Acetabulum fracture (hip socket)

Hi i mentioned in an earlier thread from June this year about my accident with a car when cycling to work

Since then i started cycling again (about 60 mile a wk at moment) from middle of October and went back to work as a postman 4 wks ago and am on light duties.So have managed to walk for about 2 hours a day in my job with very little discomfort.

The last time i saw my specialist he said running could be possible as long as i keep it off road and shorter distances.Because of the nature of my injury the chance of getting arthiritis in my joint is much higher than before.

The problem is i really don't know what to do?

 I have been an athlete for 30 years,20 of those yrs as a racing cyclist and 10 yrs off and on as a runner.So do i carry on cycling with all the dangers it brings (don't want to get knocked off again) and start doing a few time trials or sportives to get the high end fitness i am used to or do i persevere with running hoping that in the years to come i won't get arthiritis.I know that i would have to try the pose method of running to minimise shock to the hips,but at the moment don't know what to do for the best.

My head says cycling as it will keep my joints running smooth and fluid but my heart says keep running but am worried about the constant jarring.

Has anyone else had a similar injury and how did you cope?


  • Havent got a similar injury. However do have a type of rheumatoid arthritus, and run at least 4 times a week. I have actually found I feel better since I started to run regularly and my joints feel like they work better. Sure, the damage that is already there is not going to go away, but I feel like I am more flexible.

    So..I would say, listen to YOUR body. After all you live in it. If it feels ok, then do it, and if it doesnt then stop. Make sure you run off road as much as you can, and go for quality (enjoyment rather than speed etc) rather than miles.

    The only thing I have learnt over the years is that we truly do not know what the future holds so we have to live in the now. So maybe you get arthritus in the future (and yes it does hurt and it does change things) but, maybe you dont. What worked for me was deciding that I would listen to how I felt every day and judge accordingly. If I hurt, I dont!

    good luck
  • It sounds as if your between a rock and a hard place: both sports/exercise choices you want to do offer their own risks. But this is the same for everyone, the difference for you is that your probably more likely to fall ill to them then many others.

    I think ultimately its your choice, its not something anyone on here can answer for you. Its something everyone could add their "if I were in your boots I'd do XXX" but at the end of the day, as Shelagh Lee has already said, its your body, and the same from me: your choice, not something anyone can advise fully for you.

    You could weigh up the chances of things going wrong: how likely is it you will be knocked off your bike? (are competitions really that fierce that they have started shoving people off bikes now? (lol!)) but seriously, will you cope if you were to fall, would it be an instant "never able to cycle again" thing? How likely is it to happen anyway?

    With regards to running, most if not all runners are at risk of osteoarthritis. I was told I have it beginning in my knees and that it will only get worse. I have cut back but I wont be stopping, not least of all because weight gain would apparently make it worse, keeping myself immobile would make it worse. I have tried to change HOW I do things: if I feel intense pain in my knees to be wary and if its possible, stop and to something else non knee irritating (hard to actually do being most cardio exercises require knees!) I have also tried to change my technique- though this for me is more to do with other issues I had been getting when running. I was already thinking about this a while before I was told about my knees. I took a more barefoot style and focused on form over distance and speed. I am not and never was running to win a race or compete, I do it for me, for my own PBs and changing my technique was not so much of a challenge but may be difficult for others. I have read that barefoot style running reduces impact when running and I have been told its the impact which itself brings about the osteoarthritis. I do have to wonder though as I was under the impression that cycling is just as likely to cause OA as running is due to the constant stressers on the joints and intensity of it all.

    Maybe do a bit more research into how you can reduce the risks of either problem occuring, maybe think about the risks with either: if you fall off your bike again is that it and does it mean no more running no more anything? Can you work around there being another injury? Is it mainly fear of what happened before thats affecting you? And more importantly, maybe give it some real thought: whats really what you want to do and closer to your heart.

  • I suffered a transverse fracture of my acetabular 7th March 2012 in a freak running accident where I managed to put my right trainer through the loop of the laces of my left trainer.  As I was falling forwards my left foot pulled free and shot out sideways splitiing my pelvis through the hip socket.  I managed to stand but could not lift  my foot off the ground so went to A&E for a check up.  Following xrays and cat scan the orthapaedic surgeon came to see me and advised that my hip socket (acetabular) was shattered.  I was still in my running gear so when I asked him about the outcome the first thing he said was that I wouldn't be able to run but may be able to cycle as an alternative.  I was completely devestated, at the time I was 16 weeks into a training programme for my 10th marathon and was on target for achieving a good for age time after missing out by less than 4 minutes at Edinburgh last year. 

     I was lucky enough to have Bupa cover and managed to get transferred to a BMI hospital under one of the UK's leading hip surgeons.  He discussed surgery but advised that if it was his injury he would let it heal naturally as although it was badly broken it was minimally displaced.  My treatment involved 6 weeks of bed rest followed by 3 weeks not weight bearing on crutches and a further 3 weeks partial weight bearing.  I talked to my consultant about running and he had a different outlook.  He advised that there was no evidence  that running would worsen my long term outcome and actually sugested that after 6 months I should forget that I ever had the injury.

    I worked hard in the early stages, initially swimming, then static cycling progressing to walking with gradual speed and distance increase all of this mixed in with strength balance training and stretching.  My physiotherapist cleared me for treadmill running in June starting with 5 minutes.  I was very excited at the prospect but unfortunately I could not run more than 1 miute without getting very sore and then being in pain for days afterwards.  I kept trying and eventually I had a break through session where I was able to run for 1 mile.  A week later I had increased to 3 miles and last weekend I managed to run 10 miles continuously.  I do have a little discomfort while running and I'm not yet running at my pre-injury pace but I am optimistic that it will come with patience and hard work.  I have booked into the Bupa Birmingham half in October and have entered the ballot for London.  I guess everyone's injury is different but I do think that many surgeons are conservative with their advice.  In my opinion it's a case of working hard and listening to your body, easing off when it tells you that you have done too much. 

    I would be good to hear how you are getting on and what yiu have decided to do. 




  • I found this thread while researching options for treatment:

    Back in October I had a bad spill on my bike, my front wheel hit some wet leaves and slid out in a sharp corner, so I landed directly on my hip joint.

    The pain was quite bad immediately after, but I managed to get back on the bike and after a week or so of rest I started to run orienteering competitions again.

    During the weeks before Christmas I got progressively more hip pains and finally I had to go the emergency room, where a hip x-ray showed an area of cracking in my left acetabulum. I got some very strong pain killers and anti-inflammation (NSAID ?) medication which got rid of the imediate problem, but now my hip is starting to act up again even though I haven't done any running at all.

    Since I've been used to run 75-80 orienteering competitions/year, I was really hoping that this form of offroad running would place the minimum amount of impact load on the joint, allowing me to keep doing my favourite sport for many more years!

    I was glad to read Neil's progress reports, it sounds like more or less full recovery should be possible, and this is the offseason for orienteering here in Norway.

  • Hi stemaka, 

      As said above  getting moving is better than giving up on all running / cycling (regardless of risks). I can totally understand you not wanting to ride on roads.  What about only doing MTB or cycle ways?   I would def reccommend cross training (swimming/gym work etc.) of some sort.  

    If the consultant has said you can run, then you need start slowly and be paitent while your hip and leg muscles strength & endurance builds back-up.  Are you having any rehab sessions with physio/trainer at the minute?  Squats, lunges and light plyometrics are a good starting point.  Strong, flexible, healthy muscles and tendons will absorb the majority of the impact forces around joints when moving/running.

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