Femoroacetabular Impingement

Femoroacetabular impingement affects the hip joint, limiting the joint's normal range of motion. The deformity typically occurs when the hip socket or the femur head experiences excess bone growth. The friction between the two bones may cause deterioration of bone, joint problems, limited mobility, or even osteoarthritis.

What You Need To Know About Femoroacetabular Impingement

What is Femoroacetabular Impingement?

Femoroacetabular Impingement (FMI), also known as hip impingement, is a severe abnormality arising in the hip. People with a femoroacetabular impingement have bone spurs growing on the femur head or the hip socket. These spurs rub together, breaking down the cartilage around the bones. The socket and femur head may rub together, creating an uncomfortable grating of the bones. Because of the excess bone growth, eventually, the hip socket and femur will no longer fit properly together.

Femoroacetabular impingement causes a cartilage breakdown that creates even more discomfort and can lead to bone decay, significant pain, and osteoarthritis. FMI often requires surgery to repair the bones and restore motion to the affected hip.

Getting the best FAI Impingement treatment starts with a visit to Resurgens Orthopaedics. Schedule an appointment at one of our Metro Atlanta locations now!

What Causes Femoroacetabular Impingement?

Hip impingement can either be present at birth or develop through physical activity in the teenage years. It involves abnormal bone growth, which causes the bones to scrape together rather than glide comfortably in motion.

Orthopedic specialists recognize three different types of FMI:

  1. Cam: surplus bone growth at the head of the femur

  2. Pincer: extra bone growth in the hip socket

  3. Combined: excess growth in both the head of the femur and the hip socket

Femoroacetabular Impingement Symptoms

People with femoroacetabular impingement typically experience these symptoms:

  • Pain in your hip, intensified by bending or twisting

  • Pain in your groin area

  • Stiffness in your hip

  • A limp or difficulty moving and walking

  • Intense jolts of pain in your hip

  • Ongoing aches in your hip

How is Femoroacetabular Impingement Diagnosed?

At Resurgens Orthopaedics, we take several steps to examine and diagnose hip impingement properly, including:

  • A discussion of the symptoms and your medical history

  • A physical examination involving a range of motion test.

  • A Resurgens physician assesses your ability to lift your knees and turn your hip to determine whether you are experiencing impingement.

  • Imaging: X-rays will determine if the bones are misshapen and need intervention. Other imaging tools like MRIs may be used to locate any damaged soft tissue around the hip bone.

Femoroacetabular Impingement Treatment

FMI treatment varies according to the degree of damage present in the bones, cartilage, and tissue near the hip.

If these non-surgical treatments bring no relief, femoroacetabular impingement surgery may be necessary.

Non-Surgical Treatment

Some FAI hip patients do not require surgery. Their symptoms can be alleviated by:

  • Rest - avoiding overuse of the hip and strenuous activities that might exacerbate the sensitive bones (twisting, bending, tying shoes, running, biking, etc.)

  • Medication - NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) help reduce the pain and swelling in your bones and cartilage. Your doctor may suggest prescription strength versions of NSAIDs to expedite relief.

  • Physical therapy - exercises suggested by your orthopaedic specialist to restore your range of motion and relieve pressure and stiffness in your hip.

Surgical Treatment

Severe Cases of FAI hip require surgery to remove dead and damaged tissue and/or reshape the defective bone. Your orthopedic surgeon may opt to repair your hip through arthroscopic surgery or an open procedure.

Arthroscopic surgery involves a small incision. The surgeon uses thin tools to remove impaired tissues and cartilage and reshape the bone. During the procedure, the surgeon uses a small camera to see the inside of the hip and guide their tools to the right location.

The orthopedic surgeon may opt for an open procedure if your bone growth and tissue damage are severe. The open procedure requires a larger incision to remove the damaged tissue and cartilage and reshape the bone in the hip. Typically, patients undergoing open procedures stay in the hospital overnight, are monitored by their physician and must use crutches for several weeks to keep weight off the hip.

If you experience pain and stiffness in your hip that seems to worsen with twisting and turning, contact Resurgens Orthopaedics for a consultation. We proudly serve the orthopaedic needs of many patients with femoroacetabular impingement throughout Georgia.

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