It’s been a pretty unexpected and emotional month and a half. As many friends have noticed I’m not currently competing on FIVB, having suffered a season-ending injury on our final training day in California last month.
For the past year or so I had been monitoring a groin/hip injury – at times feeling like I was 100% and periodically feeling as if I had a pulled groin. My support team in Toronto was aware of it and the injury seemed to be under control. Unfortunately, everything came crashing down during our second practice of the day, on our final day in California.
After receiving serve I began my approach and just before take off I felt a pop – it didn’t feel like something as serious as it wound up being as I made the decision not to jump, instead falling to the sand. I’m happy I made the split second decision though as soon after I experienced some pretty intense pain, unable to even walk. The sun was out though and I just tried to clear my mind of what had happened, finding time to collect my thoughts and find some comfort – sharp pain sporadically shooting through my leg.
That night I was able to walk, slowly, with little to no pain – a definite sigh of relief as the next day I was flying back to Toronto. Luckily our new National Team doctor is amazing, I was in for an ultrasound the next day – where a labral tear was confirmed, but the severity unknown. After the doctor saw the result she scheduled an MRI, which I received within the week.
Here are the MRI results, in the most accurate, normal terms I can use. There are three major issues, and one minor one:
- Extensively torn right hip labrum – unlike my similar extensively torn shoulder labrum (4 years old) that did not require surgery, my hip, as a weight bearing joint, will require repair.
- FAI (Femoracetabular Impingement) – this is fairly common among athletes, many having this but experiencing no problems. This was likely the cause of my labral tear, and is an extra bone growth on the head of my femur. These growths will need to be shaved off, both on my left and right sides
- Delamination of Femoral Cartilage – within the hip joint, this is the cartilage surround the top of the Femur. It is currently separating from the femur and during surgery will require many small entries to promote blood flow and the reformation of new cartilage. Which I’ve been told is difficult under the most ideal circumstances.
Overwhelming? Yes. I was always aware of my FAI, but the other two were new discoveries following my MRI. After speaking with doctors, understanding that this is going to be a very invasive surgery with a long rehab timeline, I quickly came to the realization that my season had come to an abrupt and disappointing end.
Of course there is always an option to strengthen the surrounding muscles in hopes of avoiding surgery. Many Canadian athletes (both Josh Binstock and Jamie Broder) are currently or have in the past dealt with hip labral issues and were successful in rehabbing without surgery. However, with the other two issues accompanying my labral tear and judging on how my hip feels after even just a brisk walking pace I feel that surgery is my best option – inevitably requiring surgery at some point in my life, I think it’s best to take care of it sooner rather than later.
Currently, I’ve met with one surgeon and will be meeting with another soon. I’ve been told the rehab can be anywhere from 6 months (best case) to 12 months (worst case). Of course I presume I’ll be on the shorter end of that timeline, but either way I’m also looking at a 6-week non-weight bearing period – brutal.
A surgical date is not set yet. There’s many things to consider before going into surgery, too – how will I afford living, who will take care of me post-surgery, what are my chances to qualify for 2016 once I’m back, or if I’ll even have a chance.
There are many questions without many answers right now. But I’m doing as best as I can. There are always pro’s and con’s to all situations and although difficult to identify at times I’m happy to say those close to me have been extremely supportive and understanding.
I’ll know more in the coming weeks, and hopefully have a surgical date set sometime in the near future.
In the meantime, the only thing I can really do is continue building strength around the injured area and enjoy the summer that’s to come. The most difficult thing right now is that I’m able to function in every day life quite easily with little to no pain, but as soon as I jog, hop, or do any dynamic movements I am hit by throbbing pain afterwards – so for now, to get my sport fix I’ve taken up golf as it’s the least impactful sport I can think of, and one that will continue to challenge me mentally now that I’m not training and competing regularly.
As for Redmann, he’ll be teaming up with Filipe, an up and comer on the Canadian beach scene.
Till next time…