Femoral Acetabular Impingement Exercises to Avoid

Uphill walking can be difficult and painfull if you have femoral-acetabular impingement.

Femoral-acetabular impingement is a painful condition that happens when the ball head of your femoral bone does not have full range of motion in the acetabulum socket of the pelvic bone. Impingement causes pain, inflammation, swelling and decreased hip joint motion. Exercise can be very difficult and painful if you suffer from impingement. A hip arthroscopy is used to treat femoral-acetabular impingement and can allow you to recover fully and return to your normal sport and exercise activities.


Femoral-Acetabular Impingement

Femoral-acetabular impingement can be divided into two types. The cam-type impingement is caused by excess bone formation around the ball or neck of the femur. The pincer-type impingement happens due to overgrowth of the acetabular socket rim or when the socket is angled so that abnormal impact occurs between the femur and socket. Impingement can lead to damage of the cartilage and labrum that cushion the femur and the pelvic bone, causing pain, inflammation and swelling of surrounding tissues. Femoral-acetabular impingement can happen if you are between 20 and 50 years old, according to the University of Utah Orthopaedic Center.


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Exercises to Avoid

Femoral-acetabular impingement causes pain in the front of your hip and groin area. The pain typically occurs after prolonged time of sitting or walking, according to the University of Utah. The pain associated with impingement affects your daily activities and usually prevents you from doing exercises. You can do low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming and cycling, as you can tolerate. In addition, you can do weightlifting exercise that targets your upper body and does not impact your hip motion. You should avoid activities that tend to wear out the hip faster, such as jumping, running and heavy lifting.


Exercises after Surgery

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat femoral-acetabular impingement in active individuals. You should begin physical therapy and light exercises immediately after the surgery to start improving the strength and flexibility of your hip. However, you need to avoid strenuous and high-impact exercises until you are fully recovered. Recommended exercises can include straight-leg circumduction, abduction, rotation and hip flexion movements. You may be recommended to get on a stationary bike or begin swimming just days after the surgery. The exercise regimen is gradually changed to include isometric contractions using fitness ball and resistant bands.



Stop exercising if you experience dull ache or sharp, popping sensation in your hip and groin area. You may also feel pain along the side of the thigh and in the buttocks. Talk to your health care provider if you experience pain, especially after extended periods of walking or sitting. If left untreated, femoral-acetabular impingement can lead to degeneration and arthritis that eventually require a hip replacement surgery. According to the Hips For You website, hip arthroscopy is an effective way to treat femoral-acetabular impingement and, after the procedure, 85 to 90 percent of patients can return to the same physical activities they did before the impingement.




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