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Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)

General Description

Femoroacetabular Impingement, or FAI is the name for impingement of the hip, meaning there is some sort of compression of a nerve or blood vessel in a limited space. Much like the shoulder, the ball at the top of the femur fits into the socket of your pelvis creating the hip. The femur can become impinged multiple ways and it is typically accompanied by pain. Osteoarthritis in the hip has been found to be caused largely by different types of Femoroacetabular Impingement.


The two primary causes of Femoroacetabular Impingement are as follows: when there is an abnormality in the ball of the femur that can cause impingement when bending the leg in a specific direction, like certain sports require. The second cause is when there is an abnormality in the socket of the pelvis. This can cause disruption and potentially damage the ball of the femur.

Typical Treatment

Treatment for Femoroacetabular Impingement begins with resting the hip and using ice to alleviate pain. You should avoid moving the leg in any painful direction and take an acetaminophen like Tylenol or an ibuprofen such as Advil. If the impingement is extreme and recurring, surgery may be necessary to remove the part of the bone causing the damage.

How to prevent it

It is impossible to prevent Femoroacetabular Impingement before it happens. If there are any abnormalities in your hip bones, but once diagnosed your doctor can recommend the best route for your recovery. The best way to skip avoidable damage to the hip is to remember to properly stretch and take care of your joints during strenuous activities.