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Orthopaedic Surgery

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Hip Impingement

Considered a ball-and-socket joint, the hip is one of the most stable joints in the body. The ball of the joint, called the femoral head, is the top of the leg bone, while the socket area, called the acetabulum, is located in the pelvis. Hip impingement occurs when the ball of the hip pinches against the socket. This can cause damage to the labrum, the cartilage that surrounds the hip socket, and lead to stiffness, pain and/or arthritis in the hip.

Hip Impingement: What You Need to Know

 
  • There are two main types of hip impingement: 1) when the ball of the hip is deformed, or 2) when the socket is abnormally shaped.
  • The exact cause of hip impingement is unknown, but some cases may be present at birth or caused by other conditions. Hip impingement has also been seen in young athletes who play sports that require a lot of twisting of the hip or squatting.
  • Symptoms of hip impingement include pain or stiffness in the groin or front of the thigh.
  • Diagnosing hip impingement includes a physical exam, health history, X-rays and often times MRI.
  • There are both nonsurgical and surgical treatments for hip impingement depending on the patient and severity of the condition.

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