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It was osteoarthritis that discovered femoroacetabular impingement
That morphological abnormalities of the hip could be a cause rather than a result of osteoarthritis (OA) was observed many years before the actual mechanism of femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) was described. Morphological abnormalities, currently termed as cam and pincer, were often present in people with hip OA. Ganz et al1 first described how these morphological abnormalities may cause intra-articular hip damage by a motion-dependent process called FAI.
Although FAI is a motion-dependent process, valid techniques to quantify the dynamic nature of FAI are still elusive. For epidemiological purposes, a cam-type femoral head or acetabular overcoverage on X-ray is often used to study its relationship with OA. In several cohort studies, there is conflicting evidence regarding the association between pincer deformity and OA. Importantly, the higher quality prospective cohort studies fail to demonstrate an association between the two.2 ,3 It is unknown whether this is due to the relatively high prevalence of pincer deformities in the general population that remain asymptomatic, or because the heterogeneous definition of a pincer deformity makes quantification …
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.