Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)

  • Femoroacetabular Impingement is at one end of a spectrum of disease with Osteoarthritis at the other end
  • Occurs due to abnormal, excessive contact between femoral neck (thigh bone) and edge of acetabulum (the hip socket) and is more likely in patients with altered bony anatomy
  • Any activity where the hip comes into flexion (knee towards chest) puts the patient into an “impingement” position. eg running, football, martial arts, dancing, even the sitting position can result in an impingement which causes the inflammation/damage
  • If left untreated – leads to tearing of the labrum, which then leads to articular cartilage damage, leading to loss of articular cartilage which is then diagnosed as Osteoarthritis.
  • Diagnosis is made with thorough History Examination and latest imaging techniques which could include X-Ray, 3T (high resolution) MRI scanning, and occasionally CT or Ultrasound are required
  • Initially can be treated with steroid Hip Block Injection and (prehabilitation) therapy
  • If damage is significant then recovery is less likely to respond to the above and may require Hip Arthroscopic Surgery to repair the labral tear and articular cartilage damage and clear extra abnormal bone
  • Latest techniques involve preserving the capsule not cutting it
  • Significant therapy program is required with specialist therapist