Hip impingement is another term for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). In a healthy hip, the ball and socket joint that joins the thigh bone to the pelvis glides smoothly during movement. Sometimes, alignment problems can prevent the hip joint from moving smoothly, causing hip impingement. This is one of the most common hip problems and a primary cause of arthritis of the hip and pelvis.
Two types of impingement occur in the hip: cam and pincer. Cam impingement occurs when the top of the leg bone, the femoral head, has an abnormal shape that prevents it from fitting into the socket properly. When the hip joint moves, the femoral head becomes squeezed or jammed in the socket. This usually only occurs during certain hip movements.
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