I am a 40-year-olds and was recently diagnosed with cam and pincer impingement. My acetabulum was also a little shallow. After years of basketball, tennis and most recently intense cycling for the past three years the pain presented and I was diagnosed. I was bummed at my diagnosis and at the doctor’s comment, “You aren’t twenty five years old anymore.”

I had surgery on my right hip. The doctors arthroscopically cleaned up a torn labrum and removed a bit of cartilage. They also removed a bone chip the size of a golf tee. A second physician shaved the impingement with an open incision. I am three months out and my right side feels good except for the hyper-stimulated nerve running down the right side that should improve. The cartilage damage was at grade 2.

Occasionally, while walking, I have dull soreness in my left groin. Unlike my right side, I “feel” each step on my left side. And, because of the surgery I have a greater range of motion on my right side. But the labrum is not torn on the left side.

The doctor advised me to give up running and distance cycling. I have taken up and enjoy swimming. But I am considering surgery on my left hip because I can notice a slight difference while walking and, because of the impingement, the left side will likely get worse.

Will surgery prevent further damage? Will it prevent the need for a hip replacement on my left side? Would you opt for surgery just so that you could walk without slight discomfort? Would you wait till the pain was more prominent? Or would you go have a second surgery? What would your doctor recommend?

I understand the two schools of thought: 1) Avoid surgery and opt for it if you have more “bad” days than “good” (as far as pain) and 2) Have surgery soon enough to prevent long term damage. My “pain level is a dull pain in my left groin and I feel each step on my right side.

I am consulting with my physicians but am seeking further opinions.