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Femoroacetabular impingement is a condition in which the joint ofthe hip is damaged due to the abnormal rubbing between the two parts, thefemoral head and acetabulum or socket. This condition is much more commonin athletes than in other people, but it can practically happen to everyone.The main symptom is pain, either in the lower part of the back or in the hip,but loss or restriction of the motion of the hip can also be one of the signs.

Theseconditions can be related to cartilage damage, labial tear, sports hernias andearly arthritis of the hip and it can be diagnoses after doing an x-ray. Thereare two forms of femoroacetabular impingement, the one called Cam, and anotherPincer form. In the first, the form of the hip socket (med. acetabulum), or thehead of the bone of the thigh (med. femur) is not round as it should be, whichresults in the abnormal contact between these two parts. In the pincer form,acetabulum covers the head, but in most of the cases, both of these forms existtogether.

When it comes to the treatment of this condition, there areseveral possibilities. The choice usually depends on the evaluation of theorthopedist, and the seriousness of the condition, since in some casesinjections and rest can help, or even simple change of the lifestyle. Surgeryis solution in some cases, and it usually involves open surgery or arthroscopy.Both of them have the aim to reshape the hip joint, either by removingcartilage, or bone. Arthroscopic approach can be used for several purposesrelated to femoroacetabular impingement, and some of them are repairmen of the labialtear, friction between the socket and the ball, and damage or even thestimulation of the growth of cartilage.

Open surgery lasts for a few hours, andsince it includes osteotomy, it is not advised to older patients, or those whohave a serious hip degeneration. Yet another surgery procedure which can besuggested in certain cases, usually in those of serious hip dislocation ordegeneration, is totally hip arthroplasty, or in plain words - hip replacementand this is recommended in cases of osteoarthritis degeneration. During thisprocedure, the damaged joint surfaces are being removed and replaced withartificial materials. With all of these surgery procedures a patientshould know that the recovery period lasts for at least 4 months, and thatthere are many risks involved, which is why it is recommended to carefullyconsider all the pros and cons before making the final decision.

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