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Ischiofemoral Impingement: Symptoms, Causes, Warning Signs, Treatment

Every day we get to know about different medical conditions, and one of those is “Ischiofemoral Impingement”. Usually, we think buttock pain occurs from the back.

However, it is not the case every time. Not all buttock pain is associated with the spine. Ischiofemoral impingement is the pain in the hip, lower buttocks, and groin. Let us take a look further and know more about the Ischiofemoral Impingement.

What Is Ischiofemoral Impingement?

What Is Ischiofemoral Impingement? Know-About The Condition!

Ischiofemoral impingement is a condition that is defined by hip pain occurring because of the narrowing of the space between the os ischium and the femur bone’s lesser trochanter. This results in abnormalities of the quadratus femoris muscle (a flat quadrilateral skeletal muscle that is located on the posterior side of the hip joint), that range from edema and deformity to atrophy and tears.(1)

Ischiofemoral impingements or IFI is a rare syndrome that causes posterior hip pain, pain in the lower buttocks and groin. It is named after the body parts that are involved; the ischium and femur. The ischium or the ”sit bone” is part of the pelvis while the femur is a big bone in the upper leg. If someone is affected with Ischiofemoral impingement then their ischium and their femur are pinching resulting in impingement.

What are the Symptoms of Ischiofemoral Impingement?

The primary symptom of Ischiofemoral impingement syndrome is hip pain. Let us take a look below, at the symptoms of Ischiofemoral impingement syndrome or IFIS in a better way.

Deep Buttock, Posterior Hip, or Groin Pain:

Many patients complain about having deep buttock pain that is also accompanied by a clunking feeling in their hip. The pain begins pretty mild but gets worse over time as more damage occurs with the rubbing of the bones.

So, Load-dependent pain in the lower buttock or the groin and also inside of the thigh are the major symptoms of Ischiofemoral impingement.(2,3) This pain can spread toward the knee. Apart from this, the pain might also mimic the pain that feels in sciatica.

Snapping Or Clunking Sensation In The Hip Joint

Another symptom of Ischiofemoral impingement syndrome could be a snapping, clunking, or locking sensation in the hip joint, which can be experienced mostly during long-stride walking.

Discomfort With Prolonged Sitting:

Someone with Ischiofemoral impingement might also experience discomfort with prolonged sitting. This could impact their daily life. One needs to check with their doctor in such cases.

What are the Causes of Ischiofemoral Impingement?

When there is a contact between the femur or the top of the thighbone and the ischium or the hip bone, there occurs Ischiofemoral impingement. In general, these two bones touch slightly in a way that lets them move without resulting in pain. However, overuse or trauma can damage the bones. Sometimes an extra bone or bone spur can grow on the femur or the hip because of the damage. This bone spur can begin to rub on the femur and the hip bones and worsen the condition.

When To See A Doctor? Know The Warning Signs!

You should consult with your doctor if you experience severe pain in your buttocks, hips, or groin. These pains do not easily go away. You should also see your doctor if you experience pain and discomfort with prolonged sitting. Your doctor can do a physical examination and perform certain tests to diagnose the condition.

How is Ischiofemoral Impingement Diagnosed?

Physical Examination and Tests:

The doctor performs an impingement test when you will be said to lay on your side and extend the hip while adduction or getting it closer to the examination table), which can show the symptoms. If symptoms improve while abducting (or lifting your leg away from the examination table), then the test would be positive.

MRI/Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Ultrasound:

MRI or Magnetic resonance imaging is another way to diagnose Ischiofemoral impingement. Even ultrasound can be beneficial in the diagnosis of the condition.

How is Ischiofemoral Impingement Treated?

We must say that there is no particular strategy to improve the condition of Ischiofemoral impingement or to fix it. You might be recommended by your doctor to begin with self-care of specific mild treatments, like limiting your activities that could hurt your buttocks, hips, or groin more. Rest is one of the most important prescriptions for such conditions. Below are some ways to fix Ischiofemoral impingement.

Physical Therapy:

Physical therapy can help Ischiofemoral impingement. Specific stretches and exercises can be useful in improving control of the lower limbs and pelvis, particularly while performing activities that involve adduction, extension, and external rotation. Certain mobility exercises could also benefit you, especially in improving balance and hip stabilization. Physical therapy, when done properly can also reduce the need for surgical intervention in the case