One hip mama part 2

24Jan12

This post first appeared over at my running blog.

In a previous post I had an MRI and found out I had a torn labrum in my hip. Now is the time on the blog where we talk anatomy of the hip. Ball and socket, sound familiar? The socket is lined with cartilage, and there’s a lip that extends out, that’s the labrum. Mine has torn away from the underlying cartilage. I suspect that the amazing joint instability I had while pregnant with Sami caused the ball to catch on the labrum and, over time, cause a tear. The orthopedic surgeon blames my many years of dance class. Nobody, for the record, is blaming running for the injury. Oddly enough, running typically doesn’t hurt – it might hurt after running, it hurts sometimes walking, and it hurts like all get out when I roll over in bed. The bigger issue is that it could get worse, and will likely lead to osteoarthritis, which is not good. So it behooves me to fix it sooner rather than later.

How do you fix a torn labrum? First, you try rest, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatories. Check, check, and check, and mine still hurts. In short, tears don’t heal themselves. So you fix them. With surgery.

When my doctor first floated the word “surgery,” I immediately burst out with “I HAVE A NATURAL DISTRUST OF ORTHOPEDIC SURGEONS!” With an anesthesiologist dad, an OR nurse mom, and my own stint working in a medical library, my impression of orthopedic surgeons has not always been the most favorable, though there are plenty of orthopods who defy the stereotypes. The problem is, orthopedic surgeons, the good ones, anyway, tend to be very specialized. So you have to hope that “the hip guy” happens to be the guy in the department with a sterling track record, and a great beside manner.

Lucky for me, my doctor also has a natural distrust of orthopedic surgeons, and found The Hip Guy in this area. He’s not at my local hospital, but he’s one of a handful of surgeons in the state with extensive experience in hip arthroscopy, so I made the long drive to Richmond to meet with Dr. D.

more to come….

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