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Femoroacetabular Impingement

Fox Valley Hip Pain Treatment

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball-shaped top of the thigh bone (femur) fits into the socket of the acetabulum (which forms part of the pelvis). Articular cartilage covers the surface of both the femur and acetabulum to create a smooth surface that allows that ball to move smoothly within the socket.

When either of the bones in the hip are abnormally shaped, the condition is known as femoracetabular impingement (FAI). The deformity of either or both of these bones prevents the smooth movement of the hip, causing the hip bones to rub together and potentially damaging the joint.

There are three types of femoroacetabular impingement:

  • Pincer impingement: a deformity of the rim of the socket
  • Cam impingement: a deformity of the ball at the top of the thigh bone (femur)
  • Combined impingement: deformity of both the ball and socket

Causes of Femoroacetabular Impingement

Femoroacetabular impingement typically presents in young adults and middle-aged patients, and it can have a variety of causes. Some patients may have been born with a structurally abnormal hip joint, while in others the deformity may have occurred over the course of their early childhood development. FAI can also be caused by athletic activities that involve repeatedly pushing the player’s legs beyond the normal range of motion, such as football, baseball, hockey and soccer. In some cases, femoroacetabular impingement may be the result of a traumatic injury to the hip or upper thigh.

Symptoms of Femoroacetabular Impingement

  • Common cause of hip pain in young and middle-aged patients
  • Pain in front of hip or groin
  • Pain worse with activity and hip motion
  • Typically caused by subtle bone abnormality in either femur (Cam lesion) or acetabulum (Pincer lesion)
  • Impingement may lead to labral tears and/or early arthritis

Schedule your appointment at Fox Valley Orthopedics today by calling (630) 584-1400.

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