The Unseen Struggles Of Andy Murray’s Hip Injury

The Physical Side Of Andy’s Hip Injury

In January 2019, tennis champion Andy Murray opened up about a long-term hip injury that was interfering with his quality of life. He also announced that he had debated going ‘under the knife’ since his French Open semi-final defeat to Stan Wawrinka in June of the previous year. When on the verge of surgery, patients are usually told to decide if it is necessary by how much the injury interferes with daily activities/life. Murray came out to say he had pain every single day, struggling with putting his socks on or walking the dogs. Even though Murray didn’t explicitly say what the injury was diagnosed to be, it is believed to be hip impingement, which deals with the degradation of the ball-and-socket joint of your hip.

With not being able to do the daily activities that he loved, Andy’s mental state took a downward toll, which leads us to the dark side of injuries that no one likes to talk about.

The Mental Side Of Andy’s Hip Injury

In an article with The Times, Andy opened up about the impact his hip injury and surgery had on his marriage and with his family. With tears in his eyes, the two-time Wimbledon champion admitted the deep depression he was struggling with during the prolonged period of injury. 

“It was a really tough period for me because it wasn’t so much the actual injury itself. Being injured can be frustrating, but the issue that I had was with me every single day, sleeping and walking. It wasn’t just I hit a serve and my arm hurt. This woke me up in the night. It was bad.”

As a result of the depression and pain, Andy’s marriage and social life were greatly affected. He tried to put on a ‘brave face’ for his children, but his wife knew just how much he was struggling. He was down all of the time and admitted that it put a lot of strain on his relationship with Kim, and that he could not thank her enough for all of the continued support. 

“She has been brilliant and I would probably be quite selfish, just in terms of thinking about myself and how I’m feeling all the time and not actually realising the impact that has on all the people around me.

“When everyone was trying to encourage me to keep going and keep trying and keep playing, I was, like, ‘You don’t know what it’s like. You don’t know what it is that I’m feeling’.”

On January 28th of 2019, Andy decided to undergo the “resurfacing” operation surgery in order to give him his life back. Resurfacing involves a metal ball-and-socket being fitted into the hip to replace the deteriorated one, and even though it sounds promising, Professor Max Fehily, consultant orthopaedic surgeon and clinical director at the Manchester Hip Clinic, stated that the surgery was not a magic remedy. 

“Even if the surgery has corrected the issue, the metal components can wear out after 10 to 15 years – earlier if the patient is very active – and revision surgery, which can be more challenging and produce poor outcomes, is often required.

Prof Fehily said: “Ninety to 95% of patients who have this surgery are delighted and live a pain-free life – they can ski, swim, cycle and play golf at the weekend.

“But none of them try to play professional tennis.”

Andy soon released that 6 to 8 weeks after the surgery, he was able to walk pain free for the first time in 3 years. 

“People say it all the time, but for me this was genuinely life-changing for all sorts of reasons, not just to play tennis, but when I’m crawling through a tunnel in soft play with my children, or just getting down on the floor to play and roll around with them,”  Murray said.

“I couldn’t do that before. I couldn’t get the same enjoyment out of doing that with my children as I can now. So the lady that operated on me, I’m unbelievably thankful to her.”

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