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Hip Impingement Simplified… by Sports Medicine M.D.

October 18, 2012
This condition is also known as Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI). It occurs when there’s a deformity in the rim of the acetabulum. As we discussed on an earlier post, the hip joint is composed of the head of the femur and the acetabulum, which forms a vague socket-like structure. In this condition, extremes of motion of the hip cause injury to the labrum (the ‘lips’ that increase congruency of the joint).

Usually, FAI is insidious in nature, worsening over time. The discomfort is felt ‘deep’ in the hip. Occasionally, the lateral hip may also show some pain. Some patients describe a sensation of ‘snapping’, ‘catching’ or ‘popping’ of the hip. This must be distinguished from the Snapping Hip Syndrome. Although not found in every case, some patients feel discomfort while prolonged sitting is involved, stair climbing, or standing from a sitting position.

Radiographs are imperative, and will help a physician determine if the hip pain may be due to FAI or any other condition. A thorough physical examination is also warranted. If caught on time, adequate physical therapy, exercise recommendations and an anti- inflammatory may help stop the condition. If ignored, it can end up becoming a surgical case.

Don’t dismiss hip pain as ‘just some pain’. There can be serious consequences if you were wrong.


Hip Impingement Simplified:


Follow us on Facebook at Mercy Hospital Medical Partners for detailed information on some of the most common pain complaints. This month features: Hypertension and Sports Simplified, Neck Sprains and Cervical Strains Simplified, Shoulder Bursitis Simplified, Overtraining Simplified, Arthritis Simplified and Hip Impingement Simplified.



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