What Causes Hip Impingement?
Your hip is a ball and socket joint.
The head of your femur (thigh bone) fits into the acetabular socket in your pelvis and is secured by a ring of cartilage called the labrum.
There are three types of hip impingement:
- Pincer (abnormal acetabular bone growth)
- Cam (abnormal bone grown on the femoral head)
- Combined (abnormal growth on the femoral head and acetabulum)
FAI usually develops when your hip bones don’t form as expected during childhood.
Many people can have FAI but never experience any symptoms.
Athletes and other physically active people work their hips more vigorously, which can lead to more rapid joint damage and pain.
Exercise doesn’t cause hip impingement — it’s a structural deformity.
How Is Hip Impingement Diagnosed?
After reviewing your symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history, your hip specialist will complete a physical exam, including the impingement test.
During this assessment, you lie on your back, and your doctor brings your knee up to your chest and then rotates it toward the opposite shoulder. If this movement causes pain, it indicates hip impingement.
Your orthopedic hip specialist may also order X-rays, CT scans, or an MRI scan to examine your hip joint in more detail.