On 28th Jan 2015, I underwent my second hip arthroscopy, on the right hip, to alleviate the Femeroacetabular Impingement (FAI) due to a Cam type impingement. This is where the head of the femur isn’t round enough to be able to rotate easily in the socket. Having shown signs of recovering well and fairly quickly following the left hip arthroscopy on 22nd October 2014, my surgeon established that we could proceed without there being too much of a detrimental impact on the left hip, or the recovery process (click here to read about my left hip arthroscopy). The day before surgery, I was able to front squat “ass to grass” successfully with a loaded bar, and I was over the moon about how quickly I was able to get back to squatting again. I was still experiencing difficulties with keeping my trunk upright when back-squatting, but I was happy to have regained my front squat.
DAY OF THE OPERATION
Second time around, the surgery was a very different experience. While the surgeon was the same, the hospital, anaesthetist and supporting staff were not. Therefore, it was a completely new experience. Previously, mine was the first operation of the day. However, this time, I needed to wait until 12pm, not having eaten or drunk since midnight the night before.
The operation went well: the labrum was torn and needed to be repaired, and the femoral head was successfully re-shaped. It was more straightforward than the left hip surgery as there were fewer labral tears to fix. After the first oper ation I woke up upset and was given morphine. As a result of this, I experienced extreme nausea for the rest of the day. This time, I asked only to be given painkillers if I requested them, and warned them that it was normal for me to be upset when coming round from surgery. My right quad was numb on the surface and I had a severe burning pain down the entire leg. I had to ask for painkillers whilst in the recovery room and again when I was back in my room mid-afternoon. Unfortunately, the hospital staff were not as professional as the staff caring for me previously, which caused a high level of stress during recovery.
RECOVERING FROM THE OPERATION
I have recovered much quicker this time, despite only being 14 days post-operation. I was only on crutches for the first day. I was able to walk up/down stairs unaided on the second day, and was then able to take two steps at a time on the third day. I was able to get dressed and shower by myself on the third day. I dropped something on the floor on the fourth day and was able to squat down to pick it up without any problems.
I have had numbness in my right quad since the operation but the sensation started to return from the fourth day and there has been improvement every day. I only have superficial numbness now in the area around my IT band. This could be down to the amount of time that my leg was in traction and it is highly unlikely that there will be long lasting nerve damage, so I will need to wait a little while longer to regain full sensation.
My stitches were removed on the 13th day but, unfortunately, I woke up the next day to discover that the right incision had popped open overnight. I didn’t feel anything when I woke up and only realised something was wrong when I looked at the area and then looked at my stained sheets. I made an emergency appointment to see the nurse at my GP practice and she covered the incision with steri-strips. It wasn’t possible to stitch the incision given the amount of time it had been exposed to air and possible bacteria. I was asked to monitor it overnight and return the following day. I was also asked to be as still as possible over the coming days to allow the incision to reseal.
Overall, this has been an easier recovery and a more motivating one as I am quite far ahead of where I should be on the recovery chart and am able to do some things that I couldn’t do for weeks or months after the left hip surgery. I put this down to how physically active I am, which I have managed to keep up throughout my first recovery, and to the fact that I do my physiotherapy exercises religiously every day. It takes an hour every morning, but in the longterm, this is the only opportunity I am going to have to allow my body to heal correctly and develop the right muscle groups so that I am balanced when I return to my heavy weight training.