The Concept of Femoroacetabular Impingement: Current Status and Future Perspectives

Michael Leunig MD, Paul E. Beaulé MD, Reinhold Ganz MD
Symposium: Femoroacetabular Impingement: Current Status of Diagnosis and Treatment
Volume 467, Issue 3 / March , 2008

Abstract

Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a recently proposed mechanism causing abnormal contact stresses and potential joint damage around the hip. In the majority of cases, a bony deformity or spatial malorientation of the femoral head or head/neck junction, acetabulum, or both cause FAI. Supraphysiologic motion or high impact might cause FAI even with very mild bony alterations. FAI became of interest to the medical field when (1) evidence began to emerge suggesting that FAI may initiate osteoarthritis of the hip and when (2) adolescents and active adults with groin pain and imaging evidence of FAI were successfully treated addressing the causes of FAI. With an increased recognition and acceptance of FAI as a damage mechanism of the hip, defined standards of assessment and treatment need to be developed and established to provide high accuracy and precision in diagnosis. Early recognition of FAI followed by subsequent behavioral modification (profession, sports, etc) or even surgery may reduce the rate of OA due to FAI.