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FAI - Femoroacetabular Impingement

FAI occurs where there is abnormal contact between the femoral head (ball) and the edge of the acetabulum (socket). This abnormal contact can lead to damage to the labrum of the hip and articular cartilage (joint lining) in the acetabulum. Damage to the labrum and/or surrounding articular cartilage can cause pain.

FAI usually occurs if there is an abnormality in the shape of the femoral head (ball), Cam deformity or acetabulum (a pincer) or both (mixed). The abnormal shape in the ball or socket may lead to abnormal contact during hip movements, in particular sporting type movements. For example, kicking sports, dancing and martial arts. The damage is usually an accumulation of micro trauma from repetitive impaction (impingement). FAI can occur in all groups, but is considered from teenage years to adult life and is recognised as a predisposing factor to early osteoarthritis/degeneration of the hip. It is increasingly thought that early intervention with early surgical intervention for acetabular impingement will alleviate pain and help minimise the development of osteoarthritis of the involved hip. Hip arthroscopy is used to treat any damage in the hip socket to the cartilage, labrum and
acetabular cartilage, and also used to reshape any bone abnormalities in the ball or socket.

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