Hip Impingement

This painful hip condition can be treated using advanced and minimally invasive technology.

Understanding Hip Impingement

Hip impingement occurs when the ball-shaped bone of the hip pinches up against the socket in the pelvis. This causes damage to the cartilage and labrum, which can lead to arthritis of the hip if left untreated. Hip impingement is caused by an abnormality in either the ball or socket or both, where extra bone prevents the two pieces from fitting together properly and creates painful friction.


Signs of hip impingement include pain and mechanical symptoms (catching, locking, popping) in the hip or groin area. This may worsen with flexion and rotational activities, such as bending at the waist, sitting for prolonged periods of time, going up the stairs, or performing physical activities such as biking, hiking, or squatting.

Hip impingement can occur when extra bone in the hip is present at birth. It can also be caused by heavy involvement in sports that require regular twisting and squatting or may result from other orthopedic conditions.

If you are experiencing discomfort caused by hip impingement that does not get better with rest, physical therapy, or medication, a procedure such as hip arthroscopy may be the best option.

Hip Arthroscopy

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure to treat some conditions of the hip that allows doctors to view and operate on your hip joint. A camera called an arthroscope is inserted into the joint via a small incision. Your surgeon will then use small instruments to remove some of the extra bone to prevent damage from continuing. Patients receive anesthesia during this procedure and often go home the same day to begin recovery. This is not for the already arthritic hip and not a substitute for a hip replacement.

Recovery and Outlook

In the weeks following your surgery, you will use crutches for protective weightbearing and physical therapy. With the help of hip arthroscopy, you can return to the activities that you love in no time at all.

Woman in pain due to a hip impingement.

An Expert Weighs In

“Hip impingement has been misdiagnosed and underdiagnosed for many years. With the advancements in technology and hip arthroscopy, we’ve been able to get our athletes back on the field and back to what they love to do with a correct diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment. We have been providing this highly technical procedure for the last 10 years specifically at Erlanger East, where the team is well-versed in the procedure and care of hip impingement patients.”

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