Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) Surgery


What is femoroacetabular impingement?

In the condition of femoroacetabular impingement (FAI),  the abnormal bone growth on the ball and socket of the hip joint lead to impingement on the labrum and articular cartilage. This is commonly the result of either an abnormally shaped ball (cam lesion) or socket (pincer lesion), or both (mixed cam and pincer). Hip impingement can ultimately lead to hip pain, labral tearing, and further cartilage injury over time. When treating damage within the hip joint during arthroscopic hip surgery, it is also very important to address the cause.


What happens during surgery for FAI?

Dr. Potts treats femoroacetabular impingement arthroscopically by giving the ball and socket a normal contour. The abnormal bone is removed and reshaped to prevent further impingement and to protect the hip from further damage. During the procedure, intra-operative x-rays are taken to assist in determining the amount of bone in which to resect.


Impingement Procedures

  • Acetabuloplasty (Pincer Decompression)
    • Anterior over-coverage of the acetabular rim is treated arthroscopically through bony resection using a motorized burr. Following the resection, the torn labrum is reattached to the acetabular rim using suture and suture anchors.
  • Femoroplasty (Cam Decompression)
    • With visualization of the cam lesion, a motorized burr is used to contour the bone and recreate a spherical femoral head.

Arthroscopic surgery can significantly reduce symptoms of impingement, and the procedure may help prevent future damage to the hip joint. It is a successful technique for improving the function of the joint and promoting a fuller range of movement.

A video of Dr. Potts performing arthroscopic surgery for femoroacetabular impingement can be viewed below, or on YouTube by clicking here.