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Femeroacetabular Impingement

Femeroacetabular Impingement


Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a condition in which the bones of the hip rub against each other, or become impinged, due to abnormalities in bone shape. The hip is a ball and socket joint in which the rounded head of the hip bone, or femur, fits into the acetabulum socket. FAI occurs when bone spurs develop either on the femoral head, called a cam, or on the acetabulum, called a pincher, or it can develop as a combined impingement where both types are present. This causes the bones of the hip to push into each other unnaturally, and can eventually lead to damage of the cartilage and the thick fibrocartilage of the labrum. Untreated FAI can also lead to the debilitating symptoms of osteoarthritis. Sufferers of FAI typically feel a dusll achy pain in the groin area, depending on where the abnormality in the bone is located and certain individuals may also feel pain on the outside of the hip.

Treatment Options:


Your Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine doctor may suggest some form of steroidal treatment, most likely cortisone, to aid in relief of the side effects of FAI. A cortisone injection can be applied at the site of FAI to reduce inflammation.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be beneficial to sufferers of FAI. Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine may recommend physical therapy exercises to improve mobility in the hip and strengthen the muscles of the hip joint. In some cases, this can take stress off of the cartilage and ease pain.


Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine offers debridement surgery options. Debridement surgery can be performed arthroscopically or through open surgery. Debridement is the removal of debris from around the hip joint. In the case of FAI, the bone spurs causing the impingement can be removed with the aim of stopping inflammation and the onset of osteoarthritis. The gravity of the damage to the hip joint will determine the extent of the debridement.

Depending on where the impingement is occurring, acetabuloplasty is another possible surgery option. This procedure is performed when the hip joint is being impinged due to a pincher located on the acetabulum. Acetabuloplasty is the reshaping of the rim of the acetabulum socket in order to improve range of motion and protect the cartilage and femoral head and acetabulum from further wear or damage.

Concurrently, when the hip joint is being impinged due to a cam located on the femoral head, femoralplasty may be performed. Femoralplasty is the reshaping of the femoral head in order to improve range of motion and protect the cartilage of the femoral head and acetabulum.

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