In Femoroacetabular Impingement Surgery, FAI, bone spurs develop around the femoral head and/or along the acetabulum area of your hip. This bone overgrowth causes hip bones to hit against each other, rather than to move smoothly. Over time, this can result in tearing of the labrum and a breakdown of articular cartilage (osteoarthritis).
Types of FAI
There are three types of FAI: pincer, cam, and combined impingement.
- Pincer. This type of impingement occurs because extra bone extends out over the normal rim of the acetabulum. The labrum can be crushed under the prominent rim of the acetabulum.
- Cam. In cam impingement the femoral head is not round and cannot rotate smoothly inside the acetabulum. A bump forms on the edge of the femoral head that grinds the cartilage inside the acetabulum.
- Combined. Combined impingement just means that both the pincer and cam types are present.
If tests show joint damage caused by FAI and your pain is not relieved by nonsurgical treatment, Dr. Backe may recommend surgery.
Many FAI problems can be treated with arthroscopic surgery. Arthroscopic procedures are done with small incisions and thin instruments. Dr. Backe uses a small camera, called an arthroscope, to view inside the hip.
During arthroscopy, Dr. Backe can repair or clean out any damage to the labrum and articular cartilage. He can correct the FAI by trimming the bony rim of the acetabulum and also shaving down the bump on the femoral head. Some severe cases may require an open operation with a larger incision to accomplish this.