What is Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)?
FAI is a condition in which there is abnormal contact (impingement) between the hip joint socket and top part of the leg (femur) bone with hip movement.
How does it feel? Where does it hurt?
The most common movement that brings on pain is hip flexion or rotation. Pain is usually felt deep in the groin, but sometimes further down the front of the thigh, side or back of the hip, or the buttock. There may be episodes of clicking or snapping in the hip.
Certain activities, especially those that involve hip flexion (for example, sports like football, dancing, ballet, and aerobics) will make the pain worse.
Sitting for a prolonged period of time can bring on the hip pain.
What can you not do?
Avoid high impact activities that provoke the pain such as running and jumping, or heavy lifting.
When to seek immediate medical attention
Seek immediate medical attention if you have constant or severe hip pain, difficulty walking or sleeping due to the hip pain, or fevers or weight loss associated with the hip pain onset.
What can you do?
Low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming and cycling, as tolerated. Upper limb body weight or resistance exercise can be done.
What can we do?
Your doctor will take a history, perform a physical examination send you for further relevant radiological investigations. X-rays can show if your hip has the abnormally-shaped hip joint bones of FAI, and can show signs of arthritis. MRI of the hip will allow the doctor to look for damage to the labrum (fibrocartilage) or articular cartilage of your hip joint. The doctor can recommend activity modification, prescribe pain medications, and refer you for physical therapy for hip strengthening and to improve the hip motion. Sometimes, he may refer you to the Orthopaedic Surgeon to evaluate whether arthroscopic surgery is indicated.