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Hip Impingement

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is hip impingement?

Hip impingement happens when tissue becomes trapped between bones of your hip joint. This causes pain when you move the hip joint or sit for long periods. Over time, osteoarthritis can develop if cartilage in the joint is damaged or worn away.

Normal Hip Joint

What causes or increases my risk for hip impingement?

The hip joint is made of a ball and socket. The ball normally moves easily in the socket during leg movement. Hip impingement is caused by extra bone growth on the ball, socket, or both. This causes the parts to grind together. Any of the following can lead to hip impingement:

What are the signs and symptoms of hip impingement?

At first, you may have no signs or symptoms. Pain is the most common symptom. Pain usually happens in the groin but may also happen in the hip or lower back. Any of the following may develop over time:

How is hip impingement diagnosed?

Tell your healthcare provider about any hip conditions or diseases you had as a child. Tell him or her if you ever had a hip injury or fracture. Your provider will ask you to put your hand on your hip where you feel pain. Tell him or her if you feel pain at rest or only during activity. Tell him or her if the pain is sharp or dull, and constant or comes and goes. Describe anything that makes the pain worse or better. Also describe any locking or catching feeling you have with motion, or clicking sound you hear.

How is hip impingement treated?

Early treatment is important to help delay the development of osteoarthritis or other problems. Treatment may include any of the following:

How can I manage my symptoms?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.