FAI Hip Impingement (Femoro-acetabular Impingement)

FAI Hip Impingement Awareness facts - It is estimated that approximately 15% of the young, adult population have hip impingement, so who do you know that might have it?
Hip impingement causes painful labral tears within the hip socket.
Hip FAI symptoms are misleading to the average medical professional, as FAI hip impingement pain frequently presents as low back pain and interesting only 10% of back pain is ever clinically diagnosed and cured... Which begs the question what percentage is actually caused by hip FAI or hip impingement, as its otherwise known.
The more active you are, the more likely you are to trigger hip impingement symptoms, so busy mums and gym bunnies beware... but at least you're in good company as many premiere league football players have also suffered FAI hip pain.
Hip impingement is diagnosed through x-ray and labral tears are diagnosed through MRI arthograms - but both need to be read by hip consultants specifically trained in FAI hip impingement.
There are 60,000 hip replacements every year in the UK and it now appears that FAI hip impingement, over the years, could be the leading cause of hip osteoarthritis. A silent epidemic.
Hip arthroscopy can reduce the hip impingement and reattach the torn labrum to the hip socket. This surgery can eliminate the pain and disability caused by FAI hip impingement and divert the need for hip replacement in later life.

Also please feel welcome to join in our help and advice forum for support. We have 3 advising FAI expert hip surgeons, 3 PT/physios and a sports medicine doctor as well as the largest international FAI hip impingement forum on the net:

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

FAI hip arthroscopy rehab exercises, video links

I have discovered an AMAZING website dedicated to post FAI hip arthroscopy recoveries. It is by one of the leading experts in the UK Professor Griffin. The fab thing is there's a flash video showing you every exercise repeatedly, so you can do some of the exercises whilst watching your computer and there less margin for error.
Also it shows exercises in the 1 - 4 stages of recovery, so it can be your best friend post op! Anyhow I think its fab and here is the link:


I am sure this will be a huge help for many of you, esp those in the UK with little post operative support centres of excellence. Luckily if you're anywhere near Leeds in the UK there is a physiotherapy centre called Physiocure with a strong hip rehabilitation programme for hip arthroscopy and FAI patients pre and post op. There are water exercise programmes and classes, available for all recovery and maintenance levels, as well as hip physiotherapy and specially designed hip recovery pilates sessions to re-activated the core. Find physiocure at:




  1. great news about the house - what a relief and roll on moving day (although hope you are having someone else do the actual moving as boxes + dodgy hips = a bad idea) and the new place. Those exercises are great - I think I've seen them on the warwick orthopaedics site.

  2. Congratulations! I hope you are feeling better! I have the same symptoms, mostly butt,back, some groin. I haven't had surgery but was told it takes a full year to recover. I also read somewhere that pain leaves, then returns as nerves come back awake. Hopefully your continued pain is just the process!! Let's hope so! I feel for you with little ones! Feel better!


  3. Thanks Dee and Lisa.. Dee I hope you're feeling good, I keep checking in on you cos I'm nosy like that!! Aren't they fab....
    and Lisa thanks for that bit of info,re nerves I didn't know that, v interesting.. and I defo agree with a year! Are you going to have surgery, or are you unsure?

  4. aww thanks Louisa - feeling great - off for another walk today in the sunshine. I just can't get used to how stable the hip feels.

  5. Hi Louisa:

    I have not been able to bite the bullet on getting surgery. I have good days where I think, you will be okay, then I have a bad day and think, just do it already. But I am 45 years old. I will be going back to the hip doctor on 2/25. Probably my next step is the cortisone injection since my other two injections were just numbing stuff. I guess that's the protocol.


  6. Hi Louisa,

    Your blog is great for anyone that is/has experienced an injury to their hip! It is so reassuring to know there are other people out there who are experiencing the same thing as you.
    I have had a hip arthroscopy surgery on my right hip and after nearly 11 weeks since surgery feel that my left hip may need the same surgery, which I am distraught about. Did you experience this? Also I have started having pain in the ball of my foot on the operated leg, is this something that you too experienced?
    Best of luck with your continued recovery and thank you for the great link to Damian Griffin's website - its the best I have seen for this! I look forward to following your blog further.
    Many thanks.

