Friday, June 24, 2011

Professor Wright, At Your Service

In my continuing struggle to figure out a way to stay positive about having to lay around and do nothing for five months, I realized that I have learned an awful lot about anatomy.  Now sit right back and enjoy an exciting tale of bone and muscle dysfunction!  Happy Belated Flag Day!

The first diagnosis I received about all of this crud was that I had a dislocated sacroiliac joint.  I love that word, sacroiliac.  When my parents' backyard flooded, we called the resulting pond Lake Sacroiliac.  It's also on my short list for baby names, behind Escarlata and Escandalo.  

There's the culprit, helpfully circled in red.  The theory was that my pelvis was out of alignment, causing the back problem.  I went to PT for weeks and weeks and had to have the joint pushed back into place multiple times.  It hurt.  Finally, success!  It stayed in its place like the good little joint that it is.  My tailbone stopped twisting, my legs stayed the same length, all was right with the world.  Except I was still in colossal pain.

Finally I had a pelvic and hip MRI.  It turns out I had torn three muscles between the iliac crest of my pelvis and my spine.  Here it is, thanks again to the very cool Google Body Lab.

That's at the bony part of the top of the hip, and the muscles are used to lift the leg and keep the pelvis straight.  My muscles were torn right from the bone.  This is not a common thing to have happen.  My two physical therapists have never seen it happen in 45 combined years of working in the industry.  I figured if I was going to have an injury, I'd go big or go home (or rather, have to stay at my parents' for six months).

Here's a better view of where I tore them.  Isn't science fun, boys and girls?  I sure think so!

I also aggravated the heck out of my IT band, probably due to walking oddly when those muscles were torn.  It hurts too.  I am beginning to wonder if I should bow out of the 2012 Olympics.  One day at a time, I suppose.

Anyway, there is a surgery for this type of tear, but it hasn't been done very often and the success rate isn't super.  Right now the plan is to keep resting it, use crutches and go to PT twice a week.  I can't stand on it without pain and I can't sit for more than an hour without pain, so I spend a lot of time lying in a prone position on my left side.  It's very Cleopatra.  Good look for me, as I'm sure you could imagine.

It's been hard for me to write here because I feel like a major buzz kill.  When people ask me how this whole thing is going, it isn't fun to say "Well, maybe seven more months of crutches, but who's counting!"  The muscles I tore are very large and impossible to immobilize completely, so healing is going to be slow.  It frustrates the crap out of me but I guess at this point I'm just going to have to accept it.

So yes, life is very boring right now and I'm not able to do very much.  I wouldn't recommend tearing hip or pelvic muscles if you could avoid it, unless you need a lot of rest.  And I do mean a lot.  I feel very grateful that I work from home because I've been reading horror stories of people having to take a year off of work to rehab this type of injury.  That would be a nightmare.  My PT place is also populated by a few young people who have had strokes and are learning to walk all over again.  That kind of puts torn hip muscles into perspective.  It could be much worse.  But it isn't fun.


  1. We love you, sweet immobile Taryn. On bright side, you have a loving family and a job that you can do anywhere. You also have friends that want to visit with you sometime soon (that'd be us). Take good care. We'll be just as cartoony when you're up and around again.
    R. and R.

  2. ugghhh. bummer indeed. I like the idea of you in a Cleopatra position, make sure to rotate. I hear bed sores are a bitch.

  3. Are they at least fanning you and popping grapes in your mouth while you are in full on Cleopatra mode?

  4. That sounds terrible! I have hip pain (nothing close to what you're describing) and it really sucks. Do you know what caused the injury

    Take care!

  5. Are they at least fanning you and popping grapes in your mouth while you are in full on Cleopatra mode?