Femoroacetabular Impingement or FAI is something that occurs usually due to changes in the hip joint morphology. Changes in the morphology only result in pain in 25% of the population and is more common in the athletic population.
FAI is generally caused by a bony change in the hip joint which is either called a CAM deformity or a PINCER deformity.
The CAM defect occurs on the Femoral Head and will restrict movement into adduction, flexion and internal rotation. A combination of these movements cause a butting up of the CAM defect on the acetabulum of the hip.
The Pincer defect occurs when a extra lip forms on the acetabulum and restriction of movement occurs in the same movement planes as the CAM defect.
FAI is something that can be changed intra-operatively but the outcomes can be variable and should only be considered in a small proportion of the population. This is an option for some, but for the majority of the population every other conservative intervention should be exhausted first.
The effect of the pain and disfunction of FAI can cause changes in muscle recruitment, strength and movement patterns around the hip which should all be addressed prior to moving onto more drastic measures. These muscular changes effect the way the hip moves, the way it absorbs shock and the load transfer between the joints.
When the pain and aggrivation is severe, settling down the muscular pain and switching off the spasm is the most important aspect. Once this has occured progressivly increasing the load and control is the next step. Starting from the basics and working up is key.
FAI is definitely something that can be treated and should be managed conservatively when possible. There are a number of strength and movement deficits that can occur secondary to the pain that can considerably impact on your symptoms.
Remember stay Agile, Nimble and Active.