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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 63-69

Femoroacetabular impingement in athletes: A review of the current literature

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, King Saud University, Riyadh - 11472, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Abdulrahman D Algarni
King Saud University, Riyadh 11472, P. O. Box: 7805 (49)
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/1319-6308.123370

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There are several well-recognized causes of hip and groin pain that commonly affect athletes. Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), also known as hip impingement, is increasingly recognized as a common; and possibly often overlooked; etiology of hip pain in athletes. FAI is characterized by the abutment of the acetabular rim and the proximal femur, which may occur by two mechanisms known as "cam" or "pincer" impingement, although most commonly by a combination of the two. It affects athletes at a young age causing significant pain and disruption to athletic performance and activities of daily living. It injures the labrum and articular cartilage and can lead to early osteoarthritis of the hip if left untreated. Patients often report a groin pain, which is typically reproduced by the use of flexion, adduction and internal rotation of the supine hip. Early diagnosis is crucial in order to avoid the severe secondary damage that can occur. Although, FAI is significant for all patients, in athletic individuals they may bring about the end of their sporting careers. Both open and arthroscopic surgical methods are used, with recent reports in athletes showing excellent results for life-style improvement and frequency of returning to the sport. Whether treatment prevents or delays osteoarthritis of the hip is unknown. This article reviews the latest scientific literature in reference to FAI in athletes. It goes some way to explaining the principles, approach and guidelines for management of FAI in athletes.

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