I began practicing Shotokan Karate in 1982, at the age of 15. My bones were still developing at that point and the intense exercise took its toll over the years. I started noticing pain in my hips in 2000, which intensified in 2001, prompting my first visit to an orthopedist. It was determined that I had arthritis in my hips.
The pain further increased over the years since then. I had seen several doctors regarding my condition and they fairly unanimously suggested that I ease off as much as possible on karate and other activities and plan on getting a total hip replacement when I could no longer bear the pain. I did ease off but have never felt it would be worth it to more drastically reduce my karate activities. Much of my success in life has been in some way related to my involvement in karate. It has made me the person I am today.
Fortunately, in 2007, I found a doctor who specialized in the specific condition (FAI) that I have. Femoro-acetabular impingement is a condition primarily found in those who were very athletic while their bones were still developing. Thus many professional and collegiate athletes, mostly in their late 20′s to early 40′s (but also as young as teenagers and much older) are being diagnosed with this condition as its most likely causes have been understood in the past 10 years or so.
I underwent my first surgery on Dec 17, 2007 (left hip). The next was Feb 4, 2008 (right hip). Then I had a total replacement on Dec 23, 2008 (left hip). Finally, I had another total replacement on May 8, 2013 (right hip). This blog is meant to provide a glimpse into my personal experience with this condition and my recovery, in the hope that others may learn from it.