What’s Hip Impingement Syndrome?


Hip pain can limit a person’s ability to function and live a normal life. For an athlete, it can also decrease athletic performance and sideline you. A common cause of hip pain is Hip Impingement Syndrome. Here’s everything you need to know:

Related Anatomy

The hip is a ball and socket joint composed of the head of the femur and the acetabulum. Normally, the two work in harmony to move the hip and support weight.

Illustration 1– The hip is a ball and socket joint

Any type of abnormality that narrows the joint can cause impingement.  Hip Impingement Syndrome is most common in adolescents and younger athletes but the effects can last far into adulthood.


Hip Impingement Syndrome is most often caused by the hips not growing properly during adolescence or being misshaped from birth. When the bones of the leg and hip don’t function harmoniously, cartilage and soft tissue are worn down and arthritis sets in earlier than it might in most people. Bone spurs develop and cause impingement that can produce a variety of unpleasant symptoms.

This condition has also been shown to be common in those whose sports require repetitive swinging of the legs or turning of the hips (football, baseball, soccer, tennis, hockey, lacrosse players, dancers, and golfers). 


The most common symptoms are:

  • Pain on the outside of the hip
  • Pain toward the groin
  • Instability
  • Limited mobility of the hip
  • Developing a limp
  • Experiencing stiffness

These symptoms can be felt in the joint, buttocks, and groin.

Hip Impingement Syndrome Treatments 

Non-surgical treatments include:

  1. Activity modification. Avoiding symptom-producing activities can slow down arthritis and bone spur development.
  1. Physical therapy. Physical therapy specialists create a stretching and exercise routine that improves strength, stability, and symptoms.
  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Over-the-counter and prescription NSAIDs decrease painful inflammation.

If non-surgical treatment isn’t effective, surgery may be necessary.

Surgical treatment is usually performed arthroscopically. During the procedure, an orthopedic surgeon uses a small camera and tiny instruments to locate and remove damaged cartilage, soft tissue and bone spurs.

Contacting an Orthopedic Specialist

If you or someone you know has Hip Impingement Syndrome, please give us a call to schedule an appointment at one of our nine New Jersey locations. Our orthopedic specialists will evaluate your condition and prescribe a treatment plan that’s right for you. Living a pain-free, normal life is entirely possible.

For patients suffering hip pain due to injury, arthritis or degenerative condition, the comprehensive Hip Team at Orthopaedic Institute Brielle Orthopaedics utilizes the experience and expertise of Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons, Sports Medicine Specialists and Joint Replacement experts to diagnose and treat conditions of the hip. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our awarded specialists!

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