Hip Impingement – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Posted on December 14th, 2016 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

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If you’ve ever played baseball, you know that years of catching the ball causes your glove to thin, tear, and damage. Unfortunately, the same thing can happen to your hip joints over time – which might be why they are appropriately named ball-and-socket joints. After years of physical activity, hip impingements may form.

If you suffer from a hip impingement, it is important to be well-informed so that you can make educated decisions about your health. Here are the common causes, symptoms, and treatment options for hip impingements.


There are two main causes of hip impingements:

  • A deformity at the top of the femur. If the ball is not shaped properly, it can jam and scrape against the socket when the hip bends.
  • A deformity of the socket. If the front of the socket is abnormally shaped or protruding, the femur can rub against the rim of the socket during routine or intense movement.


Symptoms can be mild, or even non existent in early stages. Typical symptoms of a hip impingement include:

  • Thigh, hip, or groin stiffness.
  • Difficulty or inability to flex the hip past a right angle.
  • General pain in the groin and hip area after physical activity, like running, jumping, or swimming.
  • Pain in the hip, groin, or lower back during times of rest.


If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your doctor or physician immediately. If left untreated, hip impingements can lead to cartilage damage or osteoarthritis. Some actions that your doctor may recommend include:

  • Minimize physical activity. If the condition is still in its early phases, less physical activity is the easiest solution. You should keep an eye on the problem and let physician know if the pain gets worse.
  • Physical therapy. If an active person develops hip discomfort but does not yet have any joint damage, the best treatment option is most likely physical therapy. Therapy can help improve the strength of your hip and leg muscles, improve lower body mobility, and help you better handle everyday activities.
  • Injections. If a patient is complaining about pain, but there is not yet enough damage to warrant surgery, injections may be used to help relieve swelling, irritation and alleviate any discomfort.
  • Surgery. When the joints become severely irritated and damaged, surgery may be the best treatment option. Thanks to recent advances in the field of arthroscopy, the procedure is minimally invasive and leaves you with nothing more than a 1-inch scar.

If you suffer from chronic hip pain, you should consult with a medical professional. Residents of Fairfield County can trust the experts at Orthopaedic Specialty Group for all of their bone and joint needs. We offer comprehensive physical therapy services and arthroscopic procedures that can help combat years’ worth of damage to your hip joints. Call us to schedule an appointment at (203) 337-2600.