FAI is a movement-related disorder of the hip which is diagnosed based on
3 key findings; symptoms, clinical signs and imaging findings. These are
as a result of the hip having morphological (bony) changes and growth
and or due to excessive range of motion.
What are these morphological and bony changes?
These abnormal bony growths and changes can be categorised based
upon where they are found. A pincer morphology indicates bony growth to
the acetabulum of the pelvis, a ‘Cam’ morphology is growth of the neck of
the femur and mixed morphology can encapsulate both findings. (image
below for reference)
What type of symptoms may I experience?
The main symptom experienced with FAI is related to the movement and
position of the thigh in relation to the torso as it creates compression on
the bony changes. This can result and present as pain in the hip or groin.
Pain may also be experienced in the back, bottom or thigh, and be
accompanied by the sensations of catching, clicking, locking, stiffness or
restrictions in most ranges of motion.
When should you seek treatment for this, and what will it entail?
Before seeking treatment from an osteopath it is important to know that
we are unable to change the bony structures.
Conservative treatment is however recommended, with surgical
intervention often a last resort.
Conservative treatment would consist of education about provocative
movements and avoidance and alterations which can be made to ensure
to not provoke this. Lifestyle and activity modifications are therefore also
important to ensure the joint is provided with a stimulus which doesn’t
Rehabilitation will also comprise a large component of the management,
aiming to improve hip stability and neuromuscular control, strength, range
of motion and the patients movement patterns.
If conservative treatment does not work adequately, surgical interventions
can be sought which will look to alter the bony morphology and repair