Alexander E Weber, MD
Orthopaedic surgeon & sports Medicine specialist

Hip Impingement: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Sep 13, 2023
Hip impingement, also known as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), is a common orthopedic condition that affects the hip joint. In this blog post, we will delve into the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for hip impingement.

Causes of Hip Impingement:

Hip impingement occurs when there is abnormal contact between the ball of the femur (thigh bone) and the acetabulum (hip socket). This abnormal contact can result from several factors:

  1. Morphological Abnormalities: Structural abnormalities in the hip joint, such as a misshapen femoral head or a shallow acetabulum, can lead to impingement.
  2. Overuse or Repetitive Motion: Athletes who repeatedly perform activities that require hip flexion, such as running or squatting, may develop hip impingement.
  3. Trauma: A previous hip injury or fracture can alter the joint's shape, increasing the risk of impingement.


The symptoms of hip impingement can vary, but commonly include:

  • Hip or groin pain: Pain is often felt deep within the hip or in the groin area. 
  • Stiffness: Decreased range of motion, especially during activities like sitting or bending.
  • Clicking or catching: A sensation of clicking, catching, or locking in the hip joint.
  • Pain during or after physical activity: Pain may worsen with certain movements or activities.

Treatment Options:

  1. Conservative Management: In many cases, conservative treatments can effectively manage hip impingement symptoms. These include rest, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and inflammation.
  2. Injections: Corticosteroid or hyaluronic acid injections may provide temporary relief from hip impingement pain.
  3. Surgery: When conservative treatments fail to alleviate symptoms or if there is significant damage to the hip joint, surgical options may be considered. These include:
    • Arthroscopy: A minimally invasive procedure to reshape the hip joint and remove damaged tissue.
    • Open Surgery: In some cases, open surgery may be necessary to address severe impingement and structural abnormalities.

Preventive Measures:

While hip impingement may not always be preventable, there are steps individuals can take to reduce their risk:

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight can put additional strain on the hip joint.
  • Proper Conditioning: Engage in exercises that strengthen the hip muscles and promote joint stability.
  • Rest and Recovery: Avoid overuse and allow adequate time for rest and recovery after strenuous activities.

In conclusion, hip impingement is a condition that can cause discomfort and limit mobility. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are crucial for managing symptoms and preventing further joint damage. If you suspect you have hip impingement, consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and personalized treatment plan.

Dr. Weber and his team treat over 150 Los Angeles athletes and weekend warriors with hip labral tears and hip impingement each year. We provide personalized treatment for all hip injuries from professional athletes to high school recreational players to weekend skiers. If you are a patient with a hip injury in Los Angeles, please reach out. We can see you within 24 hours.