Saturday, March 7, 2015

My Hip Labrum Tear

K so lo and behold, with all the amazing race times and beautiful travel posts and enviable selfies on this blog (ahem, pause for you to realise am being sarcastic and am not compleeeeetely up myself) the most popular posts by far have been our injury posts. Especially the ones containing excruciating, PTSD-inducing detail about how we got them, what they felt like, how we recovered and how effing long the whole godforsaken process took.

Accordingly, I wouldnt want to deprive our fair readers of learning about my latest amazing feat, of tearing my labrum. Ive decided to intersperse it with some pictures from a recent skydiving trip (my first ever). Because SKYDIVING. So much more fun than hips. To wit: 
(Gah! Wtf am I about to do!)

So having just recovered from a stress fracture in my cuboid bone (foot) I began ramping up with the Pfitzinger return to running program. Despite my experience here, I would highly highly recommend you follow this plan after recovering from a serious injury. Its a frustratingly slow build up, but believe me - you need slow! After injury, you are at the highest risk of reinjuring yourself in the same place, because its not fully healed yet, or suffering another injury because your body has become deconditioned in your time off. And of course, any increase in mileage at all carries with it the risk of injury.

Dangling your legs outside a plane at 10 000 feet also carries with it a grave risk of injury.

I was fine once i finished the plan, but then added a few too many miles (albeit all very slow easy ones) too soon, and began to feel a niggling pain in the front of my hip and groin area. Given the risk of pain in that area being a stress fracture (which = 3-5 months off) I STOPPED RUNNING IMMEDIATELY, went to the doctor after two weeks, went to the physio after 3, and when it hadnt gone away at 4 weeks, I had an MRI. Thankfully, I have an amazing sports doctor here in Sydney, who believes me when I can feel that something is wrong. He immediately ordered me an mri, because of my history with sfxs, and I waited a couple of weeks before getting it.

Self-explanatory. OhEmGeeeeeee!!!!

Turns out I have a very small tear in the cartelege in my hip, called the labrum. It is about 5mm long, and the resulting pain was only ever pretty minor. Just that it was in the front of my hip, which is nooooot a good place to feel pain.

Timeline of Rehab and Recovery:
I got injured in late October. After getting back from Vanuatu, I started physio and recieved a bunch of exercises that I continued doing daily until early December, when I started doing them every second or third day. The exercises were all focused on 1) strengthening the external rotator muscles; the ones controlling the inward/outward rotation of my thigh; 2) strengthening my stablizer muscles - all of them, including strenghtening my core; and 3) getting my gluts to fire. If anyone wants the list of exercises let me know!

All in all I think I was completely off running for about 4-5 weeks.

This is the (relatively) restful bit of skydiving. Especially once you've realized you successfully avoided inadvertantly chucking all over yourself and the tandem guy.

Timeline of Returning to Run
In November I started running again, though feeling some discomfort still, I took a week completely off exercise in Cabo.
December I started back, building up from 3 to 12 miles (all very easy)
January saw an increase to 22 miles.
February hovered around 25-28 miles, and I increased to 30 last week.

Now this is returning to land and "hovering" hehe, lolz for days.

Aaaaand, tada, I feel no pain in that hip at all! If every I feel even a slight twinge, I do a round of my PT exercises, and its fine again.
That being said, my doctor and Physio have advised that the key to ensuring my hip stays healthy is keeping all those supporting muscles strong and flexible. People certainly do run marathons with this condition in no pain, but it could be risky for me to do so. This is because by the time you get to the end of a marathon, eeeeeverything is fatigued. So its likely that my hip could hurt again when those muscles just plain tire out. And hurting again could mean degradation of the cartelege which could ultimately = surgery.

Honestly, that didnt really bother me (for long). I just love running, I love half marathons, and they are probably enough for me at this juncture. I think Id like to try for a marathon again one day, but want to ensure that Im being absolutely fastidious with rehab and recovery throughout training, which I just dont have the time for right now, on top of the lengthy training hours.

Right now, am just stoked to run sans pain at all!


  1. I was REALLY looking forward to this post, since I was interested to read how you recovered without surgery! I do think that is totally possible - as long as you keep those muscles strong - and actually I think some tears will heal depending on location and size and, most importantly, if the tear is IN the labrum or OFF the bone. Off the bone probably won't heal back onto the bone because of the lack of blood supply, but a tear in the labrum possibly could. And I bet with PRP injections it would.
    If I had diagnosed my first tear earlier, it could possibly have been managed with PT. It wasn't torn from the bone. But I did also have significant bony impingement, so perhaps not. As it was, the tear was diagnosed after years of pain and was in terrible shape, so surgery it was. But the surgery and recovery are arduous, so if you can avoid it, that is wonderful. Keep up the rehab!

    1. Wait they can heal? This is good news, though different to everything Ive heard and read. I believe the tear was in the labrum not off the bone and there was no impingement. Though I guess it largely doesnt matter for me as it has become asymptomatic, so its as good as healed I suppose. Though it would be lovely to know it was gone completely!
      - Penny

  2. Thanks so much for this! I would love the list of exercises, especially since I have weak hips from sitting at a desk all day. Glad you are running without pain again!

    1. Thanks Jen!! I'll update the post with the exercises, though they are kind of difficult to explain without stick figures; I might have to draw on some of my old microsoft paint skills hehe!

  3. HI! Im a 19 year old female runner who was just diagnosed with a labrum tear. I just ran my first marathon (and got a BQ!) Nov. 1st, and cannot let this injury be the end of my running career. I'm so glad to hear that you recovered so well. Could you please post the exercises? thanky ou!


  4. السلامه عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته نحن فى شركة الكمال نقوم بافضل واقوى المبيدات العالميه

    الموجودة التى تقضى على جميع الحشرات الطائره والزاحفة وابادة الحشرات

    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالطائف

    شركة رش مبيدات بالطائف

    شركة مكافحة حشرات بجازان

    شركة رش مبيدات بجازان

    شركة مكافحة حشرات بحائل

    شركة رش مبيدات بحائل

    والسلامة عليكم وحمة الله وبركاته


  5. شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام

    افضل المستودعات و المخازن لدينا في شركة المنزل شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام بافضل الطرق و الاسس الحديثة للتخزين عليها صيانة دورية لتنظيفها و رشها ضد الحشرات حتي لا يصاب العفش باي ضرر فهي ذات تهوية جيدة و مؤمنة ضد الحرائق و السرقات
    شركة المنزل شركة تخزين اثاث بالدمام علي اعلي مستوي من الخدمة ذات الكفاءة العالية و افضل عروض الاسعار بالمملكة

    شركة تخزين اثاث بالدمام

  6. خدمات تسليك المجارى المسدودة ضمن المنازل، بأفضل الاجهزة الحديثه لحل المشكله فى اسرع
    شركة تسليك مجارى بالاحساء
    من اصعب المشاكل التى تواجه عملاؤنا الكرام فى مدينة الاحساء هى مشاكل انسداد انابيب المجارى شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض

    شركة تسليك مجارى ببقيق
    شركة مكافحة حشرات ببقيق

  7. May I please have a list of your exercises for your hip labral tear

  8. Glad to hear you're out in the world living! Sports injuries are tough, but I loved this narrative. Great pictures too!