An update on my hip–can’t we just replace it already?

The nurse from the Hughston Clinic called me this afternoon to tell me what time I need to show up for my appointment Monday. We’re starting intra-articular “diagnostic” cortisone injections into my hip, and let’s just say, I’m not exactly thrilled to subject myself to needles inserted into my joint space.
I’ve still yet to hear a confirmed diagnosis, but the orthopedic surgeons I’ve seen are both leaning heavily towards a labral tear. The labrum is the cartilage that lines the acetabulum–the “rim” of the hip socket. I’m still convinced that femoral acetabular impingement syndrome is to blame, but in the 15 seconds I saw this last ortho, I didn’t get a chance to go over my thoughts.
The pain has become more of a constant companion, and riding is the only time I don’t feel it. I like to think riding is therapeutic, but more likely I’m able to mentally block it so I can concentrate on being effective in the saddle. I definitely feel it as soon as I get out of the saddle.
The good news is that, for this injection, they are going to sedate me. This is a nice change from the last IA procedure. I had an arthrogram (an MRI with contrast dye injected into the joint space–NOT pleasant) several months ago, and according to the radiologist who had done hundreds of IA injections, I have a small joint cavity (which resulted in a longer than average procedure and a trip to the CT scanner so he could find the appropriate space). I had planned on riding Monday morning before my appointment, but since I have to be there at 0500, I guess Johnny will get the day off. Hopefully I can return to riding Tuesday. And if the doc suggests I should skip on the show next weekend, well, we’ll just tell him where he can stick that needle (hint: it will NOT be into my hip).
I’ve been told that if the cortisone injections resolve the pain (albeit temporarily), then the diagnosis of labral tear is confirmed. And, the scary word ‘surgery’ has been brought into play as well. Honestly, I’m all about doing whatever heals this the quickest. I’d love to get back into the gym!
More to follow as treatment progresses…


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