Hip Impingement

What is hip impingement, and how is it treated?

Hip impingement, clinically referred to as femoroacetabular impingement, is a painful condition that occurs when abnormal bone growth in the hip joint gives the bones an irregular shape. 

As a result, your bones don’t fit together correctly, which leads to damage to the bones, labrum, and articular cartilage.

Fortunately, with treatment from the orthopedic hip specialists at OrthoNeuro in Columbus, Ohio, you can manage your condition and limit the pain and disruption it can cause.

What Does Hip Impingement Feel Like?

Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is painful. 

Depending on where the abnormal bone growth is located in your hip and the severity of your condition, your pain may vary from dull to sharp. 

FAI pain usually occurs in your groin, but it can also affect the outside of your hip.

Movements such as twisting, turning, and squatting may cause sharp, stabbing pain. Your hip joint may also feel stiff, and you might limp when you walk.

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 growth 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.

What Are the Available Treatment Options for Hip Impingement?

Your doctor at OrthoNeuro will recommend treatments to address your specific needs.

They may combine any of the following hip impingement treatments:

Activity Modification

You and your doctor can identify the movements that trigger your hip pain. Once you know what causes your discomfort, you can adjust your activities to avoid it.


Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescription-strength anti-inflammatories to help manage swelling and pain in your hip.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help you strengthen the muscles that support your hip and improve your range of motion. 

You will work toward relieving some of the stress on your labrum and cartilage, which reduces your hip pain and slows the progression of joint damage.


If non-invasive treatments don’t relieve your hip impingement symptoms, your physician may suggest hip surgery.

If your labrum has detached from the bone, your orthopedic surgeon can reattach it.

You will need physical therapy to rehabilitate your hip after surgery. The goal is to restore your hip strength, flexibility, and function so you can return to your regular activities.

Call OrthoNeuro today or make an appointment online if you have any signs of hip impingement and want expert diagnosis and treatment.

Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Hip Specialist Today!

If you have been experiencing symptoms of hip impingement, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Orthopedic Hip Specialists at one of our 7 convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus. 

We will evaluate your unique lifestyle and goals to determine which type of treatment is best for you. Best of all, most patients can be seen within 24 hours of making an appointment.

Hip Specialists


“Great experience for a right total hip replacement.“
Billy T.