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Hip Impingement Syndrome

What Is Hip Impingement Syndrome?

Typically, the top or head of your femur (thigh) bone fits smoothly into to a cup-like area on the lower side of your pelvis called the acetabulum. This “ball-and-socket” joint allows for easy, smooth movements throughout the day. However, when the head of the femur does not have its full motion in the socket, it can interfere with activities and produce discomfort in and around the hip. This mismatching of the ball and socket is called hip impingement syndrome, or femoroacetabular impingement (FAI).

Femoroacetabular impingement is most commonly due to excess bone that has formed at the head/neck of the femur bone-called “CAM” impingement-or overgrowth of bone on the socket side-called “Pincer” impingement. Both result in abnormal impact between the femur and the rim of the acetabulum with certain hip movements.

Other, more rare causes of hip impingement also include Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, slipped capital femoral epiphysis or coxa vara.


Symptoms of hip impingement syndrome include:

  • Stiffness in the groin or thigh

  • Decreased range of motion in the hip

  • Difficulty walking or noticeable limping after activity

  • Tightness or discomfort on the outside of the hip and/or low back

Treatment Options

Treatment options range from conservative measures to surgical intervention for femoroacetabular impingement. Your orthopedic provider will work closely with you to create a plan that helps relieve your pain and restore function to your hip so you can enjoy your favorite activities once again.

Treatment options may include:

  • Rest – Rest and modified activities can help relieve discomfort and reduce painful symptoms.

  • Physical therapy – A physical therapist can guide you through exercises to improve motion and strength of the hip and core.

  • Anti-inflammatories – Anti-inflammatories can help reduce inflammation associated with FAI. 

  • Steroids or biologic injections

  • Surgery – If conservative options do not alleviate your symptoms, your provider may recommend surgery.

Temple Health can provide the latest care for femoroacetabular impingement, offering hip arthroscopy to address FAI and reshape the femur or acetabulum to improve your motion and function in and around the hip.

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of hip impingement syndrome, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat hip impingement syndrome.