Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is an increasingly recognized disorder that has been implicated as a cause of hip pain, decreased function, and development of osteoarthritis. It is characterized by an abnormal anatomic relationship between the acetabulum and proximal femur, resulting in altered biomechanics and contact pressures about the hip joint. Repetitive abnormal contact between the proximal femur and acetabulum in FAI can result in damage to the labrum and adjacent articular cartilage. Over time, damage to the labrum and cartilage can result in significant hip pain, decreased motion, stiffness, and inflammation. Femoroacetabular impingement has classically been described as cam, pincer, or mixed subtypes.
Cam-type femoroacetabular impingement:
Cam-type FAI is characterized by a prominent deformity of the femoral head (ball), which impinges upon the acetabulum (socket) during hip motion. The abnormally shaped femoral head cannot rotate smoothly inside the acetabulum, which results in labral tearing and cartilage damage. Watch video
Pincer-type femoroacetabular impingement:
Pincer-type FAI, on the other hand, is due to extra bone on the acetabulum (deep hip socket). The extra bone contacts the femoral neck, and results in tearing and damage to both the labrum and cartilage. Watch video
Patients with hip pain undergo a thorough clinical and radiographic evaluation by our care team to fully evaluate your hip joint. We will discuss your options make a personalized recommendation based on your treatment goals. There are a number of factors that go into making the best decision for you and your hip, and options can range from conservative therapies to surgical management.
In cases where conservative management fails and it is determined that surgical treatment is needed in order to repair an injured hip or correct a deformity such as FAI, a wide range of minimally-invasive and open surgical techniques are available.