April 29, 2012


How I have been feeling 
about my hip pain... and what to do about it.

Earlier this month I was diagnosed with a labral hip tear by Dr. Peter Anas who is in the NE Orthopaedic and Spine Surgery Group (NEBH). After he read an MRI report from another facility. He scheduled an Arthrogram MRI  to confirm what he believed to be true, "probable left labral tear secondary to femoroacetabular impingment." I had the Arthrogram MRI a week later and then a week after that I was back in his office reviewing the results. He was stymied. I did NOT have a labral tear. But I do have a cyst inside my bone. OK, what does that mean? How did it happen? what could possibly cause it? How can I prevent it from worsening? Hypothetically even....throw me something to think about, consider, work on.... 

To my questions, the doctor answers, "I do not know." (Honest, okay).
When I asked him what I can do about it (and the pain). His response was, "You'll just have to live with it." THAT was not an acceptable answer and I mentioned this (politely) to him. So...He prescribe some (crazy-making, short-term) medicine and sent me on my way... Would there be a follow up? No. I left with the same diagnosis I knew I had over a year ago:
(Left: first diagnosis; Right: second diagnosis)

I am the tortoise and finding the right path to follow towards healing is a SLOW and STEADY Process, indeed.

April 08, 2012

MRI Arthrography

Labral Tear in Hip

Finally, an answer...
Of course with answers come more questions...

I haven't Run Run (capital "R") since January's G.A.C. Fat Ass in Bradley Palmer. After a few loops there, I pinpointed the pain and was certain—something was definitely not right. After an earlier x-ray in December to rule out fracture and/or arthritis I was sent to PT in January to treat "hip pain."

The guys (Larry and Paulo) at the Off Season (North Andover) were great; they addressed my bilateral hip tendinitis and bursitis by polishing their Graston tools and ART techniques of simultaneous LOVE and PAIN.  Oh did they spread that love. Physical Therapy, Acupuncture and Sports Message didn't lessen my hip conundrum. My hip/groin pain was the same if not worse after two months of physical therapy. Mind you, I still had not RUN since January. I don't sit still for long and focused my energy on race directing! 
After "graduating" from PT in early March, I decided to test my body and went for a wog (walk and jog) around the TARC Spring Thaw 3.5 mile loop, which involved more walking than jogging. YIKES. My hips were NOT healthy for this activity so I was back on the DL....Since the Physical Therapy didn't help with my specific hip pain, my PCP sent me for an MRI (w/o Contrast). 

 If my hip cannot be happy right now 
at least my toes are!

MRI #1—"Impression: Small amount of cystic degenerative change at the subcapital portion of the femoral neck bilaterally."  

Whah? English, s'il vous plaƮt.
In need of a translation from a trusted set of eyes, I shared the impression and disk scans with someone who might be able to help, unofficially. This person was surprised that I was not diagnosed with a torn labrum because all signs, experiences, etc., pointed towards "labral tear." Back to the PCP and then a referral (and more weeks waiting for the appointment) with Dr. Peter P. Anas in the spine group at New England Baptist Hospital. The Spine Group?

Dr. Anas was attentive, kindly direct, listened, patient, wore Danskos and was a site for sore hips— I mean sore eyes. He read the impression and confirmed the diagnosis: "Labral Tear Left Hip." We talked about the next theoretical steps. He said if I walked away without doing anything I would have an arthritic hip in 10 years, for certain. It was likely I would need arthroscopic surgery and he said I would be about 6 weeks on crutches, depending. He asked just how much do you run when you were running? etc. etc.  He was sympathetic when I asked when I could start back up: run, bike, swim, hike, be active in general.... again (whimper sniff, throat clearing...). He used these words, "Do you mean, when will you be reactivated? Well, it depends on what we find with the MRI Arthrography (Contrast)." 
So I am at this point...More waiting. I am patient. I have other interests but it really is a fitness bummer to be down for the count for so long. It could be worse, a lot worse.
Hip Arthoscopy and the Labrum