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:

Friday, 22 July 2011

Hip Injections for hip labral tears and hip impingement (MRI ARTHOGRAMS and STEROID INJECTIONS)

Had bi lateral hip injections this morning, anesthetic (good bit) and steroids injected into both hips. I can honestly say I had a more painful blood test yesterday, hand on heart.
I'd just say that hip injections either for MRI- arthograms or steroids are more intimidating because of the setting, all the shiny steel objects. The overhead x-rays and TV screen with your live x-ray hip on and the fact that there were several staff in lead outfits, if you're already nervous, then this setting alone can increase your heart rate!

However, I had a jovial consultant radiologist, who explained every action, making the odd joke and lovely nurses to hold my hand. Its the idea of a needle going into your hip socket that is terrifying. There was a 'tiny' pinch feeling as the needle pierces the actual hip capsule, but seriously nothing like my blood test yesterday.
Keep in mind that there are 'very few' nerve endings in the hip socket... so the sensation is kind of woolly and distant, you are aware something is happening, but nothing sharp or sudden. Piecing your finger tip, with all its nerve endings would sooner have me run a mile on the pain stakes.

I think back on how I was almost not diagnosed with a hip labral tear and hip impingement altogether, just because of my fear of needles and the sound of an MRI arthogram. I am a true fainting, scardey-cat, so if I can do it and come out smiling, you can!

Below is a video of a hip steroid injection. Looks 'way' worse than it feels, but if you're just one of those people that feels the need to see for yourself first, then here it is. I asked if I could film my hip steroid injections today, but whilst the consultant would have been willing, hospital policy wouldn't allow, so this is the best I could do "a short clinical video tutorial on how to administer a hip steroid shot" Forward the video to 5 mins in, as the first example is a shoulder shot.
Note these ARE NOT my hairy legs!


  1. I had one today and was more scared about the size of the needle. Was really nothing to worry about and was virtually pain free. Strange feeling like u say but completely bareable!! Quite uncomfortable now, feels very stingy but that will go quickly I'm sure.

  2. Oh I'm so glad it worked out fine, I really am keen to get out the message its not as horrific as it sounds... I remember shaking the first time and after thinking 'Oh was that it?!'
    I hope you get the desired results, be it steroid effect, or a clear diagnosis. Best of luck.

  3. Had one today on the isle of man - superb care, Dr Jones was very gentle, worst bit was the wait really. Didn't look at the needle till afterwards - just as well! It actually hurt more when he pulled it out, but afterwards I am quite uncomforable (3 hours) in the joint itself. It really wasn't as bad as I had imagined - but DO NOT WATCH!!

  4. i have been in very bad pain for a year now , i had xrays that show cam shape femor and mri showed cartiledge loss and a cyst ,i had hip block 4 weeks ago i felt great for first 3 weeks felt like the old me again , saw my consultant on saturday he said it confirms the hip is causeing the pain however he thought as the pain was ok theres no need for op, but since then the pain has come back just hope he doesnt put the operation off again as i need to get back to work and and tablets dont seem to give any relief... sorry for splling

  5. Dear Anon, I don't understand your consultants hesitancy... why should a young, active person live a half life, measuring out activities when there is a surgery to correct this?! Your cam will continue to ruin your cartilage. Where are you and who are you seeing?

  6. Hi Louisa,

    I was just diagnosed with FAI yesterday and am doing some initial research. I faint around blood and needles and am petrified to even go into the arthrogram. How long were you in the machine? Were you able to drive home? I am scheduled to go in at 8 am on my way to work..do you think I should just take the day off?

    (yes, these are just my questions about the initial diagnostic step. I am terrified of the FAI surgery. So glad I found this blog to help me understand the whole picture)


  7. I am so concerned about my steroid injections I had over 3 days ago in my hip for a labral tear.
    I went in there with pain, and came out after day 3 being in more pain..HELP! I spoke to 3 radiologist so far and they are baffled by this and can't give me any answers to why I am in more pain and it's not getting better but got worse than when I went in there! Please help me.

  8. Cortizone flare temporary bad reaction, not uncommon), rest it will go, shouldn't last more than a week. Come to our support group for company and advice. If the injection site gets angry and red, then you could have an infection, in which case make an emergency appointment with a GP. https://www.facebook.com/groups/FAIhip/ - come and join us, we have on site surgeons also.

  9. I was diagnosed FAI in my right hip. I wonder whether every FAI needs a surgery. Can anyone comments? Is there anyone heal without surgery. I am very scared about the surgery.

    Also, is facebook group still alive now? I saw it is a closed group and cannot read anything there.

    Many Thanks!