Hip Arthroscopy: 6 Months Post-Op

Today is the 6-month anniversary of my surgery, so I believe it’s time for an update.

Overall, I continue to feel better, though I am disappointed that I still have discomfort in my hip.  I figured by 6 months that this would all be behind me, but that is simply not the case.  From reading others’ experiences, it can often take longer than the doctors say to feel fully back to normal, so it’s not as though I’ve lost hope for a full recovery – I just wish it was happening faster.

I experienced a setback at around four and a half months post-op after I did a workout that involved some low box jumps (6 inches or so).  At the time, I had been feeling great.  Probably close to 85%, as best I could tell from my currently less-active lifestyle (remember, I recently moved to Europe, so I do a lot of biking, walking, and hiking, but I am not playing any sports at the moment).  Unfortunately, my hip pain/discomfort flared up after the box jumps and lasted nearly 2 weeks.  It wasn’t as though I couldn’t walk; in fact, I was still riding my bicycle.  But I found that my hip was always bothering me during that time.

It was a little unsetting, thinking, “Man, I was feeling pretty good, then when I do something mildly impactful, it sets my hip off again.”  To be honest, it made me wonder what would happen if I tried to play flag football, or volleyball, or some other high-impact sport.  I am hoping to find out sometime soon, if I can find a reason to go run around a bit.

It hasn’t been all gloomy though – I recovered from the setback, and the last few weeks have been much better.  I would estimate that most of the time I feel like I’m at about 90% (again, in a non-sports lifestyle).  Some days I’ll be more sore than on others, such as the day after we built all our new furniture from IKEA.

Currently, I still see myself on a positive trajectory, but I certainly wish it was faster.  I am concerned about how my hip will respond to playing sports though.  I wonder if it’s something that will hurt the first time whether I did it at 4 months or 12 months.  Maybe it’s one of those things that will have to be eased into no matter how much I let my hip heal first.

Are you recovering from surgery for FAI or a torn labrum, or considering it?  I’d love to hear how you’re rehab is going – feel free to post a comment or question below!


18 thoughts on “Hip Arthroscopy: 6 Months Post-Op

  1. I’ve just found your blog, am pre-op and trying to plan my recovery. I’ve heard it can take over a year to fully recover, am keen to hear how you are going 1 year on too. Hope the travels are going well.


    • Hi Julia,

      It is a sloooow process from my experience, and there are ups and downs all the time. I think that my hip is still (more than one year later) getting better. I think that’s good, because it means I’m still improving, but also bad, because it’s taken this long.

      This is going to seem like a plug for my own travel blog, but since it seems you like to travel and will be living with a post-scope hip as well, you might find my blog (which I co-write) of interest. Everything in the blog has taken place since my surgery, which was in April of 2013. You’ll find stories of lengthy bike rides, hikes, etc. in there. Here’s the URL: http://www.thewildlyordinarylife.com

      Good luck!

    • I had my hip surgery (FAI/labrum tear),surgery Jan 7th ’14. Started running April. May a 1/2 marathon (mistake). My doctor said to start “slow”. Unfortunately to me that is ” slow “.
      After mile 7 I was in solo much pain that I just wanted to give up. But didn’t. Finished in 2:22. Right after that jumped in my car and drove back 3hrs from Boston to NY. That wasn’t pleasant either.
      I have only ran 3x after that. Not because I am in psin , I just it that wall were I just don’t feel like it. As far as my hip. It still clicks, pops etc. But all in all it feels pretty good. From what I have researched, it does take up to a year to get back to ” normal”.
      3 days after my half I went to my orthopedic surgeon for s checkup and no damage was done. When I told him that I had done a 1/2 only 3 days earlier he just laughed. He knew my personality and that a 1/2 was what “I” called “taking it easy.”
      In the end I wouldn’t change a thing. I can run 6 miles without any pain. Not going to test that just yet. I have a 4mi run coming up in July along with a 15k. Then I would like to do one more 1/2 before years end then a full in 2015.
      So my advice is that everyone’s body is different. You can read all about other people’s trials and tribulations regarding FAI surgery but in the end, its still a long process. Listen to your body and of course your doctor and you will be fine. I have come to terms now that I will have good days and bad. This includes running! Good luck!

