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Femoral Acetabular Impingement 

The Basics 

The femoroacetabular joint, more commonly known as the hip joint, is a ball and socket joint. The ball, the femoral head articulates with the acetabulum, the socket. Femoroacetabular impingement occurs when there is an abnormality in the morphology of either the head of the femur, the rim of the acetabulum or a combination of the two. These bony abnormalities cause friction in the hip joint and can lead to pain, degeneration of the joint and eventual osteoarthritis. 

Signs and symptoms 
  • vague pain in the front of the hip or groin

  • diminished range of motion

  • pain worsened by running, twisting, pivoting, rising from seated to standing position


The mainstay to treatment of femoroacetabular impingement begins with recognition followed by a trial of conservative management with physical therapy and activity modification. In athletes who fail conservative management, surgical management may be recommended to fix the mechanical etiology. Surgical treatment can be performed with hip arthroscopy or a mini open approach. 

During a hip arthroscopy, any labral pathology will be addressed and the bony abnormality will be corrected. Post operative protocols will vary on the procedures performed and your surgeon will explain these in detail. 

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