  7. Hi Lisa, It'll feel right when it feels right, one day the pain will drive you to the op.. I had the have my right hip done, endless pain and then disability, my lefty is not so persistant and therefore I'm not in such a rush, follow your bodies, cue.. though don't let it get too out of control as I think part of my difficulties is that I wasn't diagnosed for 6 yrs and consequently have lots of bad muscle adaptations. Seroid, go for it, sounds hideous but as bad as blood test, no nerve endings in hip joint (hense why hip pain so vague and symptoms everywhere around it rather than just in it!) Also if you do need an op I can say hand on heart I was NEVER in any pain at any point and had more pain in general before. I was very afraid of post op pain!

    AnonYes I did, do. My other hipo (lefty) does need doing but not as badly. POst op I used it heavily as only partial weight bearing with right hip and it REALLY suffered. In the end I had a steroid shot 3 months post op on my left to calm it back down. I think you're forced to overuse it. I also did have some temp foot pain, called planter faciitis, a tendon got sore in my foot, possibly down to alteration of gait?? but it calmed back down and went. Gentle foot massage helped, not that I could do it myself!!
    We're told 3 to 6 months, I've only really seen this time frame apply to full on athletes, teenagers and a very lucky couple of people.. most of us (certainly me - middle aged Mummy types) we seem to be talking 6 - 12 months..boo! Still if we get there all the same!
    Thanks for the comment about the blog by the way, although I think it helps me as much as others oddly!
    ps one thing, 11 weeks is early days, I couldn't take that on board at 11 weeks and yes it is not at all unusual to need both hips doing, though you may have time, or can buy steroid time until you need to think about fixing that one. I know EXACTLY how you feel! You're prob 4 months behind me and I've felt just the same.. I have links here to other great blogs too, you'll see you're not alone.
    Stay in touch.

  8. Louisa & Lisa,

    Actually, there are nerve endings and nerve end organs in the acetabular labrum of the hip (mostly anterior and superior) which are believed to provide pain sensation when there is a tear in the labrum of the hip. There is more research going on w/regard to understanding the labrum & some more recent published studies regarding better outcomes when the torn labrum is re-fixed vs debrided (when possible). Here is a link to an article regarding the labrum:


  9. ooh thanks for that. I was told they weren't too sensitive though with regards to injections into the hip joint and I have to say (as someone who used to pass out at blood tests,) that it did feel next to painless, I'm more afraid of the dentist now.. having said that oh yes my hip hurt, although again, I never felt my labrum actually detach, which it had done.. so I'd go with nerve endings there, but not with keen sensation as I can rarely pin point it, seems to cause diffused pain...off to read that now though, info is power blah blah!! Thank you!

  10. Hi,

    I checked out the site, as I'm 5 weeks into recovery, the exercises are very similar to what I've been given (link below).Is this very different to the work you've been doing with your PT?

  11. They are the same, its even the same bored woman doing them... how are you doing?

  12. Looks like same exercises prescribed to everyone! I'm doing much better than poor you - came off crutches today after 6 weeks not too much pain and mobility at about 85%

  13. Thanks for the link to the site...it'snice to see a doctor who has taken this condition to heart and developed such a great resource!

    Keep your chin up Louisa:)

  14. i had a hip arthroscopy in january, here i am 8 months later and there is virtually no pain, it started hurting again a few weeks back but found out it was my fault because i wasnt doing my strengthenung exercise enough. now i am and theres virtually no pain, if this keeps up ill be able to play college ball next year

  15. hi,
    im a 30yr old who just had surgical dislocation of the hip,and chondroplasty. im 5 1/2 weeks post op. does anyone know what the normal pain is? i feel like all my previous pains are intensified(groin,thigh,butt). is this normal?

  16. Thanks for sharing this story. I live with my grandma who had a hip surgery and I know stairs are like, living hell yay :) Anyway, hope you had a speedy recovery and all is well today.

    I'm doing my research about asr hip replacement recall. Tried searching, but no avail yet.

  17. Thank you Tim.I'm afraid I am unfamiliar with hip replacements, but know there are all sorts of support groups on facebook, try a forum there, I am sure someone will give you a pointer. Good luck to you and your grandma, she is a lucky lady having you look out for her!

