What is Femoral-Acetabular impingement (FAI)?

Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a condition where the shape of the femoral neck of acetabulum are abutting one another causing pain or damage. There are two types (or a combination of both):

  • CAM impingement: is when there is a bump lesion on the femoral neck that impinges on the acetabulum (the socket)
  • Pincer impingement: is when the acetabulum (the socket) is protruding out and impinging on the femoral neck.


The cause of FAI is largely due to the shape of the hip bones. The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. If there is a shape mis-match between the ball and socket joint this can lead to premature damage to critical structures like the labrum and cartilage. People with hip impingement may have been born with a structurally abnormal ball-and-socket joint. Repetitive activity or trauma during a sport or accident can also cause FAI.

FAI usually causes labral tears which contribute to the pain and inflammation of the hip and affects the chondrol-labral junction (the hip cartilage) and over time will cause wear and tear of the hip (arthritis). This is one of the leading causes of hip arthritis that requires hip replacement later in life.


  • Pain with prolonged sitting and walking positions
  • Pain with deep flexion of the hip;
  • Pain when getting in and out of the car.
  • Patient’s often feel pain in the anterior, lateral and posterior area of the hip, which is called the C-sign.


Understanding the underlying causes and properly diagnosing your condition is the first step to treatment. We then provide a holistic approach to helping patients and their families through their surgical journey. Properly supporting you and/or your child, while educating you on the details helps us ensure the most successful outcomes possible. Our hands on, team approach makes patients feel supported throughout the whole treatment process.

To learn more about your condition and receive a diagnosis, schedule a virtual consultation with one of our experienced orthopedic doctors. During this consultation, all your questions will be answered as our specialists guide you through the evaluation process.

Conservative treatment

Physiotherapy, Anti-inflammatory medication, Braces can all be used as conservative methods of treatment. The following injections may also be used:


Cortisone injections


Viscosupplement for joint


Injections for joints

Surgical treatment


Hip arthroscopy and FAI


Surgical hip dislocation

Case study

15 year old hockey player with right hip pain and FAI with CAM
Patient with hip pain


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Highly specialized expert care at CLLC

At the Canadian Limb Lengthening Centre we offer complex deformity correction and limb lengthening surgeries performed by experienced surgeons with the most up to date technologies. When it comes to your care, and treatment of deformity and limb length discrepancy, our surgeons have extensive training and experience.