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Radiographic Predictors of Hip Pain in Femoroacetabular Impingement

  • Ranawat, Anil S.1
  • Schulz, Ben2
  • Baumbach, Sebastian F.2
  • Meftah, Morteza1
  • Ganz, Reinhold2
  • Leunig, Michael3
  • 1 Hospital for Special Surgery, 535 E. 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021, USA , New York (United States)
  • 2 Orthopedic, Schulthess Klinik, Lengghalde 2, Zurich, CH-8008, Switzerland , Zurich (Switzerland)
  • 3 Schulthess Klinik, Joint Center Lower Extremities, Lengghalde 2, Zurich, CH-8008, Switzerland , Zurich (Switzerland)
Published Article
HSS Journal ®
Springer New York
Publication Date
Jan 08, 2011
DOI: 10.1007/s11420-010-9192-x
Springer Nature


The primary diagnosis of femoroacetabular impingement is based on clinical symptoms, physical exam findings, and radiographic abnormalities. The study objective was to determine the radiographic findings that correlate with and are predictive of hip pain in femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). One hundred prospective patients with unilateral FAI symptoms based on clinical and radiographic findings were included in this study. All patients filled out a WOMAC pain questionnaire. Two independent-blinded surgeons assessed antero-posterior and lateral radiographs for 33 radiographic parameters of FAI. Correlations between pain scores and radiographic findings were calculated. A matched radiographic analysis was performed comparing symptomatic versus asymptomatic hips. Radiograph findings were also compared between males and females. Weak positive correlations were identified between increasing pain scores with radiographic findings of posterior wall dysplasia, presence of a shallow socket, and a more lateral acetabular fossa relative to the Ilioischial line. A symptomatic hip had a lower neck shaft angle, greater distance from Ilioischial line to acetabular fossa and larger distance from cross-over sign to superolateral point of the acetabulum when compared to the asymptomatic hip in the same patient. Symptomatic hips in males had more joint space narrowing, femoral osteophytes, higher alpha angles and larger, more incongruent femoral heads compared to females. Females had more medial acetabular fossa relative to the Ilioischial line and smaller femoral head extrusion index. Similar to other musculoskeletal conditions, radiographic findings of FAI are poor predictors of hip pain.

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