Hip Impingement

Treatment in Spartanburg, Duncan, and Greenville, SC

What is Hip Impingement?

Hip impingement, also called femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), happens when the femoral head, or “ball of the hip,” presses against the acetabulum, or “cup of the hip.” When this happens, the cartilage around the acetabulum, called the labrum, can get damaged. This can make the hip stiff and painful and can lead to arthritis.

Hip Impingement Symptoms

Most people with FAI experience:

  • Pain or stiffness in their groin or upper thigh
  • Pain that occurs often or gets worse when the hips or waist are bent up, for example:
    • When riding a bike
    • While tying shoes
    • When sitting for a long period of time.

Types of Femoroacetabular Impingement

There are three types of hip impingement:

  • Pincer – This kind of impingement happens when extra bone grows past the edge of the “cup” of the hip. Under the sharp edge of this cup, the labrum can be crushed
  • Cam – The femoral head (ball) is not round and can’t move smoothly inside the cup. The cartilage inside this cup is ground down by a bump that forms on the edge of the femoral head
  • Combined – Both pincer and cam types are present

Hip Impingement Treatment

Depending on the severity of your condition, you may see improvement with nonsurgical treatments. However, surgical treatments may be required for more severe cases of impingement.

  • Nonsurgical – These may be suggested first to be more conservative
      • Rest, ice, compression, and elevation
      • Activity modification
      • Anti-inflammatory medications
      • Physical therapy
  • Surgical – For more severe cases of FAI, there are two main goals of surgical treatment, which includes an arthroscopic procedure: 
    • To resolve the damage of the impingement
    • To correct the abnormality causing the impingement
hip impingement

South Carolina Orthopedic Hip Arthritis Treatment Locations

Spartanburg, South Carolina

1330 Boiling Springs Rd, Ste 1600
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Directions to Spartanburg

Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Contact us: (864) 501-0541

Duncan, South Carolina

115 Deacon Tiller Ct.
Duncan, SC 29334
Directions to Duncan

Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Contact us: (864) 362-3461

Greenville, South Carolina

220 Roper Mountain Road Ext
Greenville, SC 29615
Directions To Greenville

Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Contact us: (864) 582-6396

Hip Impingement FAQs

How Common is Femoroacetabular Impingement?

Hip impingement is a common reason why young people, adults, and athletes of all ages experience hip pain.

When Should I See an Orthopedic Hip Specialist for Hip Impingement?

If you are experiencing symptoms of hip impingement, it’s important to meet with an orthopedic specialist to help alleviate the pain and correct the issue.

What Causes Hip Impingement?

The ball-and-socket joint of the hip connects the thigh bone to the pelvis. People with FAI have a problem with the ball (the top of the femur) or the socket (where the ball sits), or both. The abnormality causes friction when the joint moves, which can damage the cartilage and labrum in the area.

Most of the time, FAI symptoms are already there at birth. But they can happen later in life, especially during the teenage years. People who are more active may feel pain from hip impingement sooner than people who don’t do as much, however, in most cases, exercise does not cause FAI itself.


At Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates (CONA), our board-certified physicians can help you get back to the things you love as fast as possible. If you are struggling with symptoms of hip impingement and the pain is interfering with your everyday life, click the button below today to book an appointment at one of our locations.
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