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torn hip labrum

Adventures of a Torn Hip Labrum

First, I have been awful at posting on this site. I have set a goal for myself to post at least once a month. Hey, it is better than what I have been doing! This could actually be a difficult task because in just a few days, I am about to have surgery and my recovery I am told is 6 to 9 months so…posting about kayaking might be a bit more difficult for me since I won’t actually be in a kayak.

I do plan to make posts about my journey through this and I will largely do that through videos. I plan to post pretty frequently, at least in the beginning, on our instagram page so if you want to see more frequent posts, go there.

Here is my first video post (it’s nothing exciting):

Let me try to run down how I have gotten to this point.

I’ve had hip pain for at least 6 years. Probably more like 8 years. I have lost track at this point. Throughout the years the pain has been anywhere from completely liveable to losing sleep and being in a lot of pain.

Main symptoms: deep hip socket pressure and moving my leg laterally (internal/external rotation) is not smooth at all and rather a popping/clicking sensation.

Why have I waited so long? Well, two main reasons: I am cheap and didn’t want to pay for the MRI (even though I have insurance) and I really don’t like going to the doctor. And maybe I wanted to bury my head in the sand and not admit I had an injury.

The process of being diagnosed:

  1. Meet with physician for an exam which included x-rays. The appointment is basically so they can order an MRI
  2. MRI with contrast. This was not cheap. I believe insurance was charged $7400!
  3. Meet with the doctor again to discuss results and what is next
  4. Get a cortisone shot to help diagnose the problem. If I wasn’t maxing out my insurance, I wouldn’t have done this and in the future, doubt I would do it again. It hurt for roughly 2 days after to the point I struggled to walk.
  5. Discuss with my PT friend what realistically I should do
  6. Get another doctor to look at the MRI
  7. The first doctor said I had a labral tear and impingement on both the cam and pincer. Think bone spurs on the socket and the femur bone. The second doctor did not see these bone spurs but did see the tear
  8. Reach out to everyone possible to find the best doctor to perform the surgery
  9. Research, research, research!!
  10. Went to a third and final doctor roughly 3 hours away
  11. Schedule the surgery
  12. Get a CT scan


Each doctor seems to be a bit different on this. Some say non-weight bearing, others say partial. Mine says 3 weeks on crutches, then in a brace. Absolutely no twisting of the hip and extensive physical therapy. In fact, I am already scheduled for PT two days after the surgery.

Care/Time Off Work

I live alone with a very active dog so I had to set up post-care for myself. The doctor told me if someone could help me for a week, I should be good. He said I could drive almost immediately. We shall see about that one. I know I won’t be driving my manual for a long time.

He said if I could take two weeks off work, I should be good. This is why I have scheduled it for the week before we head into Thanksgiving break (I am a high school teacher)

My Mindset Going Into Surgery

Honestly, not great. I am incredibly active. I work out on average 5 days a week. Currently, I am a weekend warrior in terms of kayaking, and I road bike the other days. I also typically in the winter lift weights. Aside from sports, I am always doing some sort of project whether that be dabbling in mechanics or a woodworking project. I don’t like to sit still.

In the winter when I had carpal tunnel release surgery, I was out of a kayak for 2 months and hiked a ton and I was still going out of my mind.

I am also allergic to pretty much all pain meds so I am certainly worried about how bad this pain is going to be at first.

I have an entire list of things I want to accomplish in this recovery period. This will hopefully keep me somewhat sane.

I am trying to change my mindset. I have done some core and glute exercises to try to go into surgery as strong as possible. I believe this surgery will stop the permanent damage that I have done to my cartilage and help prolong a full hip replacement. I am expecting no improvement from surgery and hoping for drastic improvement. I am hoping I can drive a car longer than an hour at a time without immense pressure in my joint. I am hoping that when I do get back to full activity, I am able to sleep through the night without pain. I am hoping that when I move, my femur doesn’t randomly pop.

I am grateful to the person that is going to take care of me and make sure Thor (my big ‘ol rottie) gets regular walks and I am looking forward to having some time off work. All hard things open a door for personal growth. This is me, walking through that door.


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!