Overview on femoroacetabular impingement

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Femoroacetabular impingement is a hip condition where there is a mechanical mismatch amidst the hip, ball and the socket.

Among normal individuals, they generally have “lumps” or minimally over-deep sockets and might potentially end up with femoroacetabular impingement. The outcome of the deformity is high friction amidst the acetabular socket and femoral head which triggers pain and reduced range of motion.


Hip and groin pain with limited range of motion of the hip.
  • Hip and groin pain with limited range of motion of the hip
  • Acute onset of symptoms after injury or after extended exertion
  • Limitation in hip flexion and internal rotation
  • Pain or discomfort is often triggered by prolonged periods of sitting, crossing legs, walking as well as during and after exercise and sports
  • Pain can be felt deep in the groin at the anterior part of the hip, more rarely on the side of the buttock or hip

Management of femoroacetabular impingement

In most cases, an initial trial of conservative treatment is advised as the pain or discomfort is relatively self-limiting. The doctor or physiotherapist can help using a variety of techniques such as:

  • Mobilization of the hip joint that stretch out any taut structures such as the muscles or joint capsules
  • Strengthening of the deep, intermediate as well as the superficial muscles of the hip
  • Improving the length and flexibility of the soft tissues
  • Using pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs that can briefly relieve the pain and inflammation

In case the symptoms persist and remains unchanged, consulting an orthopedic surgeon is suggested. The surgical treatment for femoroacetabular impingement is done either arthroscopic debridement or open surgical debridement. Even though these techniques are different, both aim on dealing with the pathological and mechanical changes around the neck or acetabular junction.

A rehabilitation program is required as part of the recovery after surgery for femoroacetabular impingement. The recovery from arthroscopy might take 3-4 months. As for open hip debridement, it takes 12 months.

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