Labrum Tears, Cysts, and Surgery Oh My!

I've had the title sitting in my draft box for about three weeks now in which during those three weeks I have contemplated writing about every day.  While these articles usually are a great source of therapy for myself this time around the words could not be found. Discovering, what deep down I am pretty sure I already knew was wrong with my hip, that there was a labral tear in my left hip took a couple days to wrap my head around.  Once I was able to wrap my head around it I used all my other focus to stay as positive.

The official diagnoses off the MRI was a longitudinal labral tear anterior, a paralabral cyst anterior, and a 1 cm benign bone lesion in which the surgeon strongly encourage surgery to fix properly.  Rather his words were if you want to go back to doing the things you love to do surgery is necessary.  Thankfully the surgeon had an opening right away and they were able to get me in last Tuesday as at that point all I wanted was to get the surgery over with and begin the healing process.

So what is a labral repair?  It is a very simple surgery (as far as surgeries go) only about 30-40 minute procedure and minimally invasive; I only have two small incisions, about the width of a nickel and one pinpoint hole on my hip.  During the surgery they go in and put your femur on traction in order to provide some space in the joint capsule, suture the tear, clean up the joint space, in my case remove the cyst, and shave off a small amount of the femur head in order to create a smooth surface for the larum to move against.  All in all a very easy procedure.

The week leading up to surgery:

For anyone that has had surgery knows that going into the procedure strong ensures a much easier and quicker recovery, so I tried my best to go about my training in order to stay strong.


At this point though I believe my mind and body had finally given in and I had a hard time pushing past the discomfort.  Yes, I know it was all mental because previous to setting a date for surgery my workouts were fairly normal, hard and intense.

Surgery unnerved me a bit.  I had never had surgery and in truth I had never been seriously injured before.  The week before surgery I spent a lot of time in my head making plans, re-writing plans, mapping out training for recovery and post recovery, then trying to tell myself to just wait it out.  My poor husband was brilliantly calm and just listened to my plans agreeing with whatever it was I came up with.

Day of Surgery

Thankfully my surgery was in the morning so  I didn't have to spend the day starving as you cannot eat or drink prior to the surgery. surgeryI am not sure what I was more nervous for the actual surgery or the IV being put in.  Needles are not my thing, you wouldn't know it from the five or so tattoos that I have, but I have serious anxiety when it comes to needles.

As predicted surgery went very well and the surgeon was able to report that the tear was appropriately fixed, the cyst removed, and the damage done to the joint capsule cleaned up.  While it was not reported to myself directly the surgeon informed my husband that it was very obvious once he got into the capsule that it had been injured for a while as the joint was very damaged.

post srugery

Apparently anesthesia often makes people very emotional for I woke up crying and wanting my husband.  When they wouldn't let me see him I asked to call my mom saying, "she's QC for Providence she can go anywhere, I should be able to call her," they did not fall for it.  Yes I am 26 and still wanted my mommy.

The days after:

Some may say that having surgery around Christmas time is a bit of a bummer and while it is a bit because the last thing you really want to do is entertain people, we hosted 12 people at our house for a big Christmas Eve dinner, it was also perfect timing as my parents were already coming up, I didn't have to take as much time off work, and truthfully the distraction was pretty nice.

my mommaConsidering I am barely a week out of surgery my pain is fairly low however I spend a lot of time being uncomfortable and have not slept well throughout it.  One of the hardest things was showering two days after the surgery which resulted in me passing out in the bathroom and my mom and dad having to carrying to the bedroom.

Mobility wise I am pretty mobile as I am up on crutches and able to to put about 10 to 20% of my weight on my left leg.  As predicted being cooped up in the house all day with my only form of exercise being either walking to the bathroom or using the CPM machine (Continual Passive Movement) I've been going a little stir crazy.  To counter act that my amazing husband was willing to go shopping with me so that I could get myself out of the house for an hour.

retail therapy

Today I was actually able to get myself to the gym to ride the recumbent bike and walk laps around the gym, talk about a highlight!  Riding the recumbent, while very slow and difficult, felt great as it really helped with blood flow and increasing my moral.

my baby and me

So whats next?

Recovery is approximately 2 to 3 months and at that time the surgeon, his PA, and my physical therapist all believe that by the end of the 2-3 months I will have made a full recovery and will  be able to start my full time Ironman training.

That being stated I am still planning on competing at the CdA Ironman in August bearing no issues with my recovery with official training to start sometime in March or beginning of April.  Until then I plan to do everything possible to increase my strength in the hip and make a full recovery.

In conclusion I want to quickly give an sincere and utmost grateful thank you to everyone who has offered their kindness, support, encouragement, and love.  While it is merely a simple surgery and something that was easily fixed it is still a bump in the road for me and the support has made that bump look less overwhelming.  I have always said it takes a team to make an athlete and I am beyond blessed to have one of the best teams around.  It is through the blessings and strength from those around me that I am able to find the courage to always better myself, and I promise to continue to do so during this time.