Five weeks post op – hip arthroscopy

As I took some good advice and inspiration from other runners in the aftermath of this op I suppose I should return the favour to those who have had the same misfortune recently of being told “your running days are over” and “nothing will fix the hip apart from an operation – and even that won’t be enough!”

First, I have read posts from lots of runners returning to full sports after this operation and secondly, arthritis notwithstanding, by week ten post – op I hope to be putting the running shoes on & hitting the road again myself. All the signs are positive to date.

My advice to anyone getting this done is simple – active recovery.

1. Get in the gym (even on crutches) in the days immediately after the op. Do your hip joint exercises provided by the surgeon but also do some upper body weights so as you don’t necessarily feel that your injury is holding you back. I was doing 50-60 miles per wk prior to my labral tear; and close to that for many months with the injury, so doing weights over the past five weeks has been a great opportunity to work on areas I had neglected owing to lack of hours in the day. Stay active.

2. Get on the static bike by week 2/day 8 and do what you can. If it hurts or “clunks” then get off and leave it until week three. Keep the resistance low but do aim to increase it gradually. Again, you are not looking for pain so if there is any, stop.

3. Once the stitches come out, get in the pool. If you’re fortunate enough that your gym has a pool then I’d get in everyday. Take advice on your activities – no breast stroke. Aqua running is great for the muscle recovery with no impact on the injured / operated joint.

4. Get to physio twice per week. I was amazed how the physio was able to find knots and tight spots in my muscles that I never knew were there. Although extremely painful, the physio massaging these points out definitely helped keep the joint loose, aided strengthening exercises and ensured scar tissue didn’t form in clusters.

5. Finally, you know all those stretches we ignore during running season? Do them. It’s a great opportunity whilst unable to run to improve flexibility (flexible muscles are stronger), aid recovery and reduce risk of injury upon return to those bastard interval sessions. The stretches around the quads, hamstrings and hip are vital after this operation if you wish to return to sports and defy those who are telling you “it’s time to give up”.

Hope this helps.

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