Femoroacetabular Impingement

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Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a deformity of the hip joint that limits the hip’s normal range of motion. It refers to a pinching of the femur (thigh bone) against the cartilage in the acetabulum (hip socket) which results in pain and progressive hip dysfunction.

FAI is most often caused by bone spurs in the femoral head or in the hip socket, but may also be caused by repetitive movements or trauma to the hip. Left untreated, it may lead to cartilage damage or tears, or hip bursitis.

Individuals with femoroacetabular impingement often experience the following symptoms:

Groin pain associated with hip activity

Pain in the front, side or back of the hip

Painful clicking or catching sensation in the hip

Pain after prolonged walking or sitting

Difficulty walking uphill

Sharp pain when squatting, turning, twisting

Pain in the buttocks or outer thigh area

Your hip specialist at Lancaster Orthopedic Group will evaluate your medical history and perform a physical exam in order to identify the problem. He or she may recommend X-rays and imaging studies (MRI or CT scan) that reveal abnormalities in the bone structure.

Conservative treatments for femoroacetabular impingement include rest, modification of activities, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and corticosteroid injections. Surgical treatment, including arthroscopy and hip replacement may be recommended when there is persistent pain and conservative measures have failed to provide relief.

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