Chronic Hip Pain - 25 years old, had labrum surgery two years ago

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I was training for a half marathon back in summer/fall of 2018, and felt a twinge in my left hip. It kept hurting for a couple weeks, but went away and I continued training with no pain. I ran my half marathon in October of that year and continued running through the winter/spring of 2019. Then out of nowhere, I noticed pain sitting at work all day. A couple months went by and I could not sit longer than 10 min without being in 10/10 severe pain that radiated from my hip down my whole leg. I went to the sports doctor and got a MRI, and it showed a labrum tear with a little bit of bone abnormality. He sent me to a specialty hip doctor. I was told I needed surgery because my labrum was "hanging on by a thread". I had surgery that November of 2019. They put three sutures to repair the labrum and shaved down a little bit of my bone. I was sent home with a passive motion leg machine that I had to use for weeks. I didn't put any pressure on my leg for 4-5 weeks. I started physical therapy 2 weeks after my surgery. I was in extreme pain after my surgery. My whole leg burned and I felt like it was not healing right. I followed every protocol, did PT, and my own home PT. I was a perfect patient. But my pain was not getting any better. Weeks and weeks went on and nothing was getting better. I could not sit, lay down, or stand without extreme pain. Even worse than before surgery. February comes of 2020 (still going to PT), and I finally go back to the doctor. They say it's "normal" to have this pain and put me on a steroid pack. I had another MRI done (even though they usually wait until 6 months out, I was only 3 months out at this point) I insisted on this MRI because everyday I was in tears with pain. My MRI came back and I was diagnosed with Frozen Hip, or capsulitis of the hip. My capsule was way bigger than it should be. Restricting my movement, and causing a lot of inflammation. The doctor advised a steroid injection, resting for 2 weeks, and going to a new physical therapy place focusing on stretching. I did this therapy for 3 weeks, but then Covid happened and I took my therapy home with me, keeping in contact with my PT for the next several weeks. Til this day, I do physical therapy myself and stretch religiously. Still in a lot of pain, and don't feel like the injection or new PT is helping. I've gotten to the point where I can go out for a run and do some of the things I did before surgery, still with a decent amount of pain though. I also still have trouble sitting. I still have intense hip pain if I sit longer than 20-30 min. Sometimes even shorter times. My whole leg gets super tight, stiff, and achy sitting. Walking hurts more than running. When walking, my leg is super stiff and doesn't even feel like I have a leg at some points. My left knee has been killing me too since after surgery. I've always had a little pain with my knee, but it was very manageable. Now my knee pain is just as bad as my hip. I describe my pain as "burning pain" . I even got a cortisone shot in my knee last year (summer of 2020). It did not help at all. The doctor said my patella was out of alignment. I had started incorporating physical therapy for my knee as well. Nothing helps. It's getting very mentally and physically hard. It consumes everything in me somedays. I feel like I refuse to go to the doctor again and go through the process of MRIs, injections, and PT. I've lost hope in it healing and think I will just have chronic pain. I am only 25 years old (107lbs and healthy), and feel like I'm 50 years older than that. Does anyone have a similar situation? Had arthroscopic hip surgery with pain years later still? Stiffness, burning, and tightness down their entire leg? I would love some thought and any diagnoses given the information I provided.

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    your story is very difficult and at the same time upsetting . In my experience surgeons are not always good at accepting their own mistakes/failures ... or able to meet with other specialists to help find a solution together for a patient after a failure from surgery. they do not in many cases seem to have the ability to make their patient whole again or help the mess they put their patient in and take responsibility for their patients extended well being after diagnosis and surgery failure.

    i was in similar situation. i had hip pain and after several attempts to fix the problem from many wrong diagnosis and would you believe from diagnosing a hernia to back issues , it was finally diagnosed that a hip joint replacement was needed which finally solved the issue. i actually went into surgery for a hernia and the surgeon quickly sewed the incision back up because there was no hernia. that was a long recovery from cutting thru stomach muscles. i was gobsmacked...

    i went to many doctors over the next few years as the hip pain continued . to this day i don't understand how so many doctors could have missed the diagnosis as big as a x-ray showing osteo arthritis in the ball joint causing the severe pain . its was a critical mis diagnosis that caused many more years of suffering and severe damage to my already deteriorating hip joint.

    the surgery unfortunately was a failure in your case , and you did everything possible to fulfil the diagnosis/ treatment/ therapy with the info you were given. ask to see the op report take it to another specialist along with the before and after surgery x-rays. it would be good to see another hip specialist. they are not all equal in terms of diagnosis, skill and experience. fresh new eyes is what you need to help get your life back and a better quality of life for the future. don't give up this will get better and you will move on past this unfortunate diagnosis to improving your daily life.

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    • Edited

      Thank you for your comments and sharing your own story with hip pain. I am sorry to hear of all your mis diagnoses and the pain you have had to deal with until it finally was diagnosed correctly. One of of my physical therapists actually thought it was my back. I brought that up with the hip specialist and he did not think that would be the issue. I definitely know I hurt something in my hip based on when I was running and felt a twinge. But I do think the surgeon missed something, and as you mentioned, failed my surgery. Part of me thinks a nerve was damaged during the surgery, as I always feel that burning pain down my thigh, into my knee and below. I've read stories online about issues like that after arthroscopic hip surgery. I think once I get the courage to do so, I'll take my reports and scans to a brand new place/surgeon. And get a new scan to see what's going on in there now. Brand new eyes is what I need, just wish I lived closer to a bigger city where there are more specialists. Thank you for the advice. I really appreciate it! I hope you remain pain free with your hip!

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    • Edited

      nerve injury during your surgery is a failed surgery. the numbness and burning pain is from nerve damage. the stitches added to hold the area in place failed or the surgeon poked the nerve. In this case not many other reasons for a nerve injury can be established once sciatica is ruled out. the reason for surgery was to improve your quality of life ,mobility and eliminate pain. the surgeon damaged the nerve during surgery which is very common. remember surgeons take an oath to cause no harm. many are reluctant to properly review their own surgeries for evaluations necessary to identify the issue causing your current pain. its was after surgery the nerve damage began and no amount of physical therapy as you have discovered will improve nerve injuries.

      gathering all your records including the operative report x-rays as described above is a very good decision . to locate a specialist for a new opinion from a large well known hospital with a hip specialist well versed with many surgeries in your case is imperative for the repairs required. the many problems with mri's, bone scans, injections and xray are that tissue injuries do not always show up, not until the surgeon actually goes in to visually inspect the area for the damage acquired during the primary surgery.

      many ortho surgeons do this surgery in their practice along with many other ortho surgeries and procedures but that does not mean they are well versed on the strict skill levels required to do the surgery with a successful outcome. ask your primary surgeon how many surgeries he has done like yours in the past year.

      to many orthopedic clinics are popping up on every large city street corner with new surgeons advertising all the latest techniques and hi-tech solutions used in their clinics, which in some cases lack the profound measured skill protocols required for providing surgery with a positive successful outcome.

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