Hip Impingement

Hip Pain

Hip pain is common in active individuals and athletes. The hip joint is prone to injury in both repetitive motion and high impact activities.

The surgeons of MedStar Orthopaedic Institute, who specialize in the treatment of hip pain, have a comprehensive and precise understanding of the causes of hip pain. While there are many causes, hip impingement is becoming an increasingly recognized problem in the athletic and highly active populations. The good news is that there are new and improved methods of treatment.

Hip Impingement

 MedStar Orthopaedic Institute’s surgeons commonly diagnose hip impingement, also known as femoral acetabular impingement or FAI, in young, active individuals who are performing repetitive hip movements. However, it is an overuse injury and can be present at all ages and activity levels. 

This condition is caused by abnormal contact between the ball of the femur and the socket. The abnormal contact can be a result of excessive bone around the socket, the femur, or a combination of both.

The excess bone creates a joint that is no longer spherical. This abnormal shape can cause injury to the cartilage as well as the labral soft tissue (cartilage). The damage caused may lead to increased pain and arthritis in the hip joint or hip labrum if left untreated.

Common Symptoms:

  • Pain in the groin with activity
  • Discomfort in the hip with sitting or standing
  • Catching or locking with hip motion
  • Decreased range of motion and discomfort with hip flexion and rotation


A diagnosis of hip impingement is based on a person’s symptoms and a thorough examination of his or her hips, spine, and lower extremities. An X-ray will be taken, and possibly a CAT or MRI scan.


Your doctor will probably want to begin your treatment conservatively before considering surgery.

  • Nonsurgical: If we determine that you have impingement that is due to an overuse injury, we will recommend rest and a modified exercise routine to reduce your pain.

Our specialists may recommend physical therapy to correct alignment abnormalities and strengthen the muscles around the hip. Steroid injections directly into the hip joint may decrease the inflammation and provide temporary, symptomatic relief.

  • Surgical: Surgery is recommended when impingement symptoms do not improve. In the past, hip impingement treatment required a large incision around the hip, dislocation of the hip joint, and contouring and repairing of the bone and labrum. This required hospital admission and a lengthy recovery. With recent advances in surgical technique, surgeons from MedStar Orthopaedic Institute can now treat it arthroscopically. 

Minimally invasive hip arthroscopy is performed through several very small incisions, rather than a large incision. The hip scope procedure is performed under general anesthesia, and a patient typically goes home the same day.

Meet Our Hip Impingement Specialist

kenneth tepper

 Kenneth Tepper, MD


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