Cartilage tear in hip

After 5 months I have just been diagonsed with a cartilage tear in my hip and am being referred for surgery. Has anyone had this and knows how long it might take to get to surgery...on the NHS.

I so miss running and find walking still difficult.


  • PipesPipes ✭✭✭

    Hi Rebecca - sorry to hear your diagnosis. Do they know if there was anything particular that caused the tear (eg. an impingement?).

    I had surgery just over 2 weeks ago for cartilage tear and impingement. Recovery is going well after a slow start.  I had the same surgery on my left hip in December last year.  

    With my left hip, I was placed on the NHS waiting list in May and had surgery on 28 December (after 3 postponements for more urgent cases than me). With my right hip, I was placed on the waiting list as 'urgent' in June and had the surgery mid-September, after one last-minute postponement.  So the second time was a much shorter wait.

    If you want to hear from others who have had this surgery or are waiting for it, come to the FAI thread.  Most people have impingement as well as a tear, but their experiences will be similar.

    Good luck with it all.  I am very familiar with the missing running thing and finding walking difficult.

  • Hi thanks, it was caused by running....I was doing a lot of trainiing and other activity for a long period and damaged it doing a half marathon in May. I had an MRI last week and the consultant said a 'tear to the cartilage' so I don't know if there is anything else.

    I have just been to my doctor and he is going to put the referral in saying it is severely impacting life, work etc...which it is.

    One Q, did you carry on exercising prior to surgery? I have been swimming and using cross-trainer, darn't run!!

    How long did your first receovery take? hope you heal soon - did you get back to running after the first hip?

  • p.s where can I find the FAI thread - sorry new to this site

  • PipesPipes ✭✭✭

    FAI thread is here

    Before my first op, I was able to run a bit - I did a few parkruns, a 10k and perhaps 2 runs per week (having previously been doing 50+ miles per week).  After each run, there was more stiffness and pain, but it was still worth it.  I did other work on the x-trainer.

    After recovering from the op (3 months), I expected to be able to do the same, perhaps more...but I was wrong. By then, the right hip wasn't up to any running. I could do about 10 minutes slowly, with electric shock-pains along the way, then would be extra sore for 2 weeks afterwards. It wasn't worth it.  So I started aqua-jogging and some spinning classes. I've never liked swimming very much so only lasted a week or so doing that.

    The surgeon told me not to run for 3 months after the first op.  He said nothing after this one but I will do the same.  I know, too, that so much is weaker now than it was before and that I have imbalances, so I will have a lot of strengthening and build-up to do before I can race again. Assuming that I can race again.

    The first hip (done in December) still gives me a bit of trouble, but it's a different ache now - I'm hoping it's muscular and can be ironed out eventually when the right hip settles.

    If you 'only' have the tear, your recovery/ chance of success are presumably better than also having to have bone shaved off.  

  • Hi all, +3 weeks from surgery for impingement, had mine at Gobowen in Shropshire under Mr Karlaki on the NHS. Thought I'd offer my experiences where they differ from the general themes here. My diagnosis is impingement, thinning cartilage, early osteoarthritis.

    Waiting/funding: no apparent issues, pain wasn't chronic, I got it early so my op is to try to delay it worsening. It was bad enough that I'd stopped running a couple of months ago, after several years of reducing activity from marathons, through shorter Tri's to nothing expect walking. In context though, I climbed 12 Munro's less than a month before my op, as walking has never been that problematic, at least once I'd warmed up and got loose. Couple of ibuprofen after a day on the hills would generally see me sleep OK and be able to loosen up the following day, and I'd managed to find a job that wasn't dependent on physical ability, or compromised if I woke up and needed an hour to loosen up before commuting.

    Risk: Mr K's reckoning is a 70% chance of improvement, and by the 3 months mark we should be able to tell if any improvement, although 6 months to full recovery ( ie as good as it will ever get) is more realistic.

    Although that doesn't sound great odds, the chances of it being worse are pretty low (something like 5%) with a 25% of being neither better or worse. I suppose those numbers are really subjective and vary from patient to patient though? #

    Worst case  is a joint damaged beyond repair and bringing forward a FHR, nerve damage (unrepairable) or the very very worst, which is very low risk but always present for any surgery.

    Hospital: op at 3pm, woke up 7ish, out 2pm next day. Had general & a spinal too, recommended by anesthetist more to numb pain during first few hours of recovery than anything else though. She did make absolutely sure I understood that being unable to move my legs when I first came round was normal. They regularly do this op, and even FHR with just a spinal apparently especially for older patients

    Overnight was horrible, they fit air pumps to the feet to reduce DVT risk, which was really uncomfortable and although not really in any pain, it was generally a long uncomfortable night. Physio next day was really only able to get me on my feet and show me how to use crutches, and explain a set of mobilisation/clenching exercises to do at home

    Recovery: I had no pain, honestly, none at all. Until I moved. Then it was like a hot knife through my groin. So I didn't move much for the first night at home, day 2 forced myself to first mobilisations. I haven't cried with pain before. But it only lasts while you're moving, and by day 3 it was easier. 3 weeks on, I can move around the house w/o crutches, as of yesterday physio recommends using one (on opposite side of body) when I go outside or if it's tired. Still no bike, cross trainer type stuff though, just strength and mobilisation on the bedroom floor. Current "favourite" is pulling knee into chest 20 times for 20 sec. You know I said I hadn't cried with pain before...

    Physio reckons the main thing is to do the exercises, work have offered to pay for additional physio if it gets me back in work sooner, but it's mostly doing the exercises again and again and again that makes a difference, not doing them with a physio present.

    Painkillers: I'm not good with morphine, it doesn't work on me so I just feel sick and still have the pain. Paracetamol, 8 tablets a day for 8 days is all I had once the spinal had worn off. It was enough.

    Prognosis: too early to say. pre-op Mr K set my expectations, I won't ever run marathons again, but it should reduce pain, improve fexibility and probably should be good for a few more sprint Tri' s and get a few more years out of it before I need a FHR. 


    Thanks to all who

  • Thanks to all who've posted replies before me, they'be been brilliant to read, both good and poor experiences. You've really helped me this morning

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