What is femoroacetabular impingement (FAI)?

The hip joint is formed by the connection of the head of the femur (thigh bone) and the socket of the acetabulum (pelvis). This ball-and-socket design allows the hip joint to move in several different directions and the articular cartilage covering these bones facilitates smooth and painless joint movement. If the structure of the femoral head or acetabular socket is compromised, either by abnormal shape or bony growths, can affect the femoral head’s ability to rotate within the socket. This limited joint mobility can cause excessive grinding against the articular cartilage or hip labrum resulting in damage to these structures, a condition known as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI).

What is cam impingement?

There are two specific types of femoroacetabular impingement (FAI): cam impingement and pincer impingement. Cam impingement (also known as pistol grip deformity) is characterized by anatomical abnormalities of the femoral head where pincer impingement is defined by additional bone extending past the standard rim of the acetabulum. A misshapen femoral head or bony overgrowths, known as bone spurs, along the neck of the femur can damage the articular cartilage and/or hip labrum over time from excessive grinding.

Cam Deformity | Houston TX

What is the treatment for cam impingement?

Patients with cam impingement are likely to manage their symptoms with non-surgical therapies alone. This can include activity modifications, hip injection, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), and exercises to improve hip strength and mobility. However, when non-surgical therapy is no longer successful in symptom management, surgical intervention is recommended to prevent further joint damage. A femoroplasty, also known as osteochondroplasty, is a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure that aims to recontour the femoral head for better joint movement and to eliminate impingement. Dr. Ronak Mukesh Patel, orthopedic hip doctor, treats patients in Sugar Land, Pearland, and the Houston, Texas area, who have experienced cam impingement and are in need of a femoroplasty.

How is a femoroplasty performed?

Dr. Patel prefers the arthroscopic approach for a femoroplasty. To begin, Dr. Patel makes two to three small incisions surrounding the hip joint. A small camera (arthroscope) is introduced through a portal and the images are transmitted to a screen for Dr. Patel to methodically examine the femoral head, acetabular socket, and surrounding soft-tissue structures. Specialized surgical instruments are inserted to remove any bony growths from the head and neck of the femur. The ball of the femur is then shaved and reshaped into a normal sphere. For patients with combined cam and pincer impingement conditions, an acetabuloplasty is also performed to trim the rim of the acetabulum to the normal length. If there is a labral tear, this is repaired using specialized surgical anchors with sutures.

How long is the recovery period after a femoroplasty?

The recovery period following a femoroplasty depends on the type of impingement experienced and the extent of the surgical repairs. Although most patients reach a full range of motion of the hip in about 6 to 8 weeks, the expected return time to normal daily and athletic activities is approximately 4 to 6 months. The recovery period can also be affected by carefully following the post-operative care instructions provided by Dr. Patel. Patients in the Houston, Texas area can generally expect the following:

  • Weight-bearing will be limited with the assistance of crutches for 2 weeks after surgery. A hip brace may also be applied to protect the hip joint during this recovery period.
  • The key to a successful recovery following a femoroplasty is adhering to and completing the physical rehabilitation program designed by Dr. Patel. This physical therapy program begins immediately after surgery and focuses on improving hip strength and range of motion.

Femoroplasty, FAI Surgeon

Are you an athlete who participates in sports activities requiring repetitive motion of the hip like ballet, football, basketball or soccer? If so, you may be at risk of Femoroacetabular impingement, otherwise known as FAI. FAI is a condition marked by abnormal contact between the hip bones causing impingement and pain. Hip surgeon and FAI treatment specialist, Doctor Ronak Mukesh Patel,  provides diagnosis as well as surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for patients in Houston, Sugar Land, and Pearland, TX who are experiencing symptoms and pain caused by FAI. Contact Dr. Patel’s team today!