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Hip Impingement

Hip Impingement Treatments

Treatment for hip impingement should begin with:

  • Resting the affected hip
  • Modifying your activities to avoid moving the joint in a way that causes pain
  • Exercising as recommended by your doctor or physical therapist
  • Taking anti-inflammatory and pain medications

If these treatments do not relieve pain, your doctor may recommend hip impingement surgery.

The type of surgery needed will depend on the problem causing hip impingement and how much cartilage damage has occurred.

If the affected hip does not have too much cartilage damage, the surgeon may use tools to reshape the ball and/or the outside edge of the socket that is catching on the thigh bone. The surgeon may also cut away the frayed cartilage that is causing pain or drill holes into patches of bone where cartilage has worn away. This technique, called microfracture, promotes the growth of new cartilage.

Often surgery for hip impingement can be performed arthroscopically. This technique involves inserting a lighted scope and thin tools through small incisions over your hip instead of making a large incision. Arthroscopy is usually an outpatient surgery. This means you can go home the same day. 

The earlier you have surgery, the greater your chances of a complete recovery. But even if cartilage has been damaged, surgery may still reduce pain and improve range of motion.

If cartilage damage is severe, however, hip replacement may be the only treatment that will relieve pain and improve function.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on October 17, 2012

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