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Femoral acetabular impingement: what you need to know and what your doctor won’t tell you

If you’ve been told you have femoroacetabular impingement (FAI, femoral acetabular impingement, or hip impingement), you have probably heard that arthroscopic hip surgery is the only answer. The conventional medical approach to hip pain associated with femoroacetabular impingement bone shapes is surgery, after all.

We’ve successfully helped countless people beat their hip pain without surgery - despite having femoroacetabular impingement bone shapes. In this article, we'll look at how this is even possible. And we'll see why you and your doctors should be skeptical of the entire theory of femoroacetabular impingement.

 

An overview of the medical theory of hip impingement

In short, surgeons claim that misshapen bones lead...

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Why Strength Training, Not Surgery, Is the Solution to Shoulder Clicking and Popping

If you have snapping, popping, and other cracking noises in your shoulders, you might be wondering what’s causing these sounds and what you can do to get rid of them.

People often get worried when they start experiencing clicks in their shoulders. They sometimes read stories about how the source of the clicking could be labrum tears, inflamed tendons, damaged muscles, etc.—all things that sound very serious and involved to fix.

First of all, you don't need to worry. Even babies get popping and snapping in their shoulders. As a newborn, my son had audible noises come from his shoulders - but they were not at all a sign of joint problems. And he STILL gets occasional noises!

What most people (including many doctors) don’t...

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Hip impingement surgery – can you return to sports and other activities?

A 2018 study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine claims that surgery for hip impingement is VERY successful. It says that arthroscopic hip surgery for femoroacetabular impingement reliably produces excellent results for patients. They claim it helps the overwhelming majority of hip pain patients return to sports quickly.

Other studies about FAI surgery don’t show these utopian results – like this one or this one. We’ve also seen a recent study on hip impingement surgery versus physical therapy. Surgery led to patient disappointment in that study too.

This new hip impingement study, Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Outcomes After Hip Arthroscopy in Femoroacetabular Impingement, makes a bold claim.

It claims...

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Your Hips Don’t Lie: Is Surgery for FAI Worth It?

This post is written by Naushad Godrej, a friend of Upright Health.

Do you ever feel a pinch in your hip when you sit down for an extended period of time? Is it difficult for you to lift your knee towards your chest past 90 degrees? Do you ever feel clicking in your hip when you bend down for a squat? If any of these painful feelings resonate with you, there’s a chance you may have been told you have femoroacetabular impingement (FAI).

That's medical lingo for hip impingement.

An overview of your hips

The hip is a ball and socket joint that should allow your leg to move in all planes of motion: forwards and backwards, side to side, externally and internally. As you may know from personal experience, some of these movements can...

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Is Surgery My Only Option for My Rotator Cuff Tear?

You’ve been told you have a rotator cuff tear, and you are scared that your shoulder is going to hurt forever. You’re afraid you’ve done damage that you’re never going to come back from. Maybe you’re wondering if there’s a way you can avoid getting surgery?

Let’s look at the ins and outs of rotator cuff tears so you understand what you’re dealing with.

 

We’re going to answer 3 major questions about rotator cuff tears:

1) What are rotator cuff tears?

2) Do rotator cuff tears cause pain?

3) Does surgery for rotator cuff tears get you back to doing things you love?

 

Along the way, we’ll address some other related questions as well, and figure out the best way for YOU to...

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Don't get trapped in an A hole

You’ve been spinning your wheels in chronic pain. Maybe you’ve got shoulder pain. Back pain. Hip pain. Knee pain. Whatever it is, you’ve been in pain for a while.

You keep thinking “I’VE GOT TO GET OUT OF PAIN.”

Every day, you’re obsessing about the pain you’re in and how to get away from it.

You’re in a hole. You’re in a hole of AVOIDANCE. An Avoidance Hole. Or an A Hole for short.

Nobody wants to be stuck in an A hole. It’s miserable. It smells bad. And it’s totally unproductive.

All your obsessing about avoiding pain doesn’t solve anything. You rest more. You use pain patches. You use pain pills. You avoid things you used to love. 

And still your body...

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A Deeper Look into “Conservative Treatment” for FAI

 

Femoracetabular Impingement (“FAI”) is a near and dear topic for us at Upright Health. We have had countless clients at Upright Health who wanted conservative treatment for FAI (meaning NO surgery). 

Unfortunately, many people diagnosed with FAI get pushed toward unnecessary hip surgery every day. There is plenty of controversy around surgery for FAI. Recently, researchers started to publish studies comparing the effectiveness of surgery with conservative treatment for FAI.  

The usual conclusion is that surgery is more effective than the non-surgical option. These comparative studies usually use the best available surgical interventions. But the conservative treatments are not what we consider...

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My FAI Story – Part 2: Three Specific Strategies I Used To Get Out of Hip Pain

This is part II of a three-part series.  If you haven’t read part I yet, check it out as I explain my two biggest reasons for not getting surgery after being diagnosed with Femoroacetabular Impingement. 

In this article, I’ll dive into the main strategies I utilized that helped me get out of hip pain. The strategies below are not specific exercises but more general principles that led to important breakthroughs during my training. 

(1)  Looking “Beyond” the Hip Pain

When I first began troubleshooting my FAI diagnosis and hip pain, I kept trying to find that one exercise that “fixed” everything. That one movement pattern I can optimize that held me back from a healthy...

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My FAI Story – Part 1: The two big reasons why I didn’t get surgery for femoroacetabular impingement

Thinking about surgery for hip impingement? Years ago, I met online with a young attorney named Maks in New York City who was afraid he needed to get hip surgery. He had lost the ability to play basketball. His doctors were sure he needed surgery to fix his hips. He was told he had femoroacetabular impingement, and the only solution for it was surgery. 

It is now 4 years on, and this is Part 1 of Maks' story...

 

Getting ready for hip surgery

It was the fall of 2014 and I had just stepped out of yet another appointment with my highly-respected Manhattan orthopedic surgeon. Unlike prior appointments, though, I pulled the trigger and scheduled  surgery to finally cure my hip pain once and for all.

I’d already gotten...

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Hip impingement: how does hip surgery compare with physical therapy?

We’ve talked about hip impingement, the success rates for FAI surgery, and even if surgery is worth it. But what if we compare the results of treating hip impingement with surgery versus physical therapy?

A study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine in 2018 compared the outcomes of patients with a femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) diagnosis who underwent different treatments: hip surgery or PT. Researchers measured the outcomes six months, one year, and two years after the treatment.

This study is very interesting as it is the first we’ve seen that actually does a side-by-side comparison.

 

Why compare FAI surgery to physical therapy? 

First, there’s relief from hip pain. 

Nobody likes...

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