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Hip Baby Hip

Posted Aug 07 2009 12:08pm 1 Comment
Over the last couple of weeks, I have learned a lot about the hip. Sure, my background is that of an x-ray tech so I understood the anatomy, but you don't really stop and think about how things work until you are experiencing it.

What exactly am I experiencing? Pain. Ha! Who isn't, right?

On April 18, my right hip started hurting. How do I know it was that date? Training log of course! The pain was/is a dull throbbing that feels deep, as if it is coming from the bone, not a muscle or something. The pain would come and go--usually in the evenings--sometimes to the point I would be limping around. To this day, it has never affected my running. I don't feel it during a run nor does it bother me afterwards. For that reason, I kinda ignored it.

At the beginning of May, I hired Christine Hinton to coach me. I started to increase my mileage and really get serious about my running. That seriousness led me to start listening to my body and evaluate my aches and pains. My knees always bothered me which led to my foot strike change (which I talked about here and here ). The next thing to look at was my hip. 2 weeks ago I went to see the sports medicine doc.

This guy is the same one I saw for my IT band issue--he is a runner and a marathoner--a great guy that isn't apt to simply say "stop running". We did an x-ray and he thought he saw a stress fracture! Yikes! He wanted an MRI to confirm. I was able to get one the same day at the imaging center my wife works at (she is an MRI tech--can't beat the hook-up). That was a Friday and the Radiologist called me with the report the same day saving me from having to think about it
all weekend. No fracture but a possible acetabular labral tear. Um, what?

From OhioHealth's website, I got this definition: "A hip labral tear involves the ring of soft tissue that follows the outside rim of the socket of your hip joint. This ridge of cartilage, called a labrum, works a little like a suction cup to help hold your hip joint together."

The radiologist wanted an MR Arthrogram to confirm. I had that done this past Friday, and he confirmed that the labrum is torn. Fun!

I should be clear, it doesn't appear to be a running related injury. The sports med doc said I could have been walking in the parking lot and twisted wrong. And everything I am being told and have read says that running can't make it any worse. I will confirm that on Monday at my follow up. This thing, however, won't heal itself. If it gets to the point that I can't deal with the pain, surgery will be the last option. I have read A LOT of stories on the RW boards about surgery not helping or making it worse. Like I said--the very last option.

I will keep you guys posted, and although I was worried in the beginning that my days of running were over, I no longer think that is the case.

To end on a positive note, I no longer experience the knee pain! My move to a midfoot strike is almost complete. I ran 9 miles this morning and I didn't have to "force" myself to do it, it just happened. Cool, right?

You can read some good info about the labral tear here.
Comments (1)
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I just came across your article. I was diagnosed with a hip labral tear in June of 2009.  After a few month of recovery from the swelling and pain, I began doing things again. I was never really active, but in May of 2010 I began running. And I feel great. Anti-inflammatories seem to keep things under control as long as I don't over extend my hip socket. I have found some things aggravate the nerves, like some yoga positions and such. I also opted to wait on surgery until it is unbearable. Good luck to you!
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