Femoroacetabular impingement is a cause of hip pain in adults and is potentially a precursor of osteoarthritis. Our aim in this study was to determine the prevalence of bilateral deformity in patients with symptomatic cam-type femoroacetabular impingement as well as the presence of associated acetabular abnormalities and hip pain. We included all patients aged 55 years or less seen by the senior author for hip pain, with at least one anteroposterior and lateral pelvic radiograph available. All patients with dysplasia and/or arthritis were excluded. A total of 113 patients with a symptomatic cam-impingement deformity of at least one hip was evaluated. There were 82 men and 31 women with a mean age of 37.9 years (16 to 55). Bilateral cam-type deformity was present in 88 patients (77.8%) while only 23 of those (26.1%) had bilateral hip pain. Painful hips had a statistically significant higher mean alpha angle than asymptomatic hips (69.9 degrees vs 63.1 degrees , p < 0.001). Hips with an alpha angle of more than 60 degrees had an odds ratio of being painful of 2.59 (95% confidence interval 1.32 to 5.08, p = 0.006) compared with those with an alpha angle of less than 60 degrees . Of the 201 hips with a cam-impingement deformity 42% (84) also had a pincer deformity. Most patients with cam-type femoroacetabular impingement had bilateral deformities and there was an associated acetabular deformity in 84 of 201 patients (42%). This information is important in order to define the natural history of these deformities, and to determine treatment.