Femoroacetabular impingement: a cause for osteoarthritis of the hip

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2003 Dec:(417):112-20. doi: 10.1097/01.blo.0000096804.78689.c2.


A multitude of factors including biochemical, genetic, and acquired abnormalities may contribute to osteoarthritis of the hip. Although the pathomechanism of degenerative process affecting the dysplastic hip is well understood, the exact pathogenesis for idiopathic osteoarthritis has not been established. Based on clinical experience, with more than 600 surgical dislocations of the hip, allowing in situ inspection of the damage pattern and the dynamic proof of its origin, we propose femoroacetabular impingement as a mechanism for the development of early osteoarthritis for most nondysplastic hips. The concept focuses more on motion than on axial loading of the hip. Distinct clinical, radiographic, and intraoperative parameters can be used to confirm the diagnosis of this entity with timely delivery of treatment. Surgical treatment of femoroacetabular impingement focuses on improving the clearance for hip motion and alleviation of femoral abutment against the acetabular rim. It is proposed that early surgical intervention for treatment of femoroacetabular impingement, besides providing relief of symptoms, may decelerate the progression of the degenerative process for this group of young patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetabulum*
  • Femur Head*
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / complications
  • Joint Diseases / diagnosis
  • Joint Diseases / surgery
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / etiology*
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / surgery