Hip Impingement Syndrome (Femoroacetabular Impingement)
By Dr. Carl Freeman, Orthopaedic Surgeon
What is Hip Impingement Syndrome?
Hip impingement syndrome (also known as femoroacetabular impingement or “F.A.I.”) is a condition that is seen most often in young and middle-aged adults. Hip Impingement occurs when the movement of an abnormally shaped ball-and-socket joint creates excessive contact between the ball and the socket. There are two main types of FAI, Cam Impingement and Pincer Impingement. Cam Impingement is a result of a more egg-shaped ball contacting the socket and Pincer Impingement is a result of an overgrown or deepened socket contacting the ball. Both of these structural abnormalities may be present from birth or can develop over time.
How Do You Treat Hip Impingement?
Non-surgical conservative treatment is always the first line of defense for patients who are diagnosed with hip impingement. Physical therapy can often be effective at decreasing local inflammation, improving hip mobility, and improving lower extremity biomechanics. This allows patients to move free of pain. Activity modification techniques that limit activities and create repeated flexion or rotation of the hip can also be effective at decreasing daily symptoms. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories as well as injection therapy may also be another non-surgical treatment option for some individuals.
Patients with Hip Impingement who have failed conservative treatment can opt for surgical intervention. This is most typically done arthroscopically through very small, minimally invasive incisions. Surgery is done to reshape bony deformities, repair or trim damaged labrum cartilage, and to stabilize other damaged tissue in and around the hip joint. This arthroscopic surgery is done without fully exposing the hip joint and is typically completed in less than 1-2 hours.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Hip Impingement Surgery?
Following surgery, patients will undergo a formalized rehabilitation program that will focus on:
- Restoring normal hip mobility.
- Improving hip strength.
- Returning to a normal activity level.
Patients can often resume their prior level of function within a matter of a few months.
For more information on Hip Impingement (Femoroacetabular Impingment) call (904) 858-7045.