Femoroacetabular Impingement: When Your Hips Don’t Fit

In Colorado, hiking is as normal of an everyday activity as, say, brushing your teeth. People usually jump at the chance to slip on some boots and hit the trails. If you try to climb and it hurts your hips, however, this popular activity is probably not on your Top 10 list of favorite things to do! Femoroacetabular impingement, or FIA, is a condition where your hip bones are abnormally shaped and therefore don’t fit into their ball and socket joints properly. As a result, the bones rub against each other, causing hip pain with movement—it can even lead to possible joint damage. You don’t have to pack away that walking stick for good, though. Castle Pines Physical Therapy can get you back on the path to healthy hips.

Hip ImpingementA Lack of Fitness

Also known simply as hip impingement, this condition occurs when your hip bones do not develop normally and are shaped in such a way that they do not fit into their joints. As a result, bone spurs, or overgrowths, form and cause the bones to rub against one another, eventually damaging the cartilage that would otherwise allow for smooth and pain-free movement.

There are three different types of FIA. Cam impingement occurs because of a deformed top of the femur bone (ball) which can jam against the socket when the hip is bent, like when you’re bending down to tie your hiking boots or climbing a steep trail. Pincer impingement is a deformity of the socket itself, causing the femur to bump against its rim during normal movement. The third type is combined, meaning both cam and pincer problems are present.

Watch for Signs

Sometimes people with this condition live active lives with no problems, however, those who participate in sports and other activities often aggravate the situation with excessive use. When symptoms of limping, hip pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion begin, these are tell-tale signs that you not only have the condition, but that it’s progressing. If ignored, femoroacetabular impingement can lead to osteoarthritis. Seek treatment as soon as you notice any symptoms.

Happy Trails to Your Pain

A series of mobility tests, as well as an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI will confirm your diagnosis. Rest is essential to feeling better. Backing off of your normal activities for a while can get you back into action sooner. Anti-inflammatory medication can also help ease swelling and discomfort. If hip pain persists and damage is too serious, surgery may need to be considered. Procedures range from shaving extensions of bone, to repairing damaged cartilage, to total hip replacement.

Regardless of what treatment methods are used, physical therapy exercises are key to restoring your range of motion and function. Come see Dr. Jennifer Molner at Castle Pines and Cherry Creek Physical Therapy in Castle Pines or Denver, CO. She can help get your hips healthy again, and get you back to the life you love. If you are struggling with hip impingement, call (303) 805-5156 to make an appointment with our Castle Pines or Denver, CO location today.

Photo Credit: Pilostic via Pixabay.com