Everything You Need to Know about Femoroacetabular Impingement

Femur also known as the thigh bone, is the strongest and longest bone in the human body that extends from hip to knee. While the lower end of the femur forms a knee joint with patella and tibia, the upper end of the femur forms a ball and socket joint with the acetabulum of our pelvis.

In simple terms, the ball like the upper end of the femur joins with the cup-like acetabulum to form a hip joint. So now going by the name – ‘Femoroacetabular Impingement’, you might have already guessed that Femoroacetebular impingement is the abnormal condition of the hip.

What is Femoroacetabular Impingement?
A healthy hip is constructed in such a way that the femur head glides smoothly inside the acetabulum. Both the femur (ball) and acetabulum (socket) are lined with cartilage for the prevention of rubbing of the bones.

Femoroacetabular Impingement is a condition caused when either the ball-like femur or cup-like acetabulum develops a subtle abnormality that prevents the smooth and free movement of the joint. This subtle structural abnormality may rub the two bones against each other, limiting the range of hip motion causing pain in the groin area.

Over time the friction caused by the abnormal contact of femur and acetabulum can cause degenerative changes in the hip joint may also result in osteoarthritis in the long term demanding Femoroacetabular Impingement Surgery.

Causes and Symptoms of Femoroacetabular Impingement:
Femoroacetebular impingement is a hip disorder that is believed to be caused by the combination of environment and genetic factors. This disorder sometimes can be congenital or can also develop as the kid grows. The risk of this disorder significantly increases with excessive athletic activity before the kid’s bones are developed properly.

Stiffness in hip, groin, and thigh, inability to flex the hip, pain in the groin, hip or lower back are the symptoms of Femoroacetebular Impingement.

Types of Femoroacetabular Impingement:
Depending on the type of abnormality, there are three types of Femoroacetebular Impingement:

Pincer Impingement: This type of hip impingement is caused when the rim of the acetabulum (socket) sticks out too far bumping with the upper femur during the normal hip movement. This rubbing can cause overtime fatigue and damage the labrum (lining) of the socket and also the cartilage of the femur with searing pain in the lower part of the joint.

Cam Impingement: Pincer impingement occurs when the abnormal bone of the femur head jams with the front of the acetabulum causing degeneration of the acetabulum’s lining in the central portion, overtime.

Mixed Impingement: Impingement caused by the abnormalities in both femur and acetabulum is called mixed impingement and it is considered the most common type of impingement diagnosed and treated by the Orthopaedic surgeons.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Femoroacetebular Impingement:
Most of the patients during the early stages may not experience any pain followed by mild general pain in the following stages. But when left untreated the hip impingement can further damage the joint causing osteoarthritis in the long run which is why the accurate diagnosis of Femoroacetebular Impingement is extremely important.

After discussing the medical history, the orthopaedic surgeon conducts Anterior and Posterior impingement tests followed by imaging studies which can include X-ray, MRI, and CT scans.

Treatment for Femoroacetebular Impingement:
Treatment for Femoroacetabular Impingement includes both operative and non-operative options. Non-operative treatment procedures like physiotherapy, pain management programs and limiting physical activities can sometimes be employed to manage the Hip impingement. However Femoroacetebular Impingement surgery is considered most effective to get rid of this hip abnormality. Arthroscopic procedures and surgical dislocation of the hip are the two most common Femoroacetebular Impingement surgery options that are most preferred by Orthopaedic surgeons.

Dr. Chirag Patel is the Best Orthopaedic Surgeon in Surat with an extraordinary record in correcting the Impingement problems with Femoroacetabular Impingement Surgery. If you are in Surat, you can contact him here: Dr Chirag Patel