It's happening, Dan's getting a new hip!

2020 is upon us and we all start those silly new years resolutions, does ‘new year, new me’ sound familiar? To me, that’s all bullshit, we can make positive changes anytime of the year… it often just takes something negative happening in our lives, something to put life into perspective. an injury, or something else makes you realise you’re not as healthy as you should be.  For me, its that my bad hip has got REALLY BAD.

 

Those of you that have seen me before would be aware that I’ve had some ongoing issues with my left hip. Old mate has been pretty bad recently, so I’ve finally bitten the bullet and am making arrangements to have my hip replaced. It’s going to be a bit of a journey for all of us, so I thought I’d talk my way through the process – beginning with what exactly is going on.

 

My hip had been bothering me on and off for a few years, mainly presenting as acute lower back pain. After a bad bout in 2011, I was sent for some X-rays and was diagnosed with Femoral Acetabular Impingement (FAI) with an associated CAM deformity.

 

What is FAI?

 

FAI occurs when the ball shaped femoral head contacts the acetabulum (the socket) abnormally or does not permit a normal range of motion in the acetabular socket. 

 

Three types of FAI are recognized. 

 

  • The first involves an excess of bone along the upper surface of the femoral head, known as a CAM deformity. 

 

  • The second is due to an excess of growth of the upper lip of the acetabular socket and is known as a 'pincer' deformity. 

 

  • The third is a combination of the two, generally referred to as 'mixed.' 

 

How do you know you’ve got FAI?

 

For me? It was pain! I suffered (and continue to suffer) from acute lower back pain, acute groin pain and occasional gluteal pain or lateral hip ache. 

 

We then follow up with some clinical testing. 

 

  • We generally test the internal rotation of the affected hip, as this movement will decrease in proportion with the size of any CAM deformity (Eggar et al, 2016). 

 

  • Flexing the hip to 90 degrees, adducting, and internally rotating the hip, known as the FADDIR test, should also be performed (Eggar et al, 2016). It is positive when it causes pain. 

 

  • The FABER test should also be performed, this test involves flexing, abducting, and externally rotating the hip. The FABER test is useful when diagnosing concurrently with a labral (the cartilage ring on the rim of the socket) pathology and, again,  is considered positive if the position elicits pain (Starkey, 2015)

 

The next step (if some or all of the above tests are positive), is to send you off for some X-rays. We will ask for some specific images to be taken to check the structural integrity of the hip and see if there is, in fact, and FAI occurring.

 

Blog #2 for 2020 will discuss what happens next…. So keep an eye out.

 

Does any of the above sound familiar to you? If so, make contact so we can have a chat about things… being able to speak from personal experience certainly helps

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