Emma has had hip surgery after a stress fracture

August 18, 2016


I had surgery on a hip fracture a year ago and still experiencing pain in the muscle, do you know if this is normal?

The Guru requires more info:

Hi Emma

It all depends on where the hip was fractured and what was done after the fracture.

Was the fracture displaced, through the neck or was it the pelvis part? Did you have an operation or just rest? Did the fracture occur through trauma or through repetition? How long ago are you talking about and what have you been doing since? How old are you?

Let me know and I’m sure I can point you in the right direction.

Emma replies:

The stress fracture was in 3 places across the neck of the femur (the part going into the pelvis) I had an operation where a metal plate and pins were fitted against my femur. The fracture happened whist running, there was no trauma; i have undergone many tests however it just seems bad luck!

I had the surgery last April 2016.  I am 26.

Since the surgery, I have had physio however we have come to a bit of a cross roads with not knowing exactly what muscles were affected in surgery. The muscles throughout my quad seem very weak still, for example stepping up onto a step sideways is very tough. Although I have been trying to build up strength through squats and running again.

However it seems to take steps backwards every now and again and is starting to get frustrating.

Thanks for your time,

August 18, 2016

Fantastic – thanks Em

Quick answer is no – and even though you’ve got pain in the muscle,  I’m not sure that the muscle is to blame….

Going back to the beginning stress fractures happened due to repetition. Stop the repetitive action (running), operate, the fracture heals and the pain goes. Job done.

However lots of people run and don’t get stress fractures – so why you and not them? Bad luck? Might be.

Unfortunately that means if you don’t know why you’ve were overloading your hip it might come back. Bad luck is a really convenient diagnosis.

Common things are like an anteverted or retroverted hip where you’ve got a true boney positional issue and (distance) running maybe not for you – this is easy to pick up, as long as you know what you’ll looking for. If you don’t know, you won’t see it because you won’t be looking for it – get my drift on looking for lots of causative things….

But we can’t forget the basics of how you control your pelvis (the drop, your leg rolling it, your body drift) when you land on your leg – primarily controlled by your glut. And if you’ve got a slouchy running style and a stuff thoracic spine you’ll never be able to call up the necessary control you’ll need to make these muscles work around your hip. It’ll all start to get a little painful…

I think your op was a success. But you haven’t been given the ability to move better post op, as you didn’t even have it pre op, hence the stress fracture. It’s convenient to “blame” the op for ongoing issues, but I’m not sure your primary cause (stiff thoracic spine, poor glut control, incorrect loading patterns) have ever been identified – and so are still out there to haunt you (so to speak!!)

Ask you Physio to do nothing apart from spend the next 2 or 3 sessions treating your thoracic spine. Walk and stand tall (not stiff). Rehab in really good form – if you can’t control your body form, then bin the exercise as it too hard. No glut stretching at all and definitely try this stretch.

Still no luck – let me know where in the country you are and I’m sure I can get you in front of someone who help….

The Guru

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