Hip Impingement | Treatments

What are the treatment options for hip impingement?

The type of treatment needed will depend on the type, extent and severity of the impingement as well as age, overall health and medical history. Some patients are treated non-surgically with pain medication and physical therapy, while others may need surgery.

Non-surgical treatment

Non-surgical treatment may include rest, activity restrictions, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications. Your doctor may also recommend exercises and physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the hip joint and reduce stress. If these treatments don’t relieve discomfort, the doctor may suggest surgery.

Surgical treatment

Most teens and young adults with hip impingements who don’t respond to non-surgical treatment can be treated with surgery. Most patients can be treated using arthroscopic surgery, a type of minimally invasive surgery.

During the surgery, the doctor makes two or three small incisions. He or she inserts a thin scope to see the joint and repairs the hip impingement. The repair may include fixing damaged cartilage or a labral tear, if there is one. Surgery also may reduce friction between the femur head and socket.

Some patients return home the same day as the surgery. Others may stay overnight for one night in the hospital.

For the first two to three weeks after surgery, crutches will be needed for weight support. Physical therapy also may be necessary to help restore muscle strength and range of motion. Most patients can return to full activities, including sports, three to four months after surgery.

For many patients, early diagnosis and treatment offer the best outcome. The hip joint is preserved, and cartilage damage does not progress. A complete repair and long-term recovery can be more difficult if the hip cartilage has been severely damaged.