Hip injection for FAI and labral tears: is it worth it? Is it accurate?

Are you considering a hip injection to test for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI)? Has a hip surgeon told you he can use a hip injection to diagnose FAI or a labral tear with certainty? In this article, you'll discover the truth about hip injections for FAI (and related hip joint pathology like labral tears).



Why get a hip injection for FAI?

The current medical approach to the diagnosis of FAI relies on several tests. One test is anesthetic injection into your hip joint.

Hip surgeons believe that if the injection relieves pain, you have a problem inside your hip joint (like a labral tear and/or FAI). Surgeons suggest that a successful injection indicates surgery is likely to be helpful. (source).

In other words, if an...

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Why am I in chronic pain? The perspective that helped me heal

When you’re suffering with chronic pain, you may search for the meaning behind your suffering. Why am I in chronic pain? Why do I keep hurting every day? What's wrong with me?

However, the meanings we ascribe to our chronic pain do not always helps us get out of pain. Oftentimes, the theories we attach to chronic pain can actually make our pain worse. 

In this article, we’re going to look at how your understanding of your pain influences your ability to move and live your life again without pain.


The meaning of my chronic pain

When I pulled my groin as a roller hockey goalie in high school, I was in a lot of pain. And I knew why. I pulled a muscle in my groin! It was hurt and injured. Doctors and physical...

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Surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – Is It Worth It?

If you're reading this you may have been told you have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS).

Maybe you've got numb, cold, tingling hands, and you can't seem to find a way to make it all go away. Surgery may have been presented as an option, and perhaps you are seeking more information on what to expect.

In this post, we're going to dive deep into the research on the diagnosis of TOS and the real results of surgery. We'll also talk about what you can do to help yourself.


Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Overview

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is a complex topic. There is controversy and confusion regarding its diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and even what term to call it. As Gliedt stated in his 2013...

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Shoulder Impingement Syndrome: Is it a bone problem that needs a surgical solution?

You head to the doctor because you keep having this nagging shoulder pain every time you move your arm. It hurts to scratch your back and grab plates out of the cabinet. It’s getting harder to wash your hair and put your shirt on every morning.

Your doctor does some tests and diagnoses you with shoulder impingement syndrome - or SIS for short.

Now you want to learn what this means for you because you want to get back to living your life without shoulder pain. You want to reach to the top shelf, play tennis, lift weights, and play with your kids without shoulder pain.

You may have tried physical therapy for a while and gotten no relief, and now you may be considering surgery to cut down bones that your doctor says are shaped...

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Special tests for FAI - the truth about FADIR and FABER and other hip impingement tests

If you have hip pain, and you've been told you have femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), you may have had a series of movement tests (called "special tests" in medical jargon) done to confirm your diagnosis.

If you have hip pain and are wondering if there are good tests for femoroacetabular impingement that will tell you if you have FAI, you may found a number of common tests that are believed to be reliable.

In either case, this article is going to cover something medical literature on FAI overlooks: the tests for hip pain causes are wildly unreliable.


What are special tests for femoroacetabular impingement?

A special test for FAI is simply a movement that doctors believe demonstrates that hip bone shape is responsible for your...

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Diagnostic injections and femoroacetabular impingement

If you suspect you have hip pain from femoroacetabular impingement, you may be considering a hip injection. 

I've been doing a lot of research on FAI as part of my duties as one of the co-creators of the FAI Fix. In a recent YouTube comment, an orthopedic physician angrily pointed out that hip joint injections supposedly identify whether hip pain is caused by problems IN the hip joint, like FAI. 

I found his comment interesting, so I did more research on hip injections for FAI. I am going to share some of the results of this research here.


Hip injections for FAI - is the pain caused by what's in the joint?

I started going through the available medical literature on femoroacetabular impingement...

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Can you trust an MRI for back pain?

Back pain is one of the most common complaints in the modern world. It’s irritating. It’s debilitating. I know from personal experience. But with hindsight, I am grateful I never got an MRI for back pain.

In this article, I’ll explain why an MRI for back pain may not be worth your time, money, or energy.


It’s not just doctors who see lots of back pain

We’re in a unique position as personal trainers because a lot of our clients get an MRI for back pain (as well as x-rays) before coming to see us for their training (and after rest and perfunctory physical therapy doesn’t do much to help).

We have seen a ton of clients with back pain get better with smart training and gradual relearning of better...

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Can miserable malalignment be fixed quickly?

If you've never heard of the medical diagnosis "miserable malalignment" it's because it hasn't been discussed much until recently. The first time I heard about it was from a client. She was a physical therapist who had been diagnosed with the condition.

femoral internal rotationThe right leg (left in the picture) has relatively internally rotated femur and externally rotated tibia.

Why is it en vogue now? Because a growing number of surgeons are starting to talk about the surgery as a surefire cure for knee, leg, and hip pain. 

But as we've seen with spine, hip, knee, and shoulder surgeries, the medical industry has a long history of overselling the benefits of new orthopedic surgeries.

So in this article, we're going to take a closer non-medical look...

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How do you fix a leg length discrepancy?

In this article we're going to talk about what to do in case you have a leg length discrepancy. You may have been told by a chiropractor or a massage therapist that one of your legs is longer than the other. Maybe you've noticed one leg seems to reach out further than the other when you walk and so you suspect a difference.

What should you do about it? How do you think about a leg length discrepancy in a way that will help you make as much progress with your body on your own?  


Why you might care about leg length

If your legs are of different lengths, you'll be literally off-kilter. When standing, one half of your pelvis will sit higher than the other and will likely be tilted anteriorly or posteriorly...

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Hip injections and joint pathology - 90% reliable for finding the cause of hip pain?

Why am I talking about hip injections?

In a previous post, I shared an orthopedic physician's objections to what we've been talking about with FAI, and in a follow up I talked about hip injections and their reliability and usefulness (spoiler: they don't seem reliable or particularly useful). In case you missed the original YouTube comment from the orthopedic physician, here's a relevant snippet:


Since your [sic] so knowledgeable of the hip joint anatomy I hope you would agree that using a [sic] anesthetic agent and steroid agent to inject into the hip joint would sufficiently rule in or rule out the diagnosis of labral pathology or intra-articular pathology. Guess what? We do it all the time. How could it be...
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