FAI (Femoro-acetabular Impingement) & Karate

My personal experience with FAI and what you should know about this condition

Archive for January, 2008

A week to go to round 2

I am now definitely at a pain level better than I had been since well before my surgery. I may never be rid of my hip pain completely, due to the irreversable deterioration of the cartilage. My strength and stability continue to improve. I am sometimes frustrated with my recovery rate. But my physical therapists tell me that I am way ahead of the curve. I have been doing 90-minute sessions with them twice/week, working up to slow jogging this week that involved the therapist tugging at me from behind while holding onto a cord.  In addition, I am training/teaching twice/week at the dojo, spending about one hour at workouts at the gym once or twice per week, and doing plenty of extra exercises in between at home.  I am not neglecting my upper-body in workouts at the gym and dojo.   6 sets of 20 pushups on Thursday, for example, and an assortment of exercises at the gym.

<>Surgery on my right hip is a week from tomorrow. I would think that I should recover from that one even faster, since the condition of my right hip has never been quite as bad as my left. But what worries me and the therapists the most is that my left leg/hip may not be completely ready to support all my weight immediately following my 2nd surgery. I suppose that really shouldn’t be such a problem, however, since I will have crutches to help. Major Karate activities to take place 5 weeks after the 2nd surgery. So I will need to recovery quickly…

clicks & pops and another MRI

I have been feeling grinding in my hip since a few days after the surgery.  As my range-of-motion increases further, I have been getting a little more of that.  But it doesn’t hurt and I am told by the professionals that this is nothing to be alarmed about and is not necessarily unhealthy.  I have also felt some other sensations recently in my left hip; some good and some not-so-good.  Only a few times have I felt sharp pain.  One thing that feels good, both physically and emotionally, is the occasional “pop” of my hip.  I hadn’t had a pop in my hip for years, since the arthritis started taking its toll on me.  I went for the MRI on my right hip today.  Man, that machine was even louder than the previous two MRI machines I’ve been in!  At least they gave me earplugs AND earphones (not connected to anything) to help reduce the noise.  I ended up falling asleep about 20 minutes into the 30-minute sequence.  I worked out at the gym tonight.  I had physical therapy two days ago and will have another session tomorrow.  I need to get my left hip strong enough to support all my weight and be able to do all the maneuvering following the surgery on my right hip in a few weeks.

Stepping up the therapy

To better prepare for having all the weight off my right leg for a while post-surgery 3 weeks from today, the physical therapists are pushing me harder in my exercises.  I feel a little ashamed to admit that I couldn’t last the full minute on the last couple sets on the leg-press.  But that was following an hour+ of various other exercises.  They know that I like to be pushed by them and that I push myself really hard.  They seem to enjoy torturing me almost as much as I do… 🙂

2nd surgery date set

Today, I set up the surgery schedule for my right hip.  It will be Feb 4.  Might as well get it all done…

nothing new

Day 23: I continue to get better every day.  I taught Karate again this evening.  I didn’t do much of it myself.  But I was able to do some punches and blocks from a relatively high stance (I realize, however, that my “high” stance is considered by many people to be “normal”).  I have only a slight limp left and even that is probably not obvious to some people.  I plan to go to the gym tomorrow for more stationary biking and on Thursday will visit the physical therapist again.  I called the doctor’s office yesterday and today, asking if I could get scheduled for early Feb surgery on the other hip.  I hope they get back to me soon.  If he cannot do it until mid-February, I will probably have to postpone it until at least May, since I have some very major Karate activities planned for March (I am organizing the biggest gathering of Japan-trained westerners ever) and April (trip to Japan where I will bring up to 15 people with me).

3 weeks and feeling better all the time!

Day 22: Today marked 3 weeks from when I had surgery on my left hip.  Last Thursday, the doctor told me that I could have my right hip done as early as the beginning of February. I am currently checking schedules (doctor’s and mine) to see what might work best. The way things have been going, I feel like I could have the right hip done in a couple weeks and be in great shape within a couple months.  I worked out a little at a gym yesterday, including stationary biking, water walking and swimming, and a little upper-body exercise.  Today, I went through some new and more challenging exercises with the physical therapist.  I believe I started some of the week 5 material today.  At least I know I’ve done almost all the week 4 exercises already… I am planning to teach karate tomorrow, go to the gym on Wednesday and then return to physical therapy on Thursday.  I felt like I was still limping very noticeably this morning when I arrived at work.  But now I feel like my limp is almost completely gone.

teaching and doing karate again

Day 20:  I lead my annual “JKA Kata Review” seminar this morning.  We went through 27 kata, twice each.  I did not do almost any of the moves as large as they should normally be done and generally took it slow and very careful, particularly on the turns.  None of the jumping kicks, of course.  And actually very few kicks in general.  But I did keep going the whole time without stopping or sitting down and I felt fine.  I know I still have limitations and need to be careful.  But am feeling at this point like maybe I should have my other hip done sooner rather than later, to just have it all out of the way.  Could I have my other hip done in early February, though, and be ready in time for the big seminar series in mid-March and a trip to Japan in April?  Hmmm…

off crutches!

Day 18: I went to physical therapy yesterday and then at night went to a new gym, where I did more stationary biking and some light leg-presses.  Of course I did a little more weight than the therapist told me to.  But I didn’t push it too hard.   I limped around without a crutch most of the evening.  Not much pain and it has been more than 2 weeks… This morning, I went to the physical therapist’s again and she said it seemed like I gained more range-of-motion overnight.  Interesting… Then, after work, I went to the doctor’s.  I got my stitches pulled out and the doctor looked me over, asked me how I felt, then told me I could ease off the crutches whenever I felt ready.  I officially retired the crutches today.  I got some “after” X-rays taken.  I will post many of these images here before too long.  He said I could have the other hip done as soon as one month from now. But due to my hectic upcoming plans for karate activities, I told him I would need to hold off for a few months.   I made an appointment to see him for a routine followup in about 6 weeks, at which time we will plan out when I will get the additional Xrays, etc, to start preparing for surgery on the right hip.  I taught Karate this evening.  I was not on my feet the whole time and cut the class short.  I didn’t feel much “pain” but did feel a little “discomfort” a few times, so I eased off and eventually sat down.  It is frustrating to not be able to get right back into training but my patience will pay off.  I plan to visit the gym again at least twice over the weekend and will teach my class on Saturday (our annual review of all the 26 JKA kata) but plan to not physically participate much.