Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a condition where an extra bone grows along the hip joint bones. This lends the bones an irregular shape since they do not fit perfectly together. The bones also rub during movement. The friction, over time, may damage the joint to cause limiting activity and pain.
Board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tigran Garabekyan provides hip surgery to patients in Los Angeles, Century City, CA, and surrounding locations.
Anatomy of the Hip Joint
The human hip is in the form of a ball-and-socket joint. A part of the pelvis bone called the acetabulum forms the socket. The femoral head makes the ball which makes the upper end of the thighbone or femur.
Articular cartilage is a slippery tissue that covers the socket and ball surface. The cartilage creates a low friction and smooth surface which helps the bones glide more easily during movement.
Labrum, a strong fibrocartilage rings the acetabulum. A type of gasket is formed by the labrum around the socket creating a tight seal and providing joint stability.
Description of FAI
Bone spurs or bone overgrowth develop in FAI along the acetabulum or around the femoral head. Abnormal contact is caused by this extra bone between the hip bones. It prevents the bones from moving smoothly causing tears in the labrum. It may also cause osteoarthritis or breakdown of articular cartilage.
Types of FAI
FAI is of three distinct types:
- Pincer: This is a type of impingement in which an extra bone extends over the acetabulum’s normal rim. The labrum may get crushed under the acetabulum’s prominent rim.
- Cam: The femoral head in this type of FAI cannot rotate smoothly within the acetabulum since it is not round in shape. A bump may form at the femoral head’s edge for grinding the cartilage within the acetabulum.
- Combined: This is a type of impingement in which both cam and pincer types are present.
Symptoms of FAI
Common symptoms include stiffness, pain, and limping. Pain is usually present in the groin area. However, it may be felt outside the hip as well. Twisting, turning, and squatting can cause a stabbing or sharp pain. In some people, the pain is nothing more than a dull ache.
Arthroscopic surgery can be used for treating most FAI problems. This procedure can be carried out with thin instruments and small incisions. The surgeon will use an arthroscope or a small camera to view inside the hip.
The surgeon, during an arthroscopy, will clean out and repair all damage to the articular cartilage and labrum. The bony rim of the acetabulum will be trimmed to correct the FAI. They will also shave the bump on the femoral head.
Open operations may be required in severe cases involving larger incisions for accomplishing this. Surgery can provide long term results and reduce symptoms to a great extent. Further damage may also be prevented.
A specialist in orthopedic surgery of the hip, Dr. Garabekyan receives patients from Los Angeles, Century City, CA, and nearby areas for safe and proven hip procedures.
Contact the Southern California Hip Institute
Dr. Tigran Garabekyan is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip preservation. To learn more about Southern California Hip Institute or to schedule a consultation, click here to contact us or call:
Century City / Los Angeles: 310.595.1030
Serving patients in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Century City, West Hollywood, North Hollywood Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Burbank, Glendale and other neighboring cities in the greater Los Angeles, California area.
Also visit http://www.drgorthopedics.com/