Hip Impingement – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Posted on May 2nd, 2017 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

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The hip is a ball-and-socket joint, named so because a ball on the top of your thighbone (femur) fits into a cavity in the pelvis (known as the acetabulum). Normally, a layer of cartilage allows the ball to glide smoothly within the socket, but any irregularities in shape can cause the bones to grind together. This is known as a femoroacetabular impingement, more commonly referred to as a hip impingement.

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


Hip impingements are caused by a bone overgrowth, also known as a bone spur. The extra growth causes the two bones in your hip to rub against each other. Over time, this friction can result in labral tears and osteoarthritis.

The three types of impingements are:

  • A deformity of the ball at the top of the femur (cam impingement)
  • A deformity of the pelvic socket (pincer impingement)
  • Deformities in both the femur and pelvic socket (combined impingement)


Hip impingements are often not painful in the early stages, meaning it’s possible to have one for years and not know it. However, as the condition worsens, you may begin to experience symptoms such as:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion

These symptoms are most common in the groin area, but may occur toward the outer hip. It is common for pain to become more frequent and severe as the condition progresses.


If you suffer from a hip impingement, your physician may recommend a variety of treatment options, including:

If you live in Fairfield County and are experiencing hip pain, help is available at Orthopaedic Specialty Group. As southern Connecticut’s largest and most experienced orthopedic practice, you can trust our team of hip specialists to diagnose and treat your hip impingement or other condition. Patients can request an appointment online, or call (203) 337-2600.