Signs That Your Hip Pain Could Be Hip Impingement

Your hips are among the hardest-working joints in your body, which makes sense given their role in helping you move through the world. It follows that when hip pain strikes, the effects can limit your life in some very significant ways, making even a trip to the bathroom a painful affair.

At Western Orthopaedics, our team of musculoskeletal experts understands the many causes of hip pain, and we offer several solutions for restoring pain-free movement. To help us better do our job, we believe that patient education is important, which is why we’ve pulled together the following information on one of the more common causes of hip pain — hip impingement.

Here’s a look at a few of the signs that your chronic pain may be tied to hip impingement.

Hip anatomy 101

To better understand hip impingement, which is also called femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), it’s helpful to review the anatomy of your hip.

Your hip is a large ball-and-socket joint that’s made up of your:

Under normal circumstances, each of these components works together smoothly to provide you with mobility, stability, and support.

Behind hip impingement

FAI occurs when there are bone growths around your femoral head and/or around your acetabulum. This causes an irregularity in the shapes of the two main bone structures in your hip, which affects how they fit together. 

When these bones don’t glide together easily, as they were designed to do, they end up rubbing together, which can damage your labrum and lead to pain, stiffness, and progressive damage within the joint. 

In many cases, a hip impingement can lead to osteoarthritis, as your articular cartilage is worn down because of the irregular motion inside your hip. As well, labrum tears can develop because of the excess friction within your joint.

FAI typically develops over the course of weeks and months, and you may notice your symptoms flare during certain movements, such as squatting, sitting down or getting up, and twisting. In addition to the pain at the front of your hip, which can come and go, you may experience stiffness, especially after activity, as well as a loss in your range of motion.

Treating hip impingement

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms we describe above, we urge you to come see us so that we can perform an extensive evaluation, including advanced imaging. After your assessment, we devise a treatment plan that’s based on the amount of damage inside your joint. 

If there’s extensive damage, we may recommend hip preservation surgery, in which we use advanced arthroscopic techniques to perform one or more of the following:

Before we get ahead of ourselves, however, the first step is to come and see us so that we can determine whether hip impingement is the cause of your hip pain. Simply contact our main office in Denver, Colorado, to get started.

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