FAI – Femoroacetabular Impingement

Hip pain is one of the leading causes of pain and disability in our community, affecting up to one in five people, and is the second most common cause of musculoskeletal pain in the lower limb. Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) is one of the most common causes of hip pain.

What is FAI?

FAI is a cause of hip and groin pain, commonly affecting young and active adults. FAI is considered a movement disorder – hip morphology results in part of the thigh bone (the femoral head) butting into part of the pelvic bone (the acetabulum), resulting in pain. There are 3 types of bone morphology which is associated with FAI symptoms:

  • Cam morphology: extra bone formation on the femoral head/neck.
  • Pincer morphology: a deep or retroverted acetabulum
  • Mixed morphology: combination of both cam and pincer.

What are some impairments associated with FAI?

  • Function: depending on the severity of symptoms, you may see a reduction in performance of a functional task (e.g. decrease performance in running)
  • Muscle strength and size: It is likely we will see a difference in hip strength (and perhaps muscle size) when comparing the affected side with the non-affected side.
  • Range of motion: it is fairly common to see reduced range of motion at the hip, with movements such as hip flexion.
  • Biomechanics: due to compensatory measures, we may see certain changes in how you perform activities such as a single or double leg squat.

How can physiotherapy help.

At Evolve Sports Physio Group, our physios will provide a detailed assessment to accurately diagnose your hip pain, and determine if femoroacetabular impingement is part of the problem. We may need to arrange further investigations (x-ray, MRI) to help confirm our diagnosis, and also guide our decisions on the most appropriate management. Based on this information we will then put together an individual plan to address the contributing factors to your hip pain, or refer you to one of the excellent orthopaedic surgeons in our network if this is required.

Call us now or book in online for a physiotherapy assessment!

Author – Jacob Holmes