Multiple Diagnoses & Pain Before and After Hip Arthroscopy
In January of 2011, while at work, I experienced a shooting pain in my left buttock (which I did not understand at the time was really part of my hip). I was unable to sit, or bend over for hours and had continual excruciating pain for days.
When I saw my primary care doctor, she suspected a problem with my sacroiliac joint and wrote me out of work for a week. When the pain persisted, I took another week off. At the time of the injury, I was in my best shape ever...had lost 50 lbs and was incredibly fit, doing a moderately laboring job working in a grocery store and at the gym 5-6x/week.
After weeks of this problem, I was still only able to work part-time, the worker's comp sent me to an "Independent Medical Exam" and no surprise - he said I was fine. After discussing with my doctor, I went out of work "indefinitely", using FMLA to keep my job. (I am currently still out, awaiting trial with insurance company later this month).
I was referred in April 2011 to a physiatrist who suspected a labral tear in my hip. An MRI confirmed this, and also showed FAI. In July of 2011 I had surgery to fix both of these problems. After 8 weeks on crutches (minimal load-bearing due to bone scraping for FAI) I was only in moderate physical therapy. I had to scale back more than once due to major pain and suspected tendinitis of the hip flexor.
All along, I have been experiencing strong pain in my lower back and eventually was sent for MRI of lumbosacral region by the physiatrist. Great news - there is NOTHING wrong with my spine. But why all the pain?
So back to PT for me - at this point it's been 6 months of therapy with average progress in the hip, but less than stellar help with the back.
Since being "dismissed" from PT in February, and being told to "aggressively pursue physical activity", I have done just that. I am in the gym 5 days/week. Cardio (bike or arc trainer) every day, stretch/yoga 2x week and strength training (my PT program) 2-3x/week.
I have noticed that while I am able to do these activities, I cannot endure prolonged standing (it causes pain in my OTHER hip), prolonged walking (causes pain in hip/buttocks of both legs) and sitting for too long is uncomfortable but not entirely "painful".
From my first step out of bed I have pain in my hip and my back. I have been seeing a massage therapist for months now, who has recently been working on my psoas muscle. It's extremely painful, but has helped with my hip flexion and ROM, not so much my back. I have had work on my piriformis as well, as multiple people (PT, trainer, massage therapist) suspected it is "weak". In addition, everything I read about sacroiliac join pain describes what I feel.
I keep going for follow-ups with the surgeon but there is no relief. On my last visit I had a cortisone shot for bursitis on the outer hip (was told this can happen in the surgical site?) but it was not successful.
Am beginning to wonder if the surgery did anything, or if the real problem is still there...
I'm considering seeing a sports medicine specialist to help me diagnose possible problems in my routine and my muscles/joints. I am only 37 years old, with NO previous problems in this area and desperately want to get back to my previous level of activity (and regular life would be nice!!). I can't imagine living like this for the rest of my life.
Any advice out there?