 2 depends on how quickly I recover from the first surgery, but he’s hoping to do the left hip 3-4 months after the right one). The good news is that if all goes well, there will be a day when I will no longer be in pain! I’m so thrilled about this but also really anxious about the prospect of having 2 surgeries and the possibility of them not helping or making my pain worse. I did finally manage to stop reading every blog post about hip surgeries that I could find online, which has helped my anxiety levels somewhat. (If there’s someone out there with a horrible hip surgery experience, I don’t want to know about it!) I wish I could know that everything will work out perfectly, but there’s no way to know that, so I have to trust that no matter what happens, God will be with me. That I do know I can count on.

I’m going to be laid up for a little bit after the surgery (and hopefully not breaking my leg while trying to use crutches!), so I may try to blog a bit more often. I’m not making any promises, though. Longtime readers know how that usually goes. 🙂

If you have any questions, leave them below, and I’ll try to answer them or at least point you to Dr. Google.

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5 thoughts on “Everything You Never Wanted to Know About My Hips

  1. I also have bilateral FAI and am 2 weeks post op from my first surgery. The best thing you can do is to stay away from the support groups at this point. I had to because it was no good for my anxiety. I had to memorize Philippians 4:6-7 to help when I was feeling super anxious the last couple weeks before. I actually still need it now as this is such a long process and the unknown is the worst. But as you know, we are not in control. I just wanted you to know that I will be praying for you!!

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      • I also have bilateral FAI and am 2 weeks post op from my first surgery. The best thing you can do is to stay away from the support groups at this point. I had to because it was no good for my anxiety. I had to memorize Philippians 4:6-7 to help when I was feeling super anxious the last couple weeks before. I actually still need it now as this is such a long process and the unknown is the worst. But as you know, we are not in control. I just wanted you to know that I will be praying for you!!

        I am doing well! Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.

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  2. Erin,
    1. I’m impressed and encouraged by your strength through such a tough time as this. I can’t imagine all you’re feeling. It is very obviously that “joy of the Lord is your stength.”
    2. Know you are loved and prayed for!! You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers over the next few months.
    3. God is the ultimate physician. He knows all and does all.
    4. You’re awesome, I miss you guys, and hope to see you soon!!

    -Shannon

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