  2. Had FAI/labrum tear surgery Jan 7th ’14. Started running 3 months later. Ran only 9x before I ran the Boston Run To Remember 1/2 last month. Ran it in 2:22. After mile 6 it started to hurt. After mile 10 I could barely stand the pain. I refused though to walk or give up. A few days later I had a orthopedic appt, which was already scheduled prior. My doc just laughed when I told him that zi ran a 1/2 only 4 mo post op. but I paid the price. Even though X-rays showed no change in hip I haven’t ran since. Doc said take it easy for awhile, like that’s going to happen. Said stay with shorter races for awhile. Got a 4 miler July 4th for fun. I think I still have a long recovery because I won’t let it heal. I still get that clicking, popping, catching feeling/sound when I rotate it ie. getting out of a car. But he said it will go away in time. We’ll good luck with yours! I know it’s a long recovery time – until one will feel somewhat back to “normal”

    • Thanks for sharing Mike! I think we are opposites – you aggressively tested your hip right from the beginning, and I carefully (over)protected it, afraid of re-injuring mine. Doesn’t seem like either is ideal!

      • Brian I agree. I took the advice of my orthopedic surgeon but when he said I could start running after 3 months but to “take it easy” I did. A half! Lol. He meant 1 or 2 miles at a time. But I wouldn’t recommend anything more.
        Do I feel good now? Yes! About 80%. I won’t do any runs longer than 6mi for now. But all in all I am surprised and happy with my results.
        Before and after my surgery I researched the internet reading other FAI sufferers and rarely came across someone who went back to running so soon. There were a few, but not many. So I guess I was one of the lucky ones.
        Good luck with yours and stay healthy!


  3. Thank you, for sharing your experience, in regards to your surgical hip recovery. Gives me reassurance that I need to trust the process, and give more time, for the hip to heal. I’m 3½ months out, from a labral hip repair, with osteotomy…

  4. Had FAI/Labral repair on my right hip 9/11/17. I will agree with some of the comments above that it’s a much slower process than anticipated. Naturally, my doctor was very optimistic about expectations. He fully expected me to be able to ski the second half of this season (greens and blues as tolerated). On the other hand, my physical therapist was much more cautious with hers and seemed very surprised that I was planning on skiing this year. I now see why she had this attitude.

    I am approaching the 5-month mark and still have a long way to go. I had been feeling really well the past six weeks and was planning on going out skiing for the first time mid-February. I had been hiking 4-5 days a week and got to the point where I could do 4 miles without stopping while experiencing minimal soreness afterward. Unfortunately, I had a setback earlier this week in getting too aggressive with my rehab/stretching. Things should clear up in a few more days, but it’s still frustrating. The doctor said that I would have “flare up’s” from time to time as my hip moved in ways that it hadn’t since the operation, but this time is the worst I’ve had yet. I now seriously doubt that I will attempt to ski this year, which sucks because I live in a ski town and bought a pass based on the expectations I discussed with the doc.

    Up to this point, the majority of my pain and discomfort had been coming from my left side. This was due to overcompensating for a year and a half until I decided to have the surgery (I did six months of PT before going ahead with the procedure). I even had an MRI on my left hip back in December to make sure it wasn’t torn as well. It was that bad.

    I will reiterate some of the things posted by others above. Tamper expectations and know that it’s a slow process. Everyone is different and recovery is a roller coaster. Just because you have felt good for a few weeks, doesn’t mean you are in the clear. If something hurts, back off. Don’t bite off more than you can chew and listen to your doctor/physical therapist. Also, be religious with your rehab and try to do your home routine as much as possible. Pool therapy is awesome.

    All in all, I am happy that I had the procedure. I am just trying to stay positive and tell myself that this time next year I will hopefully be fully healed and have put all of this behind me.

    Good luck to everyone out there who is currently in recovery or planning on having this procedure at some point in the future.

  5. I am 6 months post op. I still have pain in my right buttock when sitting. I hope this pain will get better. This is why I had the surgery anyway.

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