Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

What is a hip impingement? What causes it?

Answer:

Hip impingement occurs when the head of the femur (thigh bone) butts up against the acetabulum (hip socket). In the process, the labrum gets pinched. The labrum is a thin layer of cartilage around the rim of the socket.

Anatomic changes in the femoral head and neck cause impingement. If the femoral head is flattened, it changes the relationship between the head and neck of the femur as it fits into the acetabulum.

Tears in the labrum or hip fractures that don't heal can result in impingement. Childhood hip conditions such as Legg-Calvé-Perthes or slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) can lead to hip impingement.

Improved technology with MRIs have made it possible to study this problem more closely. As a result, we now know that many people who have no symptoms have femoroacetabular impingement. John C. Clohisy, MD, et al. The Frog-Leg Lateral Radiograph Accurately Visualized Hip Cam Impingement Abnormalities. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. September 2007. Vol. 462. Pp. 115-121.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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