Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)

Non-Arthritic Hip Pain

Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)


Some patients have anatomy that predisposes them to develop hip pain.  FAI occurs when there is too much bone on either the socket side or the ball side of the hip. Athletic individuals who put their hip through a large range of motion are more likely to experience FAI. This can manifest as aching groin pain made worse with certain activities.  Over time FAI can lead to hip labrum and cartilage injuries.  Below are some radiographs depicting typical cam and pincer lesions.

Cam Lesion


Pincer Lesion


My treatment regimen consists of an MRI scan to evaluate the labrum and cartilage. At the time of the MRI an injection is given into the hip that is both diagnostic and therapeutic.  We then begin a physical therapy program to begin the rehab process. Many patients make great improvements with therapy and are able to resume an active lifestyle without pain. Some patients fail to improve with therapy and we discuss arthroscopic (minimally invasive) hip surgery.

Torn Labrum on MRI scan


Surgery involves using a camera and special instruments to shave down or remove the bone causing the problem. Labral tears and cartilage lesions are also addressed during surgery.  Postoperatively patients are placed in a special hip brace and begin therapy based on a specific protocol. Most patients return to full activities around 4 months after surgery.


Labral Tear                                                                                                                                                 Labral Repair