The first six weeks post-FAI surgery are definitely hardest so let’s just say that I am happy to have the first six weeks behind me.
At the post-FAI surgery six week point I have successfully ditched the crutches and have essentially zero pain in the hip although I have some tightness in the hip flexor and an achy SI joint. I am up to riding the stationary bike for 30 minutes at a time, have nearly normal range of motion in the operated hip, and am stoked to move onto the next phase of my physical therapy program – strengthening!
I am feeling positive and optimistic that I will be back running and skiing by March. And I am so confident that I will recover well from this surgery that I am already making plans for a trail running summer of fun.
Here’s a week by week overview of my first six weeks of FAI surgery recovery:
- Week 1: FAI Surgery Number Two
- Week 2: Running Blogs, Kind Words, & Pie
- Week 3: Back to Work & Physical Therapy
- Week 4-5: The Flu & Serious Meltdowns
- Week 6: Goodbye Crutches, Hello SI
Frequently Asked FAI Surgery Recovery Questions
I have been getting several questions about my FAI recovery via email so I thought I would post answers to the frequently asked questions for y’all to see. Remember that every recovery is different and that each surgeon may have his own restrictions and timeline. Also, my labrum/cartilage was still in pretty decent shape and I didn’t require any microfracture procedures so my recovery may be shorter and smoother than those requiring more complex procedures.
What are the dates and types of procedures you had done?
- FAI Surgery #1 – December 9, 2011: Left hip femoroplasty, acetabuloplasty, labral repair, and iliopsoas tendon release.
- Capsular Repair – January 17, 2013: Left hip capsular repair (tightening of iliofemoral ligament) along with some cartilage debridement and scar tissue removal.
- FAI Surgery #2 – November 14, 2013 – Right hip femoroplasty and capsular repair (tightening of iliofemoral ligament).
When could you drive after FAI surgery?
I was driving a manual 2 weeks after my current FAI surgery (right hip) and 4 weeks after FAI surgery #1 (left hip) and capsular repair (left hip).
How long were you on crutches after FAI surgery?
I went down to one crutch after four weeks, but took until six weeks to be totally off crutches. It took about seven weeks to be walking somewhat normally. For hip surgery #1, I was off crutches at 5 ½ weeks and walking normally and feeling good at 6 weeks. With the capsular repair, I used crutches for 7 weeks – yikes!
When can you go back to work after FAI surgery?
I have an office-type job and I went back to work after a week with the first two surgeries. With my current FAI surgery, I took a full two weeks off and I think it has made a world of difference in my recovery. So my advice, take as much time off as possible!
Was FAI surgery that painful?
It really wasn’t that bad. I only took pain pills for 3-5 days after each surgery and then my pain was well controlled with ice and ibuprofen. If I was rich, I would buy my own GameReady machine – seriously my bestest friend for the first few weeks.
I am scheduled for FAI surgery and I am freaking out. Should I do it?
Have you honestly tried physical therapy and rest to resolve your hip pain? Have you chosen an experienced surgeon who believes surgery is the best option for you? Have you received a second opinion? Are you committed to working hard through the long rehab process? Are you psyched to put the surgery behind you and get moving on the healing process? Do you promise to stay positive even with minor setbacks along the way? If you said “yes” to all of these items, I think you are ready!
Are you back running after FAI surgery? How are you doing now?
My final FAI hip surgery was years ago at this point and I am back to 110%. I have run several ultramarathons since including the Antelope Canyon 55K, Moab Red Hot 55K, Montana’s Rut 50K, the Cortina Trail in Italy, and even attempted my first 100 miler in 2016.
Any other questions? I would be happy to answer!