How is hip surgery ?
July 27, 2012 8:07 PM   Subscribe

I'm having a tear of the acetabular labrum repaired athroscopically. What can I expect ?

I have had a couple of MRIs done (one at the facility I work at, even!) and a 3D CT scan.

I've had multiple doctors diagnose the problem - a deformation on the greater trochanter (near the femur head) has caused a tear of the labrum in the acetabulum. The fix is to arthroscopically invade the hip capsule, remove the deformation and repair or remove the tear. this is related to the accident refered to here and here, in case you were wondering.

The surgeon is confident I'll be weight bearing on the leg in a day or two and not much more than 2-3 weeks on crutches and maybe a few more with a cane. Given my age and general health, he expects a relatively quick recovery.

two questions :

Is this reasonable ? I've spoken to a couple of others with similar diagnoses, but more input never hurts.

What should I expect pain and recovery wise ? Same as above, I've spoken with some - I'm looking to broaden my understanding.

Go ahead and answer anything you think I haven't considered. Let me hear about your experience with this surgery.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I had this procedure in December. It was a piece of cake. I am very pleased with my results.

I somehow tore the labrum of my left hip. I have no idea how it happened. I was in pain that wouldn't abate... Well, you know.

The surgery was quick. I got pictures of the inside of the joint, which was cool. The pain was immediately gone. My hip joint space felt full of liquid for a day or two, and I couldn't sleep on that side for about a week.. but no pain issues. In fact I was taking regular ibuprofen after, not the prescription stuff. Just didn't need it.

I have a desk job. I stayed home for about a week, but then went in. This was over Christmas, and I had everyone over, made standing rib roast, etc despite my surgery.

I ditches the crutches and used a cane. I only needed it for a few days. I was completely weight bearing within 48 hours.

I urge you to go to physical therapy after the surgery. It will help you get your range of motion and some strength back. I was sore in the same way after the surgery if I was very active, but that has gone away since.

This is serious because it is surgery, but on the scale of the surgery I have had, including appendectomy and bunionectomies, it was the easiest.

Memail me if you have any other Qs. Best of luck!!!
posted by FergieBelle at 4:45 AM on July 28, 2012

Best answer: I had the same surgery 3 years ago. I was not weight bearing for about 2 weeks. My hip is not perfect now but most of the pain is gone. Have you read this forum? It is very informative (and long!) but you will see that people have very different outcomes, some not so great. Like I said, it is a very long forum (78 pages) but well worth the read.
posted by futz at 6:42 AM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Depends on the skill of the doctor and the problem with the tear. My boyfriend got the open hip surgery and over a year later still deals with pain and a need for PT in that area. Around the same time he got it a friend got the arthroscopic on his much more minor tear, and he was up and OK within a few weeks and squatting within a month. Though it took him much longer to get back to his prior max squat (maybe six months?).
posted by Anonymous at 11:44 AM on July 28, 2012

Best answer: I had the surgery last year. The surgery itself was easy and I didn't need to be on rx pain meds for too long. I was off my feet for a week and stayed home from work for hmmm at least 2 weeks on the advice of my surgeon. but I was working from home after the first week. I used crutches and then a cane for about the first 6 weeks. I did almost 6 months of PT after surgery (starting with once a week and increasing towards the end).

I'm glad I got the surgery, but it was about 10 months till I felt like I was really a lot better than pre-surgery, and about a year till I felt really great. I'm about 18 months in, and I think I've just gotten to the point where I'm not feeling a little bit better every week. Note that I earned this hip injury in heavy intense exercise and that same heavy, intense exercise is what I measured my recovery time on (modulo things I can't do any more, like squatting).

I think this is one of those surgeries where your recovery will vary depending on what needs to be done. In my case, they needed to sew up the labrum and shave down the bone to remove some bone spurs, which might explain the difference between my rehab experience and FergieBelle's.

Be realistic about the rehab. Don't plan a long walking trip for a few months after surgery, and don't schedule a marathon for longer than that. Double whatever your surgeon tells you for full recovery time and you won't be disappointed.
posted by ch1x0r at 3:45 PM on July 28, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks so much.

Futz, I hadn't read that forum, but did find a couple of others.

