Hip Check

It’s been almost four months since the Chicago Marathon, which also means I’ve spent almost four months dealing with an injury in my left hip. Originally it was diagnosed as trochanteric bursitis. I ceased all running activity, started physical therapy and continued seeing my massage therapist, but that didn’t help. I saw my orthopedist and received a cortisone shot. It worked … for about 10 days, and then the pain returned. I continued PT. I returned to the orthopedist and received another cortisone shot. This one did absolutely nothing. I tried dry needling, more PT, even two visits to a chiropractor. Nothing.

Today’s biology lesson!

What the heck is wrong with me? Was I misdiagnosed? Will I ever get better? Is this pain something I’ll just have to learn to live with? What am I doing wrong? My frustration, anger, self-blame and sadness swelled.

I went back to the ortho a third time last week and received an MRI. (If you’re keeping track at home, I’ve now spent 10 hours at the orthopedist’s office, not including travel time.) The MRI revealed that I do, in fact, have bursitis — only it’s not of the trochanteric variety. The inflamed bursa is actually my iliopsoas.

“Wow, that’s the most fluid I’ve ever seen in that bursa,” my orthopedist said, pointing out a giant white splotch on the screen.

I almost started crying with relief.

“See?!? I told you guys I wasn’t making this up!”

(My biggest fear had been that after the MRI, they would tell me, “Gee, we can’t find anything wrong. Sorry!”)

See that white splotch? That's my fluid-filled bursa, shown on an MRI.

See that white splotch? That’s my fluid-filled bursa, shown on an MRI.

My orthopedist believes I initially did have trochanteric bursitis, but that the cortisone shots took care of it (hence the immediate relief after the first one). So now, my body is only dealing with the iliopsoas bursitis. (Main causes: prolonged sitting and repetitive running. DING DING DING!) In the last couple weeks, I have noticed a shift to more pain in my butt/hamstring area, one of the sure-fire symptoms.

The good news is, this bursitis is still curable with a cortisone shot. However, I have to visit a different orthopedist who specializes in these types of shots because this bursa is much harder to reach (and I’m assuming the needle is going to be hella long and scary ). She’s completely booked up until mid-February, so I’m looking at another two weeks of pain and probably four more weeks of no running.

I’m still annoyed that I can’t get this taken care of RIGHT NOW, but at least I have an actual plan that should yield actual results and an actual time frame for when it’s all going to happen. Relief is the best word I can use to describe how I feel about it.

In the meantime, I swapped out my Illinois Marathon registration for the half marathon, and I hope I can get back in shape to safely finish those 13.1 miles on April 25.

In other words, there’s a reflective running vest light at the end of the tunnel. — Mags


4 thoughts on “Hip Check

  1. Did you ever sort your bursitis? I am struggling with mine.


  2. Pingback: Bad Angel Rules for Running | Hip Check 2

  3. Ugh, this sounds terribly frustrating.


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