Basil’s Hip Surgery and Recovery Log: Day One, Post-Op

Last trail before surgery and it was perfection!
Last trail before surgery and it was perfection!

Hip hip hooray! My hip surgery is complete, and I’m on the road to recovery. If my writing is less than coherent, please forgive me. I’m only 24 hours post op, and the pain pills are doing a great job of keeping my hip fairly comfortable and brain fairly foggy.

So here’s a little background to start. In July, 2014, I injured my hip racing a half marathon. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had torn my labrum (the cartilage around the femoral head). After extensive PT and then unplanned rest due to a metatarsal stress fracture, the pain seemed to resolve and I began trying to build a base in anticipation of running my first Boston Marathon.

Unfortunately, as my mileage increased, so did my hip pain. I tried more PT, ART and modified my training plan to include deep water running and eliminate track work or anything speedier than marathon pace. In early March, my physical therapist told me he was fairly certain I had a labral tear and would need surgery. But because he is a runner himself and gets it–he said. “Let’s just get you through Boston first. Don’t even schedule the MRI until you’ve crossed that finish line.”

And I made it through Boston. My bum hip kept me from training properly and fully, but I made it. Over the last several months as the hip pain has become increasingly worse, I almost can’t believe that it was my body and my legs that carried me all the way to Boylston Street. But I’m so thankful they did.

But back to the hip. The MRI/A revealed a labral tear and mild cam deformity (a bony protrusion on the femoral neck) that caused the tear. The only way to get better and return to training was surgery. And I really wanted to get better! Plus, the pain began to manifest even when I wasn’t running. Driving, sitting and even laying down were uncomfortable at times.

So I scheduled the surgery and started prepping the best I could. And by prepping I mean I got in as many easy runs with my friends as I could! My last trail run was two days ago, and wow was it gorgeous.

The surgery went very well. I had feared (irrationally) that the surgeon would go in and find irreparable damage and tell me I would never run again. But it was quite the opposite. He said I had “great anatomy for running”, no arthritic changes and that my flexibility was so good that he was able to get a posterior anchor in (for a total of five). He did say that the labrum was bunched up/ folded over and and took some extra work to repair–a likely explanation for the increased pain over the last few months. There was also quite a bit of bruising. Yes well, that’s what I get for continuing to run every chance I got! And no regrets.

I left the house at 5:15 am and was home from the hospital by 1:45 that afternoon. I had very little nausea, and the pain was manageable. In getting up and down, I realized I owe my physical therapist a debt of gratitude for making me work on my glutes and core. Single leg squats sure come in handy when you are doing every last thing one legged.

I will likely be on crutches for 2-3 weeks depending on how my therapy goes. Originally the surgeon had warned meย it could be as much as six weeks before I could ditch the crutches, so 2-3 weeks sounded grand by comparison!

Right now I am icing, resting, and dutifully taking my meds. Tomorrow I will start PT. I am so glad I went forward with the surgery. I know I have a long road ahead to get back to full strength, but it just so happens that long slow distance is my specialty!

Recovering corporate hamster-wheeler turned Alaskan hausfrau, mother of two and running enthusiast. Kind of a June Cleaver in tempo shorts...minus the makeup and vacuum. Will run to great lengths to get a moment of peace.

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  1. Your attitude is awesome and inspiring! It’s so easy to get down about something like this, but it sounds like you’ve got your head screwed on straight and you’re on the road to a full and complete recovery. Hooray!!