Not all chronic hip pain is due to arthritis. Hip impingement, also known as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), can cause significant pain in the groin during sports activity. It can also cause pain during daily routines like dressing yourself, climbing stairs, and even sitting comfortably in a chair.
Hip impingement tends to occur in active young adults, and especially athletes. It is a painful and often an unrecognizable condition that involves a tear in the labrum. The problem may occur for various reasons, including the way the bones form at a young age, causing bone spurs to develop that pinch the labrum and damage the joint cartilage.
In the past, if hip impingement was even identifiable, open surgery with a long recovery was the best course of treatment. Using hip arthroscopy can now correct the condition. With two small incisions and a small camera, the surgeon can clearly visualize the hip ball and socket. The surgeon can now see exactly where the impingement is, to repair the labral damage and re-contour the hip joint toward normal anatomy.
Not all hip impingement cases are best treated arthroscopically. Joint reconstructive surgery may be a better option for those with significant osteoarthrosis.