So I’m still dealing with this labral tear, and it’s definitely slow going. Though let’s be honest, when is the last time that healing anything wasn’t slow going? (Not that the tear itself can be healed, but there are things I can do to reduce pain and prevent issues.)
Let’s look back at where I’ve been –
Mid-November – I go on a six mile taper run and have a bunch of weird pain in my left quad and end up walking most of it. I shrug it off.
Late November – Space Coast! I run with Kim and we have a blast until I tweak my right soleus (likely due to a tight piriformis combined with some wicked camber on the course) at mile 12.
Mid-December – I do a 3 mile run, no real issues til the end when my soleus starts to hurt. Guess that’s not quite healed.
Late December – For the rest of the month, when I try to run, my quad almost immediately starts to hurt. It is not awesome. It is super inflamed and painful. The pain is along the top of my quad and down the outer side. So I stop running. Only biking and swimming
Early January – Cheer at WDW Marathon. No running, but tons and tons of walking, and zero issues.
January 16 – Appointment with regenerative orthopedist. He talks very fast, and while very nice, does not leave me feeling great about the appointment. He orders an x-ray and an MRI, says it’s probably a labral tear or maybe a stress fracture, but that I can still run (not the best plan, if it’s a stress fracture). Throws a whole lot of information at me about regenerative therapies and injections, and tells me to come back in a month.
January 17 – I decide to try to get in with another orthopedist, one who does more traditional therapies. Get an appointment for the following week.
January 19 – X-Ray and MRI. MRIs remain un-fun for someone who is claustrophobic, but I survive.
January 23 – Appointment with the new orthopedist. I immediately like him better. He looks at my scans and the reports, and there is very clearly a labral tear (and no stress fracture) in my left hip. He gives me a ten day course of prednisone, tells me to wear supportive shoes, prescribes PT, and tells me to come back in three weeks, and that I can try running in two weeks. So off I go with my happy new plan.
February 6 – I run one mile. It hurts.
February 8 – I attempt to run another mile, realize that it hurts right away and that this is stupid. My PT was surprised that the doctor wanted me to try running so soon, and she was right. I wasn’t ready.
February 13 – I return to the orthopedist for my followup. He seems surprised I’m not 100% better. He asks if I want to talk to a surgeon. I tell him that I’m not ready for that option. He recommends I consider a cortisone injection, and I take the information. He basically says that none of these are requirements and I’m not causing harm by continuing to just do PT and waiting to see how things go.
Surgery is definitely not in my plans. The recovery time is a full 6 months, and it’s not a guaranteed fix. Additionally, were I to consider surgery, it wouldn’t be until the fall. We’re doing a Northern European cruise in August, and it’s been planned for years. I refuse to be hobbling around and dealing with recovery while sight-seeing.
I’m reluctant to try the cortisone right now as well. I’ve done quite a bit of research and it can have a catabolic effect. Now, if I were in pain during my normal day-to-day activities, I would absolutely be considering it. But it also isn’t a permanent fix, and if the biggest issue is that I can’t run, I’m not sure it’s worth it right now.
For now, my plan is to continue with PT. While my exercises are getting easier, they are far from easy. I have a lot of strengthening work to do. I’m certainly hoping to be able to get back to running, but I’m definitely taking the conservative approach right now. It’s incredibly frustrating, but I’d rather be cautious than jump into bigger treatments that don’t work.
If, after some time has passed, I’m still finding that things aren’t improving (I think they are, it’s just hard to tell), I may consider going back to the regenerative ortho. Patience is going to be the name of the game here. Slow and steady.