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Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)

Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)


Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a condition in which extra bone develops along one or both of the bones that form the hip joint.  Because they do not fit together perfectly, the bones rub against each other during movement. Over time this friction can damage the joint, causing pain and limiting activity.


The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The socket is formed by the acetabulum, which is part of the large pelvic bone. The ball is the femoral head, which is the upper end of the femur (thighbone).

Articular cartilage covers the surface of the ball and the socket. It creates a smooth surface that helps the bones glide easily across each other during movement.

The acetabulum is ringed by strong cartilage called the labrum. The labrum forms a gasket around the socket, creating a tight seal and helping to provide stability to the joint.

In a healthy hip, the femoral head fits perfectly into the acetabulum.
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