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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board

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I'm a 51-year old woman. I am only slightly overweight (about 15 lbs). I just found out that I will need surgery to fix a labrum tear and impingement. I am very scared and dreading this. I appreciate any advice that anyone can give me about the surgery and the doctors.

When I was younger I was athletic in an average way. Went to the gym, did aerobics classes, rode bicycles, played tennis, hiked, etc. But as my auto-immune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) got the best of me, I had to slow down because of chronic back pain. I have a couple of herniated discs and sometimes get a little sciatic-type pain in my left leg due to muscle tightness.

Looking back, I realize that over the past 5 years or so, sometimes my right hip felt like it was briefly "catching." Sometimes I had a little pain in my groin, but it never lasted long, and sometimes morphed into back pain or SI joint pain. So I never in a million years thought that I had a hip problem, but maybe I did. Maybe this has been brewing a long time and I didn't know. I have been told my my physical therapist that my SI joints are rather loose and unstable. I have been trying to do exercises to stabilize them, but it has been difficult, especially now. For now, I have stopped all exercise except for very light walking on flat surfaces.

This past year has been rough for me. Besides my chronic back pain, things began happening to me, which I believe are related to my auto-immune thyroid disease (I've been on Synthroid for 15 years). Last summer, my body began feeling stiff and a lot of my hair began falling out. I developed a very painful capsulitis inflammation in both big toes and was mainly off my feet for almost 4 months. Then my shoulder suddenly got frozen (it's OK now).

And then, in November 2011, I pulled my groin (or so I thought) just WALKING on my treadmill under 3mph. I had PT and massage but they didn't help much. Finally got an MRI recently, and was diagnosed with a torn Labrum in my right hip this week. I was very upset and cried for two straight days. My body feels like it's falling apart. I am in the middle of seeing various doctors to figure out whether I have an additional auto-immune disease. So the diagnosis of the labral tear really set me into an emotional tailspin.

It hurts if I "overdo" it. I have to be careful not to put too much stress on the adductor muscle. At first, I thought this was a muscle pull, because the adductor muscle kept getting very tight. My physical therapist helped to make that stop, so at least the muscle doesn't hurt anymore. I can walk OK, but can't walk fast or push anything (like a heavy shopping cart). As long as I take a few Ibuprofen every day and am careful with my activity, it's very manageable and doesn't hurt much. But it DOES hurt. The pain is ALWAYS there. There isn't a day that I don't realize it's there.

The soonest I would be able to have surgery on this would be mid/late July. My daughter is graduating from high school in early June, and we are supposed to go the Caribbean for 10 days in early July. Then I want to be able to help her shop for her dorm room and see her off to college in mid-September! I can't afford to be laid up and miss these things. We do not want to cancel our family summer trip -- we are all looking forward to it. From what I understand, it is possible to live with this problem and not get it fixed right away, as long as you don't do anything to make it worse.

But can day-to-day activities make this situation worse if you don't get it fixed right away? I am so scared that the longer I wait for the surgery, the worse things will get. I am being very careful. I am extremely inactive right now. My two windows for surgery would be either mid-July or late September because of the family commitments I mentioned.

Here is what the summary of my MRI says. It was a regular MRI, not an MRI with dye:

Findings compatible with underlying femoroacetabular impingement with tearing of the anterior and the lateral acetabular labrum, spurring and remodeling of the anterior glenoid rim and mild asphericity of the antererolateral femoral head/neck junction. There is also mild marginal spurring along both medial and laterial aspects of the procimal femoral psyseal scar.

Moderate size joint effusion noted. Probably chronic tearing of the ligamentum teres in the fovea capitis.

No fracture or avascular necrosis.

Mild tendinosis of the gluteus minimus tendons with minor interstital tearing. No significant overlying trochanteric bursitis.

There is no evidence of secondary osteoarthritis at this time.

Please -- if you have experience with this problem and the surgery to fix it, I really need some advice.

Thank you!

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