I've been wound really tight about this surgery, because it's the third time doctors have been stomping around in there; although the last two times it was to insert and remove the rod that held my femur together.

Anyway, Thanks again for the answers and help. I appreciate it.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:05 AM on July 30, 2012

Sorry to piggyback, but I was just diagnosed with the same kind of tear in June.

For anyone who has had the arthroscopic procedure, are/were any of you runners and were you able to run again after (even way after)?

PT has worked well enough for me that no one (doc, PT) is recommending/agreeing to surgery, but I can't run more than a mile without pain. I'd like to run again, so I wonder if getting a second opinion on fixing it is worth it or if I should just leave it alone and get back in the pool (for the next 30 years or so).
posted by Pax at 7:25 AM on July 31, 2012

I don't run a lot, but I can definitely run again now.
posted by ch1x0r at 6:42 PM on July 31, 2012

My boyfriend also doesn't run much, but he can as well. He still has some underlying pain and weakness issues, but those are long-running prior to the labral tear and he never got proper PT to fix them.
posted by Anonymous at 7:12 AM on August 1, 2012

Response by poster: So, I had the surgery yesterday. I'm hobbling about with one crutch - two is overkill. My wife is out now shopping for cane. I'm just taking Ibuprofen + Meloxicam for the pain now.

The labral pain is gone. I've got some soreness from the procedure and the leg is generally pretty weak. It's strange not to have that pain though.

The range of motion and soreness seem to improve by the hour.

I do have some numbess in the groin and thigh, still.

The surgeon said that the tear was worse than the imagining showed - he had to debride it; it couldn't be saved. He said trimming the deformation and some bone spurs went really well with a minimum of bleeding. Other than the work that needed done, my hip looks great - especially given how active I was before all of this.

They gave me this cold water recirculator pad for my hip. It's basically a cooler with a water pump attached. That thing is a godsend. Best invention ever.

I'll update this over the next week or so for posterity. You all can add thoughts or questions, I don't mind. Thanks again!
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 4:57 PM on August 2, 2012

Response by poster: Back to work tomorrow; 5 days post op. Today, I managed to make it around the block twice using the cane. My hip tires pretty quickly, and I have to move somewhat slowly, but I did it.

The range of motion continues to improve quickly. Swelling is down to just about normal. Most of the pain I have is bruising from the procedure; I have three portal holes around my pelvis. The one in the middle feels like it really reamed it out and it is also showing the most bruising.

I am exceedingly impressed with how pain free the hip is. The trick now is sleeping - I keep trying to roll over onto that side, and that's a no-no.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:28 PM on August 5, 2012

Response by poster: My first post op visit was today. The Dr. was impressed with my ability to walk some distance unaided without a limp or pain. I still have to use the cane to go any real distance, and it helps a lot, but recovery is going very well.

Range of motion hasn't improved much in the past few days. I was told not to expect too much more on that for a long time. He showed me images from the surgery - I also had a mixed cam and pincer Femoral Acetabular Impingement that he ground the hell out of. Although the affected areas are sort of outside the usual range of motion for walking and so on, its going to take a long time to heal (6-12 weeks) and will be painful until then.

What I want most is a soak in a hot tub - but I can't go swimming or bathing for another week or so. I guess maybe I'll take on water or something. I leave for vacation tomorrow - hopefully that goes well, but I won't post back until I return.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:27 PM on August 9, 2012

Response by poster: My vacation went well. I couldn't do as much hiking as I wanted to, however.

I have my first PT appointment tomorrow. I can walk a block or so unaided. I have about 80% of my original range of motion back. Strength is good, but endurance - especially the smaller muscles and tendons around the hip - is limited.

The original pain is completely gone. I take some ibuprofen if I need it, mostly at the end of the day.

The surgery has been a tremendous success so far and I am really impressed with how it went and how quick the recovery was. So far, it's been a big improvement for me.

This is gonna get closed today, and hopefully it helps someone else out in the future.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:23 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm having this surgery in the next couple of months, finally, and I was wondering what your 6mo recovery is like currently? (I assume this will show up on your recent activity.)
posted by elizardbits at 5:35 AM on December 14, 2012

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