Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Second Time Around

So much has happened since my last blog post two weeks ago that it's difficult to know where to begin. It was 9 weeks after my left hip surgery, and I had just come back to Vail for my recheck. Everything was going great - I had just started running, I was back biking, and I was waiting for my recheck with my doc the following week to see when I could start racing again.

However, there had been something nagging in the back of my mind for the few weeks leading up to my recheck. My right hip had also started to bother me on/off just prior to my left hip surgery and as I squatted and lunged my way through rehab, it started to complain a bit louder. It wasn't as bad as my left hip had been, but it was enough to make me realize that I had one of two options:

1) wait and see how it would respond as the next few months of training and racing progressed. Worst case scenario, I would get an MRI at the end of the season and if it showed another labral tear, I would be back on the wait list for another spring surgery, potentially missing most of next season as I had this year.

2) get an MRI prior to my recheck while I was here in Vail, and then make an informed decision on what to do. If surgery was needed, I'd be months ahead in the rehab process and ready to start racing again by the spring.

So, after a few restless nights of tossing and turning, I decided to have an MRI while here in Vail. On my recheck with my doctor the Monday before last, my MRI was reviewed and I found out that I had the same genetic bony impingement in my right hip as I had had in my left, ie extra bone on the neck of my femur and socket of my hip joint which had in turn created a tear in my labrum. I was due to fly back to San Diego the next morning, but there happened to be a cancellation on the surgery list for the next day, and my surgeon asked me if I wanted to stay? Oh boy, what to do. Stay and have another surgery or mull it over and have my name put back on an 8-month wait list??

Well, long story short, I had surgery on my right hip 9 days ago, and I couldn't be happier. Both hips are now done, and I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have been in the right place at the right time sitting in the doctor's office last Monday and being offered a chance to have surgery the next day. Prior to that appointment, I thought I'd be looking at another spring surgery, but it's August, and although I'll miss the remainder of this race season, I'll be more than ready for some early spring races next season. This surgery was also two hours shorter than my last surgery, and already I feel like I'm ahead of where I was with my left hip. Yup, I couldn't be happier.

I've also had the support of so many great friends here in Vail the second time around, and I've had the great fortune of being able to do my rehab and pool therapy with some really great athletes - baseball players from the While Sox and Orioles, marathoner Uta Pippig, and many others who have become great friends. A big Thank You also to Jay for his endless support and for looking after me the last ten days, to my great PT's at Howard Head Sports Medicine, Dr Philippon and the staff at the Steadman Clinic, Mark Ryan for overseeing my rehab, and of course to my family, friends, and sponsors for their continued support.

Off to the pool for rehab and then I'm headed back to San Diego. It's been a busy summer, but it's been two big steps forward in the right direction.


Libby said...

wow what a tough decision- but sounds like you made the right one. I'm PT and triathlete as well- have been hearing great things about Dr. Phillipon. Very excited to follow your journey back to the top and read about your rehab and training! best of luck to you donna!

KP said...

DP, if you have to get it done the 24hr wait time is the way to go. You scored!!

Be smart and then be strong in rehab.

Andrew Botha said...

I know this is an old post but scouring for options and info on this as just got a grade 2 year in left hip labrum and cam type FAI causing it. All this at the end of my 4 month block for Kona and 3 weeks out..... would love to hear more info if you wouldn't mind mailing me at