Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)
What is FAI, how can it occur, and what are the symptoms?
FAI is a condition of abnormal bone growth inside of the hip. This condition can present itself in one of 3 ways: a pincer, cam, or a combined presentation.
- A pincer impingement occurs when there is an excess of bony on the rim of the acetabulum (hip socket).
- A cam type of impingement occurs when the femoral head itself has an abnormal rounding or bony growth.
- The combined impingement has both of these qualities at the same time.
All of these impingements cause rubbing or tearing of the labrum and/or articular cartilage within the hip joint which can limit certain rotations of the hip and cause pain, popping, stiffness, and difficulty partaking in athletic activities.
While this is an abnormality of the bony structures of the hip and not caused by exercise, athletes may exhibit symptoms sooner due to the extreme range of motion needed by the hip to produce most athletic maneuvers. Some cases of FAI can be only be solved by surgical intervention, however, hip stretching and strengthening exercises have been shown to greatly help those affected by the condition.
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