I'm 47 and been running 5 years when I fell victim to the dreaded FAI. I had just had my best year of racing, PBs in all the distances, when I started getting problems at the early stage of marathon training Feb 2011. Being fixed minded I carried on with the training and had my worst marathon ever as I was in some kind of physical hell. I realise how stupid I was to persist with it all now.
I wish I had found this forum a year ago. Like most of you I had more than a year of misdiagnosis and misdirection from private Physio (iliopsoas bursistis, groin strain, weak adductor), Osteopath (sacro-illiac joint/nothing wrong with me), before GP referred me to musculo skeletal centre at Harrogate NHS hospital waiting 2 months for appointment, just to see another physio who couldn't help me and put me on another appointment waiting list for the Consultant, Mr Conroy. By then I was so depressed, tearful all the time and frustrated I opted to go private. I wish I had done so much earlier as the peace of mind that comes with it is worth the cost.
I think the professions have a lot of difficulty diagnosing FAI and labral tears as the symptoms present in different ways from patient to patient so in that light I kinda understand the issue. At no point did I ever experience sharp pain in the hip joint so I couldn't point to a single bit of my anatomy and say 'that bit hurts'. My symptoms were aching groin, adductor, outer hip/piriformis, lower back and a couple of episodes of giving way in the left hip. For a while I could run but afterwards had several days of feeling like my whole hip and groin area was in a vice. This became a permanent feeling and I eventually stopped running completely in July 2011, as well as having to give up the body conditioning sessions I have always done.
I had an xray (clear) and arthrogram MRI with dye (also clear) but the consultant still suspected FAI so after an anaesthetic injection in the joint, I opted for investigative arthroscopy. The consultant found bone impingement on the femoral head, took off 5mm of bone and trimmed and repaired the torn labrum. Thankfully I have avoided osteoarthritis, just in time he said. The liklihood is I will need the same procedure in the right hip.
It is now 13 weeks post op. The first few weeks went well, I was ahead of the curve with regaining joint mobility and strength work went to plan. I was swimming after 3 weeks and cycling on a road bike after 5. Now however I seem to be going backwards. My phys said I could do short jogging intervals after 7 weeks but I get the same old groin/adductor pains as pre-op so I stopped after a few attempts and I'm wondering where to go from here.
I'm watching all your posts eagerly and trying to take some heart from your experiences. I have a follow up with Mr Conroy in 9 days time and I know he will be guided by me if/when I elect to have the other hip done. You have to rememeber, once you have elected, you are on the consultant's conveyor belt, they are doing the surgery but you are responsible for your own decisions. The problem is I don't know if the first one has really got to the root of my problems or if I just haven't allowed enough time or been conservative enough with my rehab (too much cycling is likely). In the meantime I am still supporting my running club where I am race secretary (which is like having salt rubbed in to the wounds as I can't race) and hoping to god I will eventually make it back, even if it is only to train for and race 5Ks.
Ho hum. I am going to be glued to this forum from now on....