The Prevalence of Radiographic Findings of Structural Hip Deformities for Femoroacetabular Impingement in Patients With Hip Pain

Jun Zhou, Heath P. Melugin, Rena F. Hale, Devin P. Leland, Christopher D. Bernard, Bruce A. Levy, Aaron J. Krych

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Background: Radiography is the initial imaging modality used to evaluate femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), and diagnostic radiographic findings are well-established. However, the prevalence of these radiographic findings in patients with hip pain is unknown. Purpose: The purpose was 3-fold: (1) to determine the overall prevalence of radiographic FAI deformities in young patients presenting with hip pain, (2) to identify the most common radiographic findings in patients with cam-type FAI, and (3) to identify the most common radiographic findings in patients with pincer-type FAI. Study Design: Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: A geographic database was used to identify patients aged 14 to 50 years with hip pain between the years 2000 to 2016. The following were evaluated on radiographs: cam type: typical pistol grip deformity, alpha angle >55°; pincer type: crossover sign (COS), coxa profunda or protrusio acetabuli, lateral center edge angle (LCEA) ≥40°, Tönnis angle <0°; and mixed type: both cam- and pincer-type features. Posterior wall sign (PWS) and ischial spine sign (ISS) were also evaluated. The prevalence of each was determined. Descriptive statistics were performed on all radiographic variables. Results: There were 1893 patients evaluated, and 1145 patients (60.5%; 1371 hips; 374 male and 771 female; mean age, 28.8 ± 8.4 years) had radiographic findings consistent with FAI. Of these hips, 139 (10.1%) had cam type, 245 (17.9%) had pincer type, and 987 (72.0%) had mixed type. The prevalence of a pistol grip deformity and an alpha angle >55° was 577 (42.1%) and 1069 (78.0%), respectively. The mean alpha angle was 66.9°± 10.5°. The prevalence of pincer-type radiographic findings was the following: COS, 1062 (77.5%); coxa profunda, 844 (61.6%); ISS, 765 (55.8%); PWS, 764 (55.7%); Tönnis angle <0°, 312 (22.8%); LCEA ≥40°, 170 (12.4%); and protrusio acetabuli, 7 (0.5%). Conclusion: The overall prevalence of radiographic findings consistent with FAI in young patients with hip pain was 60.5%. Radiographic findings for mixed-type FAI were the most prevalent. The most common radiographic finding for cam-type FAI was an alpha angle >55°. The most common radiographic finding for pincer-type FAI was the COS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020



  • femoroacetabular impingement
  • hip pain
  • radiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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