Femoroacetabular Impingement

The hip is made out of a joint that is called as ball and socket joint. Upper portion of the thigh bone consists of the ball (femoral) which gets fixed to the socket (acetabulum) type arrangement in the hip. Articular cartilage is a tissue that covers the joint. Its smoothness helps in reducing the friction helping bones to move with not much of a wear and tear. There is a strong ring around acetabulum called labrum. If the hip bones are not shaped normally, they might cause more friction during movement creating joint damage and this called Femorocetabular Impingement.
Depending upon the damage FAI could be classified into three types:

  • Labrum getting crushed due additional growth of the bone that happens as the bone extends out of the rim of the socket. This type is called Picer.
  • If the femoral end is not a perfect round smooth rotation inside the acetabulum is not possible and results in a grinding action that damages the cartilage in acetabulum. This type is termed as Cam.
  • If the both the symptoms Cam and Pincer are detected in a patient then the condition is termed as combined.

Causes and Symptoms:

Formation of hip bones occurs early in the childhood and if the process is not proper, deformity might occur. Getting unbearable pain in the groin area during movement of the ball and socket joint is considered to be a major symptom.


An Impingement Test is normally conducted by the doctor to detect FAI. It is a simple procedure of bringing the knee portion up and down towards the chest region. If excessive pain is experienced in hip joint then the doctor might order X-Ray and MRI to further substantiate the initial detection.


Non-surgical treatment involves imparting changing activity to less stress to the area, anti-inflammation medication and Physiotherapy. Anthroscopic surgery is conducted in extreme cases.