Sunday, 11 August 2013

That time I had an MRI: part 2... The results!!

At a time when most of my friends are posting photos of the insides of their uterus to showcase their growing bundles of joy... I recently spent 1 hour waiting for photos of the insides of my mangled hip joint.  Why?  Because something life altering is happening to me too... Only it's less of a miracle and more of a blow.

I had been operating under the notion, for the past almost 2 years, that the pain, stiffness and other discomfort I was experiencing in my hips/back/groin were related to something, some injury, that I could recover from.  Now I am coming to terms with the fact that the only thing that will fix my problem and prevent further degeneration in my achy hips is surgery.  A surgery which is extremely invasive, not proven effective and has a year long recovery time.

So just what is FAI exactly?  FAI stands for Femoral Acetabular Impingement aka Femoroacetabular Impingement or more simply: hip impingement.  It's not well understood and until about 10 years ago, wasn't even a thing.  So in my case, cam deformity, I was born with the predisposition to develop an abnormally shaped femoral head as my hip joint formed.  What this means is that there is extra bony tissue on the ball part of what makes up the ball (femoral head) and socket (acetabulum) that makes up the hip joint.  Allow me to illustrate:  

What it is NOT: a wear and tear injury.  Running did not cause FAI, dancing did not cause FAI... However, using the joint causes complications, injuries and pain associated with it.  Every time I walk, run, squat, dance, sit, stand, shuffle, walk up stairs... That extra bony tissue is bumping (and potentially causing damage to) the cartilage in and around my hip joint which can cause tears and arthritis... Both of which I now also have.  So, my choices have now become: have a surgery that may not work and takes me out of everything I love doing for a whole year of my life or wait until the hip joint is so damaged that it needs to be replaced and spend 3 months recovering from that surgery.  In my mind, the answer is a no brainer.  I am being referred to an orthopaedic surgeon for a consultation and plan to go into it with open ears and an open mind... However, I am quite sure I have already made the decision to manage the pain until the time comes when, like my father before me, I need a new hip when I'm "way too young". 

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