Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No Improvements-Need another MRI

 I have been having the best of therapy on my hip. I feel better walking and moving around than I have in years. Most of my muscle pain is gone and I don't even think about it most days. I just cannot run.

The last two weeks of running since having to stop halfway through a trial 8 miler were a grand total of 8 miles. I get on the treadmill every few days and start off running and feeling great. My stride is more balanced, my leg seems straighter, and my foot points forward. I get to the first mile and think it will be a breakthrough day. Then I start getting twinges and the inside and front of my hip starts hurting and feeling like it is pulling, so I have to stop. The last four runs were 1.62 miles, 1.89 miles, 1.89 miles again, and then 1.70 miles. That is my limit, after that my hip hurts for a day or two. I was wearing an SI joint belt for runs since January and didn't wear it on the 2nd to last run which just made my lower back hurt too.

Today I went back to the Physiatrist to  see what he recommended. In January, he wanted me to have another cortisone shot, this time in the si joint. I didn't have it because my physical therapy was going so well. I also told him that if I put a kettlebell on top of my quad and did leg lifts that my left leg struggled with this (getting weakness and pain in the same spots) and I would get a clicking in the hip each time the weight descended. He thinks it is time for an MRI again (I tried twice in the fall, but bailed out due to claustrophobia). He thinks there is an impingement in the hip, that the labrum is torn, or a piece of the labrum is torn off causing the troubles. I agree as this has gone on for more than half a year. It is not a simple muscle injury. I think that the orthotics and PT have helped fix my stride, but the structure of my hip can't handle it (and maybe that is why my stride went wonky in the first place).

I have no problem with the thought of getting surgery if that will fix things, but I have a major problem with getting into a casket-like MRI and remaining still for an hour. Hopefully this time I can make it through. He is going to give me some meds, but I'd prefer to be knocked out completely. The good news is he is prescribing an MRI with contrast injection. One thing I have read about torn labrums and MRIs is that the doctor needs one with the contrast injection to get a good read. The previous two did not have that prescribed, even though I asked for it, and I knew that if I made it through the MRI they would just have to do another one anyhow with the contrast solution to get that good reading. So I will sit and wait for a call from the hospital to schedule a date for the MRI. As much as I want to get running again, that is balanced by how much I dislike the thought of an MRI. Maybe they need to do an MRI of my brain!

This new book from the author of The Entrepreneurial Patient blog is a must read book for anyone with hip problems and is thinking about about arthroscopic hip surgery or has had arthroscopic hip surgery for a labral tear or FAI.


GCS said...

For the MRI: Try keeping your eyes closed, listen to soothing music or meditating. Anything to keep your mid off the enclosure.

Jim Hansen said...

It worked: Meds!!!!! eyes closed, pretended I was lying on the beach on Cape Cod. Meds!!! WHen the noise went on -which I don't mind- I pretended it was an back massage. Meds! Writing stoties in my head like I had assignted my students. Piece of cake. Oh yeah, Meds. I could have lasted longer. What a relief after feeling like a fool for bailing out of similar MRI's and this was the most "Confining" MRI machine too! Meds are really good, by the way!

Rebecca DeWire said...

Ran across your blog and just had to comment because I am a runner/triathlete that has been injured for over 2 yrs with a hip injury. I have tried everything I can think of (sports med doctor, 2 MRIs, 1 MRA to rule out labral tear, physical therapy, massage therapy, yoga, pilates, functional movement screen with a personal trainer) and nothing has helped. I had left trochanteric bursitis which resolved after a year of pain, but I still feel crooked and can't get back to running. I am now seeing a chiro who does Active Release Technique and he things the cause of all my issues could be my right psoas. I am starting to think that my psoas could be the issue because my right side has always felt tighter. Good luck with your injury.

Jim Hansen said...

Yeah, I know your pain! I have tried everything you mentioned except for the FMS. The Psoas is definitely a key issue. Something about the bike-run bit in triathons can do a number on the Psoas. I had an ART guy work on it over 10 years ago and that was some of the first relief I had, but there is more going on now. If there is one thing I recommend (once the ART is done) would be to check out One tip I learned on that site for the psoas is to use a lacrosse ball on the psoas and then put a kettlebell on top of that. After a few minutes it will really relax. I have only tried this a couple times but it works better than anything else I have found. Other than that I hope for a surgical solution as nothing else seems to work. Good luck and if you find a miracle, let me know.