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Hip Impingement / FAI

Hip Impingement

Hip impingement is a disorder caused by a lack of room, or clearance, between the head and neck of the femur and the rim of the acetabulum. Due to this lack of clearance, when the hip is flexed, as in many common activities like running, sitting or bending over, the femur and the rim of the acetabulum rub together, causing significant pain in the joint. As a result of extensive contact between the femur and acetabulum, the labrum may suffer damage, slowly degenerate, and may even cause arthritis in the hip over time.

Hip impingement is more common in athletic men, and any athletic or strenuous activity may further aggravate pain in the groin area caused by impingement. Remaining in a stationary seated position for extended periods of time may also aggravate the condition.

If conservative treatments are unable to relieve the pain you feel from hip impingement, your doctor may recommend arthroscopic hip surgery.

hip impingement is caused by the lack of room between the neck of the femur and the acetabulum.

Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)


Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a condition where the bones of the hip are abnormally shaped. This causes the hip bones rub against each other and cause damage to the joint.

In FAI, bone spurs develop around the femoral head and/or along the acetabulum. The bone overgrowth causes the hip bones to hit against each other, rather than to move smoothly. Over time, this can result in the tearing of the labrum and breakdown of articular cartilage (osteoarthritis).

Types of FAI

There are three types of FAI: pincer, cam, and combined impingement.

Pincer Extra bone extends out over the normal rim of the acetabulum. The labrum can be crushed under the prominent rim of the acetabulum.

Cam  The femoral head is not round and cannot rotate smoothly inside the acetabulum. A bump forms on the edge of the femoral head that grinds the cartilage inside the acetabulum.

Combined Combined impingement includes both the pincer and cam types.

During arthroscopy, your doctor can repair or clean out any damage to the labrum and articular cartilage. The FAI is corrected by trimming the bony rim of the acetabulum and shaving down the bump on the femoral head.

The information listed on this site is for informational and educational purposes and is not meant as medical advice. Every patient's case is unique and each patient should follow his or her doctor's specific instructions. Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation.The information on this site does not replace your doctor's specific instructions.