  18. So happy to find your blog. I am 7 weeks after operation of right hip labral tear and a 50 percent ligament tear. I started searching post op info as I am feeling like nothing has improved..and after reading your story I can tell this is normal. I am feeling very emotional as I am 42 and have felt my abilities and enjoyment of life decrease. I can not sit at my desk chair for long to write without my lower back pinching, lifting anything, sleeping difficult, sore foot due to the operation and change of movement plus many similar issues. It is hard for our love ones to understand the on and off association of discomfort and how some movements help and some aggravate. Do any other women find it becomes more of a problem around that time of the month? After my operation I did not have crutches but started small walks P.T and Pilates. My surgeon suggested an exercise bike... I have read many people stay on crutches for a while. I am really worried my lower back issues are not going to change and my leg/hip is going to keep dictating my life.

    1. My doctor said absolutely crutches for 4 weeks, 2 weeks with one (6 in total) and non-weight baring for the labrum to heal properly. I had a tear as well. Just posted as anonymous; 42 as you.

      Stat bike is good; swimming too

  19. Hi,

    I have under gone a hip arthroscopy operation on the 4th July i am now 10 days post op.
    I had debridgement, and micro fracture surgery and I have been told I am completely non weight baring for 6 weeks.
    I am using a zimmer (much to the families amusement due to being 35 years) as I couldnt get on with the crutches.
    The only thing is I keep having a stumble and put slight weight on my leg and I am getting worried that I am un doing any work which has been done. Also when I put this weight on the leg I am getting pins and needles in my foot (On the operated leg)

    I am hoping that this will make my hips better as have been suffering with both hips since 2005 and hoping to make the steps for the other hip next year.

    Just wondering if anyone else has had the same problems??

  20. Can anyone please tell me that is it obvious to have sharp shooting pain particularly at the exact time of ejaculation in case of FAI of CAM type as well as OS acetabuli..????
    Please reply!

    1. Not heard anyone say that, but to be fair many people might be too embarrassed to ask ; and as I am a female I can't relate physically. Come on the forums as there are plenty of men there who may relate.

  21. Hi 13.5 weeks post op; labrum torn left side; hip debridement, labrum sewn back together. Did well first 6 weeks with crutches; 4 with 2 crutches, 2 with one. They said I could go on the bike at 6 weeks; I had until then gone on stationary bike. I really wanted to get back outside; so I went on a mountain bike. Shortly after; I experienced soreness and stiffness, fluidy feeling; huge irriatation in the rector femoris muscle. So, I might have stuffed up a wee bit. Went to see the doctor, I told him, I am actually in more pain now, then before the op. He said that it's too soon to do an MR again though. I got anti-inflammatories; Cataflam for 10 days; day 3 and no significant improvement. Feel a swelling in the hip. When I get up in the morning, it's as if something ruptures open again; stiff & sore. If to any help to anyone else; my experience is that it's best to stick to swimming, walking and stationary bike at least til week 12. My physio said many people experience an improvement at 12 weeks. Unfortunately, I had then gone on mountain bike for 6 weeks; which created an inflammatory state; that I am hoping will reverse. If no improvement after 10 days treatment; I will have to make a plan for another MRI to see if this has really been successful. My physio told me you can get quite a bit of scar tissue if you get back to a sport that irritates the muscle too much (and going back too soon) and some have to go in for op again to have scar tissue removed. I hope it's not that bad. Fingers crossed guys; this is by far the toughest challenge I have ever gone through. I would say be grateful for the chance to slow down; don't push too much; be grateful once you can walk without crutches; swim in the pool. Give your body time to heal. Stay on the stationary bike for a bit longer than what you truly want to/ Yes, you get frustrated, but sticking it out is very likely worth it, in the long run.

    1. Anonymous, how are you doing now? Did you have your MRI?

  22. LR
    Hello everyone. Im happy to have found a community of FAI/hip arthroscopy individuals that I can relate to. I am 9.5 weeks post op. I had my surgery in Florida (I'm from the states) and lucky to have had a great doctor. I am experiencing pinching pain on my front left hip area and soreness on bottom of my buttock. I read other threads at other sires where people were up and going after a short time. I thought something was wrong with me. I was doing well with recovery and phy therapy but my pain started one week ago. From reading these posts, it's seems that it is the normal course. I too was feeling down because I can not run or bike and worry about not doing so in the future. Thanks for having this thread.