FAI (Femoro-acetabular Impingement) & Karate

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

Archive for December, 2008

a little better each day

Nothing significant to report today, other than that I slept much better and am feeling a little more mobile and better overall.  I worked from home today.   I had to take frequent breaks to move around.  But otherwise I had no real problems.

walking better

I spent some time today with just one crutch and some time with none.  I have been very careful and slow.  I can see that the recovery from this surgery will not be any slower than my previous 2; possibly a lot quicker.  But I need to make sure not to rush things…

Feeling better

I’m feeling a little more mobile each day.  The self-administered shots of blood-thinner still hurt just as much as they did the first time.  But otherwise I am doing better all around.  I called the Dr’s office and his medical assistant assured my that Tylonol is fine (warning with prescription blood-thinner suggested avoiding it).  They had me come into the hospital for another ultrasound, just to be sure the swelling wasn’t a real problem.  It was fine.  It turns out that the ultrasound technician was a serious gymnast as a youth and is now (in her mid/late-30’s, I would guess) feeling a lot of pain in her hips. Talking about it in more details during my exam, it seems she may have FAI. I recommended she see my first Dr, which she seemed like she would.  The physical therapist came over late this afternoon and showed me a few exercises that I was already doing or planning on doing, gave me a little advice, etc.  Very basic.  The one important thing he told me was that the swelling was most likely due to inactivity; that I should move around MORE (my mother had been advising me not to do so MUCH until she heard that).  The most important thing, by far, is to continue to watch my “precautions.”  These are the rules of movement that I must adhere to or risk dislocation of the new hip.  Don’t bend the hip to less than 90 degrees; don’t turn the toe/knee inward; don’t bring the leg to/past the centerline (definitely do not cross the legs).  There are a few other minor ones. But these 3 are the most important and if I did them all at the same time I would be putting myself at serious risk of dislocation.

recovering more each day

After another relatively restless night, I stayed home most of the day with my mother and my kids.  Just before going to bed, I noticed that my leg had swelled up considerably.  I took some Tylonol to help reduce the swelling.  It may or may not have helped.  The swelling had gone down most of the way by the time I got up the next morning.  Sometime in the middle of the night, my temperature must have spiked.  I woke up soaked in sweat early in the morning. 

On the 28th (today), we went shopping (primarily to get batteries for some of the kids’ toys) and spent the rest of the day at home relaxing.  My leg is again a little swelled. But my mother noticed today in the warnings that came with the blood-thinner that I am not supposed to take Tylonol while on that medication.  So I haven’t taken any since then and plan to instead go to bed earlier tonight and plan on taking longer to get in the necessary amount of rest, since I will likely be uncomfortable again throughout the night.

I get a house-call from a physical therapist tomorrow.  I will also discuss with the doctor’s office the swelling, etc, to see what they advise.

First full day home

I didn’t sleep that well last night.  They gave me the foam thing to put between my legs to keep me in the right position to minimize risk of dislocation (that I had been using in the hospital as well).  At least I didn’t have nurses in my room all night long!  This morning, my mother drove me to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription of blood-thinner and do some shopping.  In the afternoon, my kids came over and we opened Christmas presents and I watched them run around and play with all their new toys.

Day 2 post-op

Second day after surgery (Dec 25; Merry Christmas!): I walked with the help of another physical therapist.  Then I took solo trips later, the last of which covered about 300 feet (50 feet was minimum required for release, which is usually scheduled for 3rd day after surgery).  I had an ultrasound on my legs that morning to check for blood-clots (“couldn’t be any better than this!” exclaimed the technician). I gave myself my first shot of blood-thinner (Lovenox) while a nurse watched.  I am to continue these self-administered shots for 12 days.  My surgeon came by early that afternoon and gave me the OK to leave.  My mother drove me home and I relaxed the rest of the day.

surgery success!

Dec 24: The surgery went well yesterday.  It took about 2 hours.  I now have 27 staples in my upper thigh area.  It looks pretty disgusting but is how it is supposed to be.

They did not let me get out of bed the day of the surgery.  I had visits from various hospital staff an average of about one every 30 minutes for about the first 24 hours, if not more.  My mother was also around during visiting hours.  I got my blood pressure, pulse and temperature checked many times and was hooked up to various machines, most importantly an IV coming in and another tube going out… I couldn’t really feel either one.  I also had access to a “green button” that would have given me a shot of morphine each time I pressed it (they have it set up to give only a certain amount dosage within a certain time frame).  I didn’t hit that green button and declined a few other pain-killers they offered me.  I did take their regular 12-hour pain-killer, whatever that was.  I had my blood drawn a few times as well.  Apart from my blood-pressure going below 90 for a few hours in the middle of the night, I think all was good.

This morning, a physical therapist came in and I stood up out of bed.  I stood there for a little while but got light-headed and had to lie back down.  Apparently this is quite normal.  I asked him to come by again after lunch.  I stood up again for a longer period of time and rocked a little side-to-side.  I asked him to come by again later.  An “occupational therapist” came by a little later and helped me up and into a chair.  By the evening, I was walking around the hall with the help of a walker.

Replacement tomorrow

update coming soon…

Less than 2 weeks to go…

I visited my doctor on Dec 5 and went over all the specifics for my Dec 23 hip replacement.

The rod going down my leg (femur) will be titanium. The ball will be stainless steel. The layer replacing part of the hip socket (acetabulum) will be polyethylene.<> I will walk the day of the sugery and should expect to go home after 1 to 3 nights, most likely on Christmas day. I will be on crutches for about 2 weeks and therapy will be mostly up to me.

I just joined a new gym and have been pushing my leg strength. It is very frustrating to have to quit after just a couple sets at 60% of my normal load for leg-presses. Leg extensions, etc, are also quite a bit weaker on the left side and I am limping noticeably. The pain has grown considerably and simply walking is a chore these days. I am really looking forward to having this new hip.