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3-month post hip labrum surgery

3-Month Post-Hip Labrum Surgery Update

I know I didn’t do a 2-month update and that isn’t due to being slack, that is because it would have been an incredibly boring write-up. Not much changed from 1-month to 2-month. However, a lot has changed since my last blog post.

After feeling good and getting the green light from my physical therapist to do a lot more activities, I got into my Jackson Gnarvana for a lake paddle to see how my hip would feel sitting in that position. I did this at 11 weeks. I went out for approximately 45 minutes and kept my legs locked in (without stretching) as a test run. I was incredibly happy that I had virtually no pain. Naturally, my wheels started turning about how quickly I would be back on the river.

Lake paddle with the gnarvana

1 week later, I took my Gnarvana down a section of the Chattooga River that I consider to be pretty chill. It starts with a “class IV” rapid which I walked and put in below it. This chance on the river was just to see if I could do it. Both physically and mentally.

The short version – my hip did great. Mentally I did pretty well.

The more extended version – I was nervous about things that I normally would not be nervous about. I still went for my typical moves and even did some rock spins but I took it pretty easy and mainly did a float. Making moves that come so naturally to me had my heart racing.

This was incredibly enlightening for me. I have been kayaking for so many years now, and have run this section of river a crazy number of times that I lost sight of just how far I have progressed in the sport. When an injury happens, or you walk away from the sport for any length of time and then you come back to it, you quickly realize all the things you took for granted.

When I finished this section of the river (which took just over an hour), I attempted to get out of the boat in the same manner as I was used to. My hip told me I needed to try something else. So, heads up, be gentle getting out of the boat. With about a 10-minute hike back out to the car, I was feeling so incredibly happy that I was back on the water.

The next day the hip felt a little “pinchy” but nothing too bad. A few days later I went to PT and told my therapist that I got back on the river. She was pretty shocked. This meant that this was going to be my last official PT session and that I just needed to continue to work hard on my own. My ROM of certainly still limited so stretching and mobility is a big focus all the while working on increasing my strength.

Since that 3-month mark, I have increased the miles that I tackle out hiking (as I am preparing for a backpacking trip in May), I have done the same section of whitewater, only this time I ran that first “class IV” rapid and had no issues. I was not “pinchy” this time and plan to continue increasing my kayaking to get back to where I was before this surgery.

I am definitely ahead of what the doctor and physical therapists thought. I am ahead of the few other kayakers that I know that had this surgery also. Maybe I am just lucky but I firmly believe that I am doing so well due to a couple of factors: I went into the surgery as strong as I knew how to be (I did a fair amount of hip/core pre-hab), I have been consistent with my PT (both going in and doing it on my own), and I am a vegan and believe my nutrition is really helping this recovery process.

This is just my experience. Yours may be different but hopefully, these updates are helping those actually reading the article. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave comments below.


I started kayaking in Wisconsin of all places, because this is where I am from. I then moved to San Diego and took on kayak surfing along with heading to the Kern River when water was available. I then made the move to Asheville, NC and have been hooked on this sport since my Wisconsin days. With whatever it is that you do, do it because you love it, not because society tells you should or for other outside factors. Don't simply exist, live!