Femoroacetabular impingement or FAI is a condition of too much friction in the hip joint. Basically, the ball (femoral head) and socket rub abnormally creating damage to the hip joint. In my case, there was extra bone on my spherical head of my femur bone (it is called the neck of the femur bone).
I had surgery in June 2010 to cure my right hip. I was made aware at that time that I had FAI in my left hip, but the joint space looked pretty good. Also, I was not having any pain. Two and a half years later I started noticing lower back pain. Additionally, I noticed some minor groin pain. I was in denial for about 5 months because the groin pain was not constant. I cut way back on running. Strangely enough, I ran a half marathon on 9/1 and 9/15 safely with little notice of any injury other than lower back pain. Sometime in October I started getting a mysterious pain on the outside of both of my hips. Eventually on 11/3/13 I ran a 3.1 mile race for a fund-raiser with a team of my friends. I noticed a day or so after I ran the race, my right side recovered quickly (within the day), but I knew then something was seriously wrong on my left side. I could not deny it any longer. My sports medicine doctor sent me for an MRI and my fears were validated. My left hip had failed me. Interestingly, I do not have the same pain levels as my pre-FAI treated right hip. Perhaps I know what to expect this time, so it is not as mentally painful. However, I can bicycle this time around, but I have trouble with walking. I have been overworking/favoring my right hip trying to protect my left hip. I am walking with an awkward gait.
I know there are two schools of thought of how FAI comes about. I read it could be from a childhood injury or growth event(?), but believe this condition congenital - (thanks mom - thanks dad) - I was born with it. I guess that my outdoor activity levels were so high that my FAI came out on my early 30's instead of my mid-50's. I suppose a really sedentary person may never be diagnosed with it. None of my large family has it except me, but I am undoubtedly the most athletic person by far. I did a lot of roller skating and I played some soccer before I was twelve - I guess I could have created this condition myself at a young age, but it is more fun to blame mom and dad. My mom is a big walker, but she has no hip problems. My dad - did not know him. I read over comment #179 in the comment section of my blog from Karl.OS from New Zealand. Maybe I have deeper hip sockets 85% of the world population? Ultimately, I had it and now I am dealing with the results of the two surgeries for the rest of my life. On 12/30/13, I read the procedure to be performed at the hospital on my file reads "congenital FAO" (femoacetabular osteopathy). I am using the "go with you know" school of thought and choosing the same hospital and surgeon that helped me get back my full active lifestyle in 2010.
I have told all of my friends, family, and neighbors that I could not even walk after 5 weeks last time I had this operation. I am looking forward to asking the surgeon why my healing is going so much quickly and easier than my right hip in 2010. Here are my ideas: