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Hip Cartilage Tear - can anybody share experiences?

Hello all.... I'm afraid I'm only going to be talking a good race for the next few months (or more [:(]) as I have had an Arthrogram today (nasty injection right into my hip socket, followed by MRI scan) which has confirmed that I have a tear in my hip cartilage.

I'm seeing a hip specialist in a few weeks, so all I know at this stage is that there IS a tear. I don't know how repairable it is, but the sports doctor has said it is one of 3 outcomes: 1) get better with a loooong lay off from sports, 2) slim chance of fixing surgically, or 3) tough sh*t mate, you're never running again.

Has anybody else had this kind of injury? What are your experiences, whether surgical, lay-off, take the ibuprofen and carry on regardless until you need a new hip, whatever?

I guess I'm lucky that at least I can still swim and cycle. Even standing on the pedals up a 20% killer doesn't hurt at all... it's just the impact of running (or even walking, some days) and I'm really worried that I'm stuffed for triathlon in future.

Any of you guys got any experience to share on this kind of injury, like did it heal, how long, have you just got on with it with fingers crossed and painkillers in your bag? Please? I'm in my unhappy place at the moment.

Best wishes,



  • BarbsaramaBarbsarama Posts: 73
    Hey Gary, I feel for you man! I recon that you'll come out the other side though after a lay off for a while... I had meniscus tears, holes in both knee caps, scuffing and then they cut the ligaments on both knees to free up my knee caps because of a mechanical problem - I was in pain from just walking around... Cycling etc was no pain. After nearly a year I'm still not pain free but things are improving and I'm sticking with the physio etc and can cycle and swim in the mean time, jsut not running.

    Hang in there mate, you'll get there in the end - besides, it's a grand feeling when you feel things improving
  • Free WillyFree Willy Posts: 63
    Hi Gary

    Sorry to hear of your hip problems, I know how you are feeling as I had a similar experience with a doctor when I was around 40 and was told I should give up all sport or I would be in a wheelchair as my right knee is bu****ed (rugby,running and squash), I believed him/them for nearly 2 years and it nearly drove me mad not doing anything, plus my weight went up (hence my nickname!). In the end I decided to try and do something, the re-starting point for me was seeing all these 'old gits' doing a triathlon and so I 'remodeled' my run and now although it is not much more than a shuffle I do get around - eventually, and yes I do take some pain killers around with me if it gets too bad, this one of the reasons that I treat my triathlons as a bit of a social event, I only compete against myself and just try to encourage everyone else and enjoy the day (only HIM/IM now as sprints are definatley out), of course I am failrly certain at some point I will have 'retire' but then there is always wheelchair basketball.

    I hope that a lay off from the running and just doing the low impact stuff will result in a repair, not sure the 20% hills counts as low impact! Having read quite a lot of posts from you and you obviously love the sport, maybe you could do a coaching course while you are having a rest and get your fix coaching.


    Tony (aka Free Willy)

    ps Change your signature to omit the run and go straight in to the 'nice lie down'! At least temporarily.
  • learnerlearner Posts: 100
    Buddy no way. Chin up and don't dwell on the worst case senario. Keep positive and positive things happen.

    Good luck and finger crossed for you.

  • legalbeaglelegalbeagle Posts: 208
    Hey Gary, I can't give any advice about your hip but I'm in a similar position with my knee. It's been ongoing since May and I won't be at the top of the waiting list until end October - that's just to see someone!! Who knows what happens then!

    Try and stay positive, keep doing what you can do and maybe find a relay buddy to do some races with - I know its not quite the same but you still get the buzz from the event and the relay teams can be pretty competitive!

    Please please please don't go down the training on pain killers road - it's just not worth it, you'll end up bug.....d! I'm sure you'll get fixed and will be back to full strength in time, it might seem like ages but the patience will pay off - don't be tempted to cram a few races in on Ibruprofen now, only to regret it later!

    Tying up with another thread do you think we should change the team 220 kit to say

    We wear red, we buy carbon, wear no knickers and all have bug....d joints here and there!!!
  • LindsLinds Posts: 124
    Shocking news, and whilst I can't give any specific advice about the injury I can only echo the comments about resting the hip and not running with painkillers.

    I did my ankle in about 10 years ago halfway through the footy season and decided to play on taking painkillers and ice buckets for my ankle before each game/training.

    This soon caught up with me and I ended up being out for months rather than weeks.

    Take the long view on this one and hopefully you'll be back pounding the runs again sometime soon.
  • Free WillyFree Willy Posts: 63
    Just to put the record straight from my previous posting which may have been misleading (my fault should have edited a bit better!), I would like to state the only time I take the pain killers with me is on the run stage of an IM, I never take during training, if it hurts its rest and recuperation.


  • BarbsaramaBarbsarama Posts: 73
    You know how they have a duathlon with running and biking, do they have any races with swimming and cylcing? That would be perfect for me and perhaps some others out there who have injuries but don't want to quit...

  • rj1265rj1265 Posts: 70

    Don't go down the painkiller/anti-inflam route .... I did that 20 years ago (young, single & stupid), I ended up taking approx 3000 ibuprofen a year to keep me, moving (back and knees) and playing rugby,yachting. I ended up with some stomach problems (happily cured), 2 operations and now the noisiest knees you have ever heard.

    Rest, rest and more rest were the real cures but like Tony I ended rather large [;)] (I do like eating).... hence what I do now..... 'trundle' round at the back ..... but I finish (in the time limits) and it feels sooo good.

    If you want to try natural supplements --- Glucosamine, Chontroitin and MSM have helped me greatly (painkiller/anti-inflam intake is nearly zero).

    Good Luck and keep positive

  • Hello all... thought I'd give an update on the hip cartilage tear, as I now have more info. Hopefully it will be useful to anybody else in the same situation.

    It seems I've got a torn labrum, which is not uncommon amongst runners. Mine is unfortunately caused by a mis-shapen femur and a mis-shapen hip socket mashing the cartilage, so there's no point in the surgeon going in to repair the cartilage unless he repairs the bone. In fact, left unattended I will be needing an artificial hip in 10 years or so....

    For most people without bone problems a quick keyhole surgery fix would do it. This would be day surgery, and you'd be limping for a week and out of physio in about 4 weeks.

    I'm currently trying to decide whether to go for the keyhole surgery partial bone repair (which 'might' fix it) or go for the full open surgery fix which will mean 12 weeks off work & 6 months of physio and re-hab before I'm up and running (or cycling) again. And I'll be setting off metal detectors!

    Anyway, I'm feeling positive about things: my surgeon is one of the best and he is confident that I will recover fully. My main aim now is to make my decision and go with it, then get myself as fit and ready as I can be for the surgery. This will include losing as much fatty weight as I can before the op so I can reduce the strain on the joint during re-hab.

    I'm definitely going to start a 'What re-hab have you done today???' thread. [:D]

    Cheers for all the positive comments... I'm going to be the world's worst armchair triathlete.
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Hey bopo I thought I would resurrect this thread as I have been told I may have a labrum tear secondary to a stress fracture of my femur. Just wanted to know how things were going?
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Oh no, mate. What a disaster! [:(]

    For my part I had to cancel the surgery a week before it went ahead, as I was put on notice of redundancy... I cancelled because a) My private health care would have run out half way through my physio, b) I could not afford to be bed-ridden for 3 months.. I need to be looking for a job.

    So, I was kind of resigned to just putting up with it. As it turns out, a long lay-off from running has done wonders. It stopped hurting, so I started jogging then upping tha pace a bit. Still not quick, but I can do about 45-50mins per 10km without any pain at all.

    There are certain twisting motions and ranges of movement that I avoid, otherwise I get a 'crunch' noise and it hurts for a day. Happily, running and cycling don;t seem to cause a problem.

    Sensibly, I know my hip is weak, and is wearing. I will have to get it seen to in the next few years, but at the moment I'm managing it.

    Anyway: what about you? Can you still train? I'd guess the stress fracture is the big issue for you? From my experience you can live with a torn labrum (at least I can) but it probably depends on how big the tear is and where abouts...
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