Femoral Acetabular Impingement

Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a condition where extra bone develops along either bone, forming the hip joints. This causes the bone to have an untraditional shape, affecting your mobility and functionality as the bones no longer fit together. Over time, this excess friction can cause damage to the hip joint and general discomfort in the hip. Knowing what femoral impingement is and following your recommended treatments can help you move forward from the limitations of your injury. Read more to learn what to look for with femoral impingement and our recommended treatments. 

What is Femoral Acetabular Impingement?

Femoroacetabular impingement involves bone overgrowth or bone spurs growing around the femoral head or the acetabulum. This growth causes a harmful connection between the hip bones and prevents smooth movement. This condition can result in tears of the labrum and osteoarthritis.

Types of Femoral Acetabular Impingement Injuries

Pincer Impingement

Pincer impingement involves excess bone extending over the rim of the acetabulum. Under the overgrowth, the labrum can be crushed.

Cam Impingement

Cam impingement occurs when the femoral head is not rounded, making it difficult to rotate smoothly inside the acetabulum. In this case, a bump forms on the femoral head’s edge, grinding the acetabulum’s inner cartilage.

Combined Hip Impingement

Combined impingement includes both the pincer impingement and cam impingement present at once.

What Does Femoral Acetabular Impingement Injury Mean?

Femoral impingement indicates that you have experienced damage to the hip joint over time.

Femoral Acetabular Impingement Injury Symptoms

  • Hip pain or joint pain
  • Discomfort when turning, twisting, or squatting
  • Hip arthritis
  • Excess bone growth 
  • Hip fractures
  • Stiffness
  • Limping

You may also experience pain in other areas of the leg called referred pain. This is because the nerves are connected. In this case, knee pain or pain in the thigh bone may occur.

Femoral Acetabular Impingement Causes

Femoral acetabular impingement occurs when the hip bones do not form properly, affecting the function of the hip socket. Overgrowth of the bone can lead to both pain and joint damage in the ball and socket joint. When the hip bones grow spurs, FAI is very common. Some individuals can live their entire lives with symptoms; however, those who notice discomfort typically already have damage to the cartilage. Active individuals may experience FAI before individuals with sedentary lifestyles notice their condition. 

Femoral Acetabular Impingement Diagnosis

After noticing joint, hip, or groin discomfort, it is crucial to seek medical care to diagnose your condition. A full physical examination from a physical therapist or physician can complete the diagnosis. A medical provider will generally recommend a femoral acetabular rehabilitation program as part of your treatment plan for your injury. Your treatment for your diagnosis will depend on the extent of your injury and lifestyle.

Femoral Acetabular Impingement Treatment

Femoral acetabular impingement treated with physical therapy can help restore hip and leg function while minimizing pain. In severe cases where rest and physical therapy do not help, surgery can be performed to recover the joint’s functionality. Surgical treatment can include hip replacement or labrum and articular cartilage repair.

Why Choose Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help restore and strengthen the injured hip. Physical therapy uses progressive overload to increase one’s tolerance for activity and athletic endeavors. Physical therapy and exercise can help prevent hip injuries from recurring by better ensuring adequate preparation for one’s physical pursuits.

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If you are struggling with femoral acetabular impingement, contact us today to schedule an appointment at Resilient Performance Physical Therapy in NY, NJ, and CT. Join us today to begin your journey to recovery and healing.

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