Femoracetabular Impingement/ Hip Arthroscopy

Femoracetabular Impingement/ Hip Arthroscopy

What is Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI)?

FAI is a condition in which abnormal shape or bone formation in the hip leads to a “pinching” between the ball and the socket.  This can occur due to too much bone on the femur/ball or a sharp edge on the acetabulum/socket.  This is most common in younger, athletic people with women more commonly having the “pincer” deformity on the socket and men more commonly having the “cam” deformity on the ball.  Over time, this can lead to damage to the labrum which is the “O-ring” of the hip joint.  

What are the Symptoms?

Most common complaints are frontal hip or groin pain particularly after physical activity or sitting for long periods of time (car travel).  Many patients experience a sense of stiffness or fullness in the hip, particularly when putting socks or shoes on.  

How is it Treated?

FAI is initially treated with therapy and injections but if it appears structural damage is occurring or you are not improving with nonsurgical management of the problem, hip arthroscopy is a highly successful way of treating this problem. The decision to consider surgery depends in part on your response to therapy as well as the severity of your hip pathology for which an MRI is typically obtained.

What type of surgery is Recommended for FAI?

Dr. Silas may recommend hip arthroscopy to treat your FAI.  Arthroscopic treatment of hip disorders has evolved dramatically in the last 10 years and this less invasive procedure allows us to reshape the ball and the cup to treat FAI.  Timely treatment can prevent premature development of hip arthritis.  Labral tears can be treated with direct arthroscopic repair techniques or with labral reconstruction which requires a donor graft to reconstruct the labrum.  Dr. Silas has been on the leading edge of this revolution in surgical treatment of hip pain and is one of the few surgeons in Michigan performing not only hip arthroscopy but complete labral reconstruction.  She sees many patients in the Midwest who have had a prior unsuccessful hip arthroscopy or who have irreparable damage of their labrum. Our goal with all patients is to preserve your native joint, however in some patients with advanced arthritis, hip arthroscopy may not help. In these patients, a total hip replacement is an excellent option for eliminating pain and restoring function.