While visiting her site, I noticed she has recently published a book: The Entrepreneurial Patient: A Patient's Guide to Hip Impingement While I have not been diagnosed with FAI (my surgeon doesn't treat it- I understand) I was curious about what she had to say about hip arthroscopic surgery and the different diagnoses, procedures, and outcomes. Upon downloading the ebook version, I did a real quick read of the book since it was late at night. I went back to reread it all over again this weekend and I wish this book had been written before I had my surgery in 2011. She walks you through her story, explains the mechanics of the hip and different forms of surgery. She uses data from studies and interviews and explains what a patient should know and do before and after surgery.
From my experience, just about everything I have learned about labral tears and arthroscopic surgery, (including my own) has been from my own research which is primarily found on online message boards from other patients. In fact, I believe I would never had been treated or had surgery if I didn't advocate for myself through self-diagnosis. No doctor or therapist ever suggested a labral tear to me as the source of my long-time problems, which started as a lower back problem similar to Anna's experience. I had the resultant back, sacrum, psoas, adductor, and glute problems as well as muscular imbalances long before I felt anything in my hip (although in retrospect the clicking, catching, and giving away in that hip joint should have been a clue that something was wrong with the joint).
Anna gives a solid education regarding the hip and it is good to have it in one place rather than in a bevy of numerous online postings. The book is worth its weight in gold, just because she tells you how to interview and seek out qualified surgeons and therapists. I thought I did lots of work to get my surgeon, but really he was only the second surgeon I called (the first considered me too old at over 50). My surgeon has excellent credentials, but I had heard he doesn't treat FAI and I really should have asked around to see if I have it and I never questioned him on it either. I still don't know if I have FAI. I also did not meet my surgeon until right before the surgery. If I had researched and asked around, I would have found out how hands-off he is post surgery. I was given a sheet with a few exercises and told to call his office in 10 days, from which I was told I could start running when I felt ready. I waited until three weeks post surgery and I have yet to hear of anyone starting running so quickly! I don't think that was a problem for me, the bigger problem was I didn't know to ask about PT. I asked almost two months later, just to be sure.
If I had this book, I would have been much more prepared to question my surgeon or get second opinions from other surgeons before getting my surgery. Anna also highlight all the things to do pre and post surgery and the types of therapies that can help. She also goes over the many complications that can result from hip surgey: the muscle imbalances and the tight adductors and glutes, things that I am still fighting in my own recovery. One thing I found interesting is that Anna found that stretching the hip flexor was not helpful to her. I have noticed this too. If I stretch the psoas or hip flexor I seem to be worse off than if I leave it alone. Do you want to know how many times I have been told that stretching the psoas would solve my problem? Nope! She also gives advice for dealing with insurance companies.
This was one Kindle book where I constantly highlighted passages throughout my reading so I can go back again and reread. I got a wonderful one-stop education from someone who has done her homework. This should really help out the many patients who are curious about what is wrong with their hips. Message boards are great, but you can spend a significant amount of hours reading them to get the information that you need.
I thought I had done a lot of work researching on my own, but what I learned was only a small amount compared to all the Anna imparts. I am pleased to note that some of the important treatments that I discovered such as MAT are some of the treatments that she thinks are worthwhile. Hip arthroscopic surgery is a relatively new field that continues to grow. I also think that my recent frustrations (and last two posts) dealing with recovery and doctors and therapists mirror what Anna (and others) have discovered. It seems that getting a diagnosis is difficult (the pains of a torn labrum are referred to other areas), in surgery it is important to get the best surgeon that you can, and that recovery seems to be the most difficult part of all due to doctors and therapists not having a protocol or understanding of the needs of the patient after surgery. Muscles imbalances, deactivated muscles, and other problems such as in the psoas. glutes or with the adductors are common. Just like I have found, standard hip PT does not really help. I have some new ideas to pursue and some new ammunition when I talk with doctors and therapist that I did not have before I read the book. I think I was on the right track before, but this book will help me articulate things better and I now now that my hunches and speculations are probably right on, so I need to pursue them and not just trust that things will work out on their own. I can only tell you that if you are curious about your hip or are dealing with hip surgery and its aftermath, this is the one best book you can read and when you are done you can go to the message boards and fill in the gaps with the support and experiences from other patients that are so willingly shared.