Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) in the Sporting Hip

What is FAI?

  • FAI is a condition affecting the bony processes of the hip joint
  • The Hip is a ball and socket joint comprised of:
    • The head of the Femur (Ball)
    • The Acetabulum (Socket)
    • This joint type allows for large amounts of movement
      • This can lead to instability or additional bone formation
      • FAI occurs when there is a bony abnormality on 1 or both parts of the hip:

What can cause FAI?

  • FAI can be caused by genetics
  • There is new evidence  showing that how you exercise in your youth can cause FAI
    • Children still growing where their growth plate hasn’t sealed
    • The angle of your hips/growth plates can be a factor
    • More commonly formed in sports with deep squatting and twisting (Aussie Rules)

What are the Symptoms?

  • Pain which commonly presents in the groin
  • The pain may initially only be present with sport/activity
  • Pain may be present with any activity that mimics a squat
    • Sitting in a low chair, putting on shoes or socks etc.
    • If untreated, FAI can cause major damage to the hip joint
      • Labral tears, Cartilage damage, Arthritis etc
      • Secondary problems eg  osteitis pubis

How can it be treated?

  • See a physiotherapist. Specific exercises are necessary to ensure your hip doesn’t get worse
  • If the hip is damaged, or the deformity is too large, surgery may be indicated.
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