Femoroacetabular Impingement - Hip Pain in Athletes

The hip is a ball and socket joint that allows for remarkable leg range of motion in a variety of sports. Unfortunately, sometimes this joint can be painful, resulting in limitation of athletic performance due to a common condition called femoroacetabular impingement (FAI).

Despite being a complicated term, FAI is a common condition where the femoral head (the ball), acetabulum (the socket), or both do not fit normally in place due to an alteration in the shape of the femoral head or rim of the acetabulum.

The result is increased contact (impingement) as the hip is placed through a range of motion. Many athletes with FAI often complain of pain in the front of the hip or groin during sports, after prolonged sitting or any activity that requires deep flexion or rotation of the hip.

Sometimes, a popping or clicking in the front of the hip can be noted. FAI is diagnosed with a simple clinical visit, which includes an examination of the hip, along with imaging studies such as X-ray and MRI.