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:

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Hip arthroscopy for hip impingement - prehabilitation

If ever you wondered what your physio/PT should be doing when preparing you for a hip arthroscopy for hip impingement, then read on and find out.
Louise Grant, hip specialist physio/PT, has just had an article published in Fitpro magazine, Spring 2016, titled Exercise as medicine: prehabilitation for hip surgery patients and its a fascinating read. Access the full magazine on iPhone via the FitPro app at fitpro.com/app or download from FAI hip experts Physiocure here: http://www.physiocure.org.uk/news.php



  1. Hi ,I'm Stephen I have been searching for other patients or ex on FAI ,labral Tear and found your interesting blog.I'm not sure if it's still active but only way to find out is to write to you.I have battled with hip FAI and labral tear for nearly 2 years.Are the any activist or campaignerstwhile out there for support and advise in living with this condition.I would be grateful to hear from you or anyone to chat about this subject.I live and work in Oxford Uk

  2. Sorry for the delay in replying. Please come and join the 'hip impingement awareness FAI' site on facebook Stephen, There are over 4000 members now and also 2 advising FAI surgeons, FAI physios and a wealth of experience and advice.

  3. Hello. My name is lily, I am 26 years old and considering arthroscopy on my hip. In May of 2016 I had to leave my job as a dance teacher bc of severe hip/back/butt pain. The pain journey started when I was on my college dance team in 2011. I was diagnosed with sciatica. Since then it's been on going pain and missed diagnoses, wide range of therapies and treatments. The pain got worse over the years as I continued to teach dance. Finally it got so severe- I stopped everything. I haven't danced or done physical activity since last May. In December my pt sent me to a physio. I had the MRI and was diagnosed with a labral tear. I had so much other muscular stuff going on on my right side that I wanted to be clear where the pain was coming from before I went ahead with the hip surgery. After numerous dry needling- I've been able to get most of the muscular stuff under control- although still have issues. I still have debilitating pain in my right hip- Sitting is the worst. I just saw another hip surgeon who said if he did the surgery he would repair the labrum and sculpt the head of the femur. I feel deep down that I need to do the surgery- although I am terrified. What if it doesn't work? Any advice greatly appreciated

    1. Lily, I am just 4 weeks post op from FAI surgery and progressing well. It certainly hasn't been easy, but it hasn't been nearly as bad or painful as I thought. I had been battling inflammation and pain around hip and low back for about 4 years. This past November the pain got so bad I just couldn't continue activities. Although six weeks of PT earlier this year helped with my mobility, I was still unable to get back on my bicycle and ride without pain. That is when I found a great orthopedic hip specialist that diagnosed my FAI. I was given three options, manage the symptoms without surgery, get arthroscopic FAI surgery to repair cartilage and reshape the bone and pelvic, or total hip replacement. Hip replacement seemed kind of extreme considering that my cartilage was still intact and not too badly beaten up. So I chose the arthroscopic surgery. Why? Because I figured that I didn't have anything to lose. Managing the symptoms was not going to get rid of the problem and it could lead to arthritis in the future. I knew that even if I could managed the symptoms and ride again, the symptoms would most likely return, again and again. Putting my faith into a surgeon and physical therapist both with great reputations convinced me that I was making the right choice. Although I have every expectation that I will make a full recovery, the future is uncertain. But I also felt that the future was uncertain not receiving the surgery. I would shop around for a hip specialist, find one you trust and talk to them about your options. If you choose surgery, set some short term and some long term goals. So far that has helped me greatly with dealing with the day to day drudgery of recovery. But as a result, I am ahead of schedule in my progress.

  4. Thank you so much for your response. You've explained exactly how I felt very well. I've decided to go ahead with the surgery. May 25th. It's been almost a year of resting and rehab and I just need to take the next step. I'm ready to have my life back. I was not given the option of total replacement. The doctor says it's a small tear although I do have impingement and dysplasia going on. The pain is ruthlesl- it feels like a tiny monster is clawing its way from the inside out. Could you tell me a little about what the recovery process has been? Did you start pt right away and what did they have you doing? Were you able to take care of yourself? Thank you- lily

    1. Hi, Lily, how was the surgery? Are you feeling better? I am scheduled for surgery Feb7 and I am also really nervous. I've done a ton of research on my surgeon and feel comfortable with him. The surgery doesnt worry me but the lack of data/positive shares has me worried. For example,there are even a couple of websites that say you dont need the surgery and can exercise your way out of it, has anyone found this true?. I use to be very active, running, soccer, etc. Now I can barely walk 30 min without limping. I have a labral tear which will be repaired and both cam and pincer that need shaved down. If people dont get this fixed does damage continue to occur? Has anyone decided against the surgery only to find more damage to deal with in the future? Thank you for any thoughts.