Friday, January 8, 2010


I have had a couple of recent comments on my blog . . .it must be the time of year for hip surgeries! So, here's some miscellaneous info:

Adductor pain -- Yes, I have had very tight and painful adductors almost all of my adult life. Remember that the cause of my labral tear was that my hip sockets were too deep and had too much bone with resulting impingment. From what I understand, with a congential hip defect, the muscles that are supposed to be involved in walking are pretty much shut down leaving others to pick up the slack. For me, I never had any glute muscles -- at all! The adductors basically took over - performing a task they were never meant to perform. After surgery, it took a long time to build my glutes and convince them to work while convincing my adductors that they could relax. I still work on stretching both right and left adductors daily. It's a lifetime of problem for me and probably will never be perfect but I am making great progress.

The adductor issues also seem to be involved with IT band, TFL and psoas issues. When one flares up, adductor issues follow. What I have noticed helps tremendously is focusing on glute med exercises and really amping up all glute exercises for a few days. Lots of stretching and using the foam roller to work out the tough spots even though it will bring tears to my eyes sometimes.

Using a surgeon other than Dr. Philippon -- NO!! :-) I had my right hip done almost 7 years ago. I feel incredibly lucky that I saw a wonderful hip dr here in Indy who diagnosed my issue and sent me off to Dr. Philippon. He could have easily replaced my hip and I would have been none the wiser but he didn't. Dr. Philippon was in Pittsburgh at the time and had just moved there from Florida. It wasn't nearly as organized and I came back to Indy and did physical therapy here with weekly phone calls to Dr. P's pt in Pittsburgh. I knew at that time that my left hip was going to need surgery but I tried to put it off as long as possible. Mistake!!

When my left finally caused me more sleepless than restful nights, I went back to see my hip dr here in Indy to get an arthrogram done. He told me that there was a dr here in Indy doing labral repairs and suggested that I go see him. I did. When I asked him about protocols after surgery, he indicated that he didn't follow any of Dr. Philippon's protocols. When I asked him about the technical aspects of the surgery, he admitted that he would never be as technical as Dr. P but felt he could effectively repair the tear that I had. He also told me that he did about 15 repairs a year whereas Dr. Philippon does about 15 a week.

Knowing the success that I had with Dr. Philippon, I elected to go back to him. While I was in Colorado doing rehab for 6 weeks, I was amazed at the number of patients who came to him to "fix" their repaired labrum. I soon realized that Dr. Philippon is the last hope for many patients who have been butchered by other surgeons who claim to know how to do this surgery. There is a reason that most pro athletes go to him for this surgery.

I realize that, for many reasons, everyone can't see Dr. Philippon but if it is possible he should be the first choice for this surgery. It's definitely expensive and not convenient unless you live in Colorado but it's your life and your ability to be pain free and live your life. I wouldn't change one thing.

And, lastly, realize that recovery takes time. Even though there are teeny, tiny scars, it's big surgery. Muscles, ligaments and tendons are moved, stretched and generally jostled around during surgery. Muscles that may have never worked before will be asked to perform and muscles that are used to being in charge will be asked to take a backseat. It takes lots of pt work and time but the end results will give you a new lease on life.

I will continue to update and check my blog so feel free to comment and I will respond. Best of luck to those of you who are just beginning the journey. Know that you will be in the "hip club" and I find that we do a great job of swapping stories and supporting each other. No one knows the pain and recovery like another hip patient.


Kim said...

Heh April, Happy New year. Glad to hear things are going so well. I wonder, did you actually get any osteoarthritis from those years of hip dysplasia and torn labrums?

Kristen said...

Thank you for this blog! I'm in the process of sending my information to Dr. Philippon for review. I have a labral tear in my right hip. I live in Georgia and would only be able to stay the two weeks you talked about. Were those patients able to go home via airplane?

April said...

Kim - Dr. P did not mention any indication of oesteoarthritis in either of my hips. It was something I was very concerned about but he didn't seem to be.

Kristen - Yes, Dr. Philippon. He's my hero in case you couldn't tell. :-) Good for you for going out there. Unless you have microfracture, you are typically on crutches for 14 to 17 days. It's easier to fly once you are off crutches but you can expect to still be a bit uncomfortable on the trip. Plan to get up frequently to walk around and make sure to get the bulk head seats for maximum leg room.

Sports Herniac said...

thank you for the blog. i am wondering how you are feeling now?
i have my first hip surgery set for march 22nd with dr. bk in nyc.

Sports Herniac said...

thank you for the blog!
i see dr bk in nyc for my first hip scope, set for march 22nd.
i hope to have a good success story in several months.
how are you feeling now?

Val (Argentina) said...

Dear April,
I am reading your blog, absolutely full of emmotions. I am writing to your form Argentina, in South America. My apology in advance for my english, I am actually native in spanish.
I am 33 years old, I have had a torn labrum in my hip for at least four years now. I went through at least 10 doctors until one finally clicked the right diagnosis. I used to play sports, now...any more. The pain is such that even the smallest and simplest movements turn into a nightmare. Imagine my mood. Anyway, I am amazed at your spirit, at your generosity to share your experiences and feelings with others like me who might feel a little bit alone in the world.
Today, you have made my day different. You have given me some hope.
My kindest regards from the south cone,
Valeria GutiƩrrez

Val (Argentina) said...

Dear April,
I just wrote another comment to you, but it seems it is not appearing.
Anyway, I am writing to you from Argentina, South America.
I am full of emotions and feelings...and faith while reading your blog.
I have had a tourn hip labrum for at least 4 years now. It is making my life a living hell, though I try to keep up my spirit and be positive most of the time. But pain many times wins...
I am 33 years old. I had to go through 10 doctors until one gave the right diagnosis.
Can we stay in touch? You are the first person to make me have faith, and feel...not alone in the world.
My best regards from Argentina,
ps. I am native in spanish, so I apology in advance for my english mistakes.

Anonymous said...


I was just wondering whether you had pain after surgery in your adductors, quad, and outside - IT band area. I am 2 weeks post op and the pain in my adductor is unbelievable. It gets better throught they day as I move, but if when I sleep or when I sit for a while and then try to move my leg it it's like a severe cramp. Based on your experience did this go away? How long did it take?

Unknown said...

This is the best blog I have ever read on this subject! I am the mother of an 18 year old girl with mild hip dysplasia who had a right hip arthroscopy with labral repair and osteoplasty in December and is about to have the same surgery on the left hip. I think your description of how some muscles have never worked as they should and others have to learn to take a back seat is just perfect. Thank you so much for sharing your story!