Hip Impingement

Hip impingement, also known as Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI), occurs when bone spurs (calcified bony projections) form around the hip joint, causing the bone to pinch together when the hip is moved. The spurs are caused when the ball and socket of the hip joint are rubbing against each other, causing friction and damage to the bone and cartilage.

Hip impingement can also cause hip labral tears and may be one of the early signs of hip arthritis. Athletes and high-activity individuals are susceptible to hip impingement. It can also be a congenital condition.

The orthopedic experts of Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital accurately diagnose and treat hip impingement to get you back to the things you love to do most.

Types of Hip Impingement

There are two types of hip impingement: cam or pincer.

  • Cam hip impingement is when the ball (femoral head) will not be perfectly round, thus causing abnormal contact with the socket (acetabulum) and the resulting friction and wear.
  • Pincer hip impingement occurs when the socket (acetabulum) has too much coverage from the ball (femoral head), causing the hip labrum to be pinched upon joint movement.

Hip impingement can also be a combination of pincer and cam hip impingement.

Hip Impingement Symptoms

Hip impingement can go undiagnosed for years because many patients don’t have pain in the early stages. Once it becomes more advanced, patients generally feel stiffness in the groin or front of the thigh.

Patients may also have an inability to flex their hip, and after flexing their hip during activities such as running, jumping or sitting, they often feel pain in the groin region, buttock, thigh or knee.

Treatment for Hip Impingement

Treatment starts with with rest, anti-inflammatory medications or Tylenol. If hip impingement pain persists, surgical treatment may be in order.

Surgical treatment involves removing or correcting the cause of the reduced clearance between the neck of the femur and the rim of the socket (acetabulum). This may require hip arthroscopy to remove damaged portions of the acetabulem (socket) as well the neck of the femur.

In severe cases, it may be necessary to correct the deformity and reshape the femoral neck or rim of the socket using open surgery with a larger incision. In cases where the socket is positioned incorrectly, a procedure called a periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) may be required.