Hip impingement

A condition where there is excessive contact between the thigh bone and hip socket. Find out more about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options available at Cromwell Hospital.

What is hip impingement?

Hip impingement is caused when there is unwanted contact between the thigh bone and the hip socket. It can affect anyone, but it is most common in the young and those who do sporting activities.

What causes hip impingement?

An unusual shaped head or neck of the thigh bone, or hip socket can rub abnormally, resulting in damage to the cartilage within the hip joint. Lifestyle, occupational and sporting activities can impact the severity of this condition.

Signs and symptoms of hip impingement

If you have hip impingement you may experience:

  • ‘clicking’ of the hip.
  • limited movement and stiffness in the joint that is often worse after long periods of sitting.
  • pain within the groin area.

How is hip impingement diagnosed?

Initially the condition is often not painful, and pain is only experience once the cartilage in the joint deteriorates.

The condition can be detected on X-ray. Further tests such as a CT scan or an MRI can provide more detail about the shape of the joint and any damage to the cartilage within the joint.

Treatment for hip impingement

The first stage of treatment for hip impingement is to manage your lifestyle; the condition can often stablise with rest, adjusting your level of activity and painkillers.

For more severe cases, your orthopaedic surgeon may suggest a hip arthroscopy. This is a minimally invasive procedure where a camera is inserted into a small incision in the skin. Your consultant is then able to assess and treat the affected area by:

  • removing/repairing torn cartilage.
  • smoothing the surface of the hips joints.
  • removing any bone spurs (growths).
  • removing inflamed tissue.

Alternatively, a complete hip replacement may be required if the damage to the joint is extensive.

Book an appointment today

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Please note - regrettably we are unable to answer specific medical questions or offer medical advice via email or telephone.