Thursday, February 28, 2013

One Year Ago...

One year ago at this time, I waking up from hip surgery.  Well, kind of.  My surgery was on February 29th (leap day) so I don't really have a one year anniversary.  It's been a loooong journey let me tell you.  Here is the story:

I had been having pain in my left hip for over 2 years and had been trying to get it diagnosed for about as long.  I thought it was a running injury because I was training for a marathon when it got really bad, but I started to get this pain shortly after running my first 5k, so I believe it was actually a yoga injury, since I was doing so much hot yoga during that time also.  I saw an orthopedic surgeon who thought it was inflammation, maybe tendonitis or just a tight muscle.  He put me on strong NSAIDs which did nothing.  Then he did an MRI and found nothing, but sent me to PT.   After that didn't work, he prescribed prednisone.  I had a reaction to the prednisone and ended up in urgent care with steroidal myopathy- basically extreme pain and weakness in my legs.  I literally woke up one morning, which happened to be Christmas day, and could not stand without holding onto the wall.  After that scare was over, I decided to get a 2nd opinion on my hip.

I went to an orthopedic surgery/rehab center and saw a doctor who suspected a labral tear.  He sent me for another MRI, but this time with contrast dye and a lidocaine injection into my hip socket- which would allow us to determine if the pain was coming from inside the joint capsule, or from the tissues around it.  The results were very clear-  definitely a labral tear, definitely would require surgery.  I scheduled the surgery right away and decided to get the show on the road.

This surgery can go one of two ways, either the surgeon performs a labral tear repair or a labral tear debridement, and they never know which it will be until they are inside the joint.  A repair has a more difficult recovery period, but a better prognosis in the long run.  A debridement isn't as hard to recover from, but the likelihood of ever being at 100% again isn't great.  I ended up with a large tear that couldn't be repaired, so I had a debridement.

The first couple weeks were hard.  I felt like I couldn't do anything on my own.  It scared me to not be able to lift my leg at all.  I worked really hard in PT just to get to the point where I could sit with my legs outstretched ahead of me and lift the left leg up even an inch.  It felt like a pretty long way to fall given that I had run my 2nd marathon just a few months earlier. (Yes, I ran 2 marathons with a significant tear in my hip socket- not smart and I don't recommend it.)

I was on crutches for about a month and in PT for 4 months! I know that even today my left leg is weaker than it used to be.  I've been struggling to get back into my running routine, but  I am finally starting to think about training for a race.  I did a 5k in August, which seemed like a huge amount of work, but now I'm running at least that far most days at the gym.  I might be setting my sights on the Fargo half marathon in May and MAYBE the Twin Cities Marathon in October- big maybe on that though.  I still have soreness in my left hip and my right hip has developed the exact same pain- so I know that I probably have a small tear on that side too.

If you're an athlete of any capacity, you know how devastating it is to be injured.  I am really proud of myself for getting back to it at all.  I just hope and pray that I can continue to train injury free for my next race.  It will require an adjustment to my training plan and goals, and a lot of self-discipline to not overdo it but to do enough.  Please send your good running vibes my way!


  1. Omigoodness!! WAY TO GO getting back at it. I would probably be frightened to starting running again for fear of hurting myself again...

    Both of my hips have been acting up within the past 6 months... Every few hours I have this enormous urge to POP them. I lean over and lift each leg behind me... then POP!! It's more of a discomfort and doesn't really affect my running; hoping it doesn't mean something worse is going on!! :-S

    I'm SOOOO excited for summer race season in the TCs. Maybe we could meet up at a run sometime! :-)

  2. I would LOVE to meet up at a race this summer! I love the TC running circuit in the summer time, so many fun races! Let me know what you sign up for :)

    I hope your hips are ok! I'm glad it hasn't affected your running, maybe you're just loosening up those joints with all that zumba!

  3. Good luck! I think it's wonderful you're looking to get back into serious running just a year after surgery. It sounds like you've made great progress already and I'm sure you'll keep that up!

  4. Wow... what a story!! I hope you are able to run in a marathon soon. You have come a LONG way!


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