(Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon)

Hip Impingement: Symptoms, Causes and All You Want to Know

The hip joint originates in the fusion of three bones: the thigh bone, the pelvis, and the pubic bone. The way these bones connect makes the hip a special ball and socket joint that withstands both heavy impact and flexibility while providing movement in many directions to support walking, running, jumping, and cutting. However, there are several conditions that may affect your hip. Hip impingement is one of those common conditions, affecting many people worldwide.

What is hip impingement?

Hip impingement or Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a condition characterized by abnormal contact between the ball and socket of the hip joint. It is a prevalent cause of hip pain, though it is often misdiagnosed.

Hip impingement occurs when the hip joint is not in its ideal alignment. The ball of the hip joint is supposed to be smoothly contained within the socket of the hip joint, but if there is a bump or protrusion in the socket then this contact will be impeded and can cause pain or inflammation.

Hip impingement is often associated with athletics, particularly sports that involve repetitive motions such as running, jumping, squatting and kicking. However, it can also be caused by genetics or by structural abnormalities in the hip joint itself.

Symptoms of hip impingement

Symptoms of hip impingement can occur suddenly or gradually. The condition may cause pain as well as weakness, particularly in activities that flex the hip beyond 90 degrees, such as squatting or kicking. The pain may be felt on one or both sides of the hip. Occasionally, pain occurs during rest. Other symptoms include stiffness and impaired movement.

Some people with this problem complain that their groin feels tight or “sore”. Symptoms are often made worse by running or prolonged periods of sitting.

In many cases, the hip joint may become arthritic as a result of repeated injury. The joint will no longer be able to flex and extend properly and will begin to deteriorate. In these cases, hip replacement surgery may be required.

Hip impingement diagnosis

The doctor will do a physical examination and check on the history of your orthopedic health. They will also offer a range of tests, like x-ray, MRI, and CT scan to make a conclusive diagnosis.

Hip impingement treatment

Getting treatment at an early stage is critical for the successful treatment of hip impingement. If you’re having trouble with your hip, see your doctor. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help you avoid surgery in the future.

Treatment for hip impingement usually begins with rest to allow the inflammation to subside. You may also need to fix your activities to avoid moving the joint in a way that causes pain. Your doctor or physical therapist can help you gradually resume normal activities if the pain subsides and you feel strong enough to do them. Exercising as recommended by your doctor or physical therapist can help strengthen muscles around the hip and relieve inflammation. Physical therapists who specialize in hip injuries can do a lot to help strengthen muscles around the hip and relieve inflammation.

In some cases when other treatment options haven’t worked, your doctor may advise you of hip replacement surgery. With such an invasive option, it’s essential you’re working with the best hip surgeon in India who has a solid track record of many successful surgeries.

Final Words

The best way to prevent hip impingement is to strengthen muscles around the hip and pelvis and stretch those muscles before activity. You should also start any new activity slowly, as increased muscle strength can help relieve pain from existing injuries.

In general, you must keep an eye on the symptoms and seek immediate help from the best bone specialist if you experience any pain.