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Ale 11-05-2013 04:30 PM

Ball Joint of the Hip Issues.
Ball Joint of the Hip Issues.

Where do I begin with what I've been going through for the past two weeks? Pain like I've never encountered before in my life. Curled up on the couch in the fetal position. Crying my eyes out. Bottles of pain killers. It's never ending. So here is a little timeline that I created to explain start to where I am now.

Oct 30th
Went riding for 6-7 hours, off and on. Took breaks. Was muscle sore, of course but nothing serious in my mind. Had an awesome pony day, as usual on Sundays.

Oct 21st-22nd
Soreness as usual, especially after practicing posting trots on the 30th. I didn't think anything of the situation, because after riding that long, you are bound to be sore. The night of the 22nd I was having a hard time walking, but figured that after all of that riding on Sunday I overdid it and went on with my night without taking pain meds.

Oct 23rd
Around 4am, I woke up to use the bathroom and felt the worst pain of my entire life. It took me almost 30 minutes to get the ten feet from my bedroom to the bathroom. By the time I was done using the restroom, I dropped to the ground in god awful pain. I was crouched there on all fours, screaming and crying in so much pain that it actually woke my sister up from her sleep. I tried crawling back to my bedroom to lay down and couldn't even climb to two foot height back onto my bed. I crawled to the living room, by now being somewhere around 5am. Laying there on the floor I couldn't find a comfortable spot. I couldn't stop crying and screaming as the pain rippled through my entire being. My mom finally woke up at this point and knew that something was seriously wrong with me. This wasn't muscle pain like I encountered before, it was deep, like it was in the bone and I knew it. Taking another 20 some minutes to get from the living room to my front porch, down six stairs and into the car, we zoomed off to the emergency room. I arrived there, expecting to get some kind of relief, but I was wrong. Two hours after arriving there I finally got some morphine and another pain killer, which did not even touch the pain. They took me for X-rays to make sure that nothing was fractured or broken. Back to the waiting room area, they gave me another dose of morphine, which again did absolutely nothing for me. After finding out that nothing was fractured or broken, they sent me for a CAT scan. Let me tell you, laying down completely flat for the X-rays and the CAT scan hurt like no other. After the CAT scan I got sent back down to my room and waited for the results. After 8 hours of being at the ER, they come to tell me that I have fluid on my hip and I have to go to the Orthopedic (bone) doctor and that he would draw the fluid out and I would feel much better... They sent me home with a mild painkiller.

Oct 25th
Two days after visiting the ER, I go to the bone doctor, to find out there is nothing he can do for me at the time of my visit. He informed me that finding out there is fluid in my hip joint tells him nothing and I have to go for a MRI which will better show him why the fluid is there so he can treat me. He sends me home with a muscle relaxer and a stronger painkiller.

Oct 30th
A five day wait and I go for my MRI. 40 minutes of laying there completely flat was almost unbearable. By the end I had myself propped up on the sides of the machine to relieve some of the pressure caused by laying down flat. They inform me it would be 1-2 days until the results came through. I call on the 1st to find out I have to see another bone doctor on the 4th.

Nov 4th
I go see the second bone doctor to find out that I have some issues going on with my hip. Come to find out my hip bone, the acetabulum part is wearing flat inside of being round where the femoral head of my leg bone connects. This flat part is causing a sharper point that ended up ripping into my femoral head cartilage which allowed the fluid to leak inside and caused the intense pain that I have been dealing with. He informed me that this has been progressing for a long period of time and that riding could have possibly amplified the problem, but it would have done this on its own with time. So on the 6th I have to go to a third bone doctor for a consultation about surgery to re-round the acetabulum part of my hip bone. He mentioned that depending which surgery I have, the healing period could be two weeks or over a month. I will find out more information on the 6th and will go from there to get this handled. Though I am not feeling as much pain as I was for the first two weeks, the second bone doctor warned me that the pain could very easily flare back up if left untreated. After almost 3 weeks of going through this nightmare, I plan to schedule for the surgery as soon as humanly possible.

With all of this being explained, I do have a few questions about continuing my horseback riding career. Because we all well know that I am not going to just give up and never ride again. A friend mentioned to me that a gel saddle pad would be a good idea to act as a shock absorber. The second bone doctor mentioned that the position required for riding could have been what amplified the process of this problem. Normally, I ride in a standard barrel saddle or a standard show saddle. Nothing fancy.

1. What kind of pad should I invest in?
2. What kind of saddle should I invest in?
3. Is posting going to pose an issue in the future?
4. Is riding 1-3 times a week going to pose an issue in the future?

I am aware that no one here is a doctor, but I figured to ask these questions to equine intelligent members, since the doctor didn't really seem to have a clue on what I was talking about as far as the saddle and pad go and what posting even was when trotting.

Thanks in advance. Let me know if there are other questions you might have in order to better answer my questions or offer advice.

DancingArabian 11-05-2013 06:24 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I think you're going to have to wait until you heal. You'll have to try out different styles of saddles and see what's comfortable and then from there be able to determine the pad.

Posting and riding may cause problems but they might not. All depends on a million factors.
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tinyliny 11-05-2013 07:31 PM

I am not experiencing the same thing, but have had an ongoing pronblem in my neck and back that cause me constant pain, day in and day out, of varying degrees. and the nerve gets pinched so I get numbness in my left leg when riding. It's not screaming agony pain, but just a kind of incessant pain that wears a person down. I went riding yesterday and it made the whole pain flair up again. So, all this is to say, I know how scary it can feel if you start to thinking that "I'll have to give up riding". I might look into a gel seat myself. I have sheepskin on, but it's pretty worn out.

I hope you find relief soon, and of a permanent nature.

4horses 11-06-2013 01:41 AM

My suggestion is to invest in a Paso or other gaited horse.

I've been having lots of health issues and my energy levels are always very low. Think of chronic fatigue times 10. Let me just say riding a Paso is so much easier than posting the trot! If this is going to be a problem that could re-occur I would definitely consider a Paso as an alternative to giving up riding.

I would also ask the doctor about angles of sitting-(riding a round horse vs riding a narrow horse).

Ale 11-06-2013 12:29 PM

Went for my consultation today and found out what the diagnosis of my problem is....

Femoral acetabular impingement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Video example of what I have

I have mixed (pincer and cam) Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) or hip impingement syndrome. Which is: is a condition affecting the hip joint in young and middle-aged adults.[1] Impingement occurs when the ball shaped femoral head rubs abnormally[2] or does not have full range of motion in the acetabular socket.[3] Damage in the hip joint can occur to the articular cartilage or the labral cartilage (soft tissue bumper of the socket). Treatment options vary from conservative treatment to arthroscopic and open surgery.

I have to go to physical therapy and wait three months in order for my insurance to approve and cover some of the cost of surgery. The doctor flat out told me that the physical therapy isn't a solution to this problem and won't do a ****ed thing for me; but the insurance makes patients with this issue go through it anyways. Then they have to wait three months in order to schedule for the surgery. He informed me that do what I can and don't do what I can't. Simple enough. So as far as riding goes, that means if I can tolerate it then I am going to do it. He said that this problem has been progressing for at least ten years now, which is common in people suffering from FAI. So horseback riding did not cause this problem, thank goodness. I was dreading to find out that riding was the cause, but I am glad to find out it is not. I really liked this doctor and though he was the third bone doctor that I saw, I really liked him and could tell he knew what he was talking about. Not compared to the two other bone doctors I saw who didn't really know their bums from a hole in lee ground lol. I am sincerely upset that I have to wait three months to be treated. Doctor told me that he would do the surgery tomorrow if the insurance would allow him, but that's not how it works. I am just really nervous that the pain is going to flare up like it did when I realized that there was a problem. Then what am I going to do? Run to the ER again, have them pump me full of morphine that doesn't work and be out of work without pay again? Ayi yi yi. This medical system is starting to drive me insane.

Thanks for the comments and the ideas of what I can do to help keep myself more comfortable during riding. I think since I am not feeling pain right now, I will take Dixie for a short ride and get off before I encounter pain. At the first feeling of pain or discomfort, I will deff get off to prevent flaring that pain.

Thanks again my friends <3 The help and support is much appreciated.

4horses 11-06-2013 03:45 PM

I would call the insurance and be sure to discuss the situation with them. Every insurance has different requirements. I'm not sure how he knows you "have" to get physical therapy first. Usually the doctor has to submit an insurance authorization form and go from there.

I would just tell the insurance that the doctor does not feel physical therapy would be beneficial and recommends immediate surgery. Ask them what forms the doctor needs to fill out so you can get in sooner and explain that your pain levels are so bad morphine does not help.

Definitely fight your insurance on this! It is worth a try.

I've dealt with insurance issues before. You can win!

Ale 11-06-2013 03:53 PM

The insurance company is actually coming in this month, so I am going to wait until I can talk face-to-face with the representative. I agree, the doctor stated right to my face that the physical therapy isn't going to do anything for me. It might loosen up the joint, but it's in no way a solution to the problem. Wiggling my leg around in its own socket isn't going to stop a bone spur from growing and isn't going to reshape my femoral bone. >_>

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