Femoroacetabular Impingement

Femoroacetabular Impingement

Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a condition in which there is abnormal contact (impingement) between the ball and socket of the hip joint (femoral head and acetabulum respectively). This can cause pain (often felt in the groin), stiffness in the joint and a reduced range of movement although often, in the early stages it is not painful, and so can be undiagnosed for years.

Anyone can develop hip impingement, though it is thought to be a common cause of groin pain in young, active adults. Symptoms can be exacerbated by lifestyle, occupational and sporting activities, especially those which involve rapid changes in direction and twisting movements.

If you suffer with FAI, this may increase your risk of developing arthritis later in life (although not everyone with impingement will develop arthritis).


Changing or adapting any activities which aggravate your symptoms is often an important part of managing FAI. Guidance on the best way of doing this, and help with a thorough rehabilitation programme can be provided by a physiotherapist.

In certain cases where physiotherapy management has not solved the problem surgery can be considered, where the aim is to alter the bony abnormalities which might be causing the pain via arthroscopy (keyhole surgery).