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Femoroacetabular impingement: what is its link with osteoarthritis?
  1. Rintje Agricola1,
  2. Harrie Weinans2,3
  1. 1Department of Orthopaedics, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Departments of Orthopaedics and Rheumatology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Biomechanical Engineering, Technical University Delft, Delft, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Rintje Agricola, Department of Orthopaedics, Erasmus University Medical Center, Room EE16-14, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA, Rotterdam 3015GE, The Netherlands; r.agricola{at}

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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.

Epidemiological studies

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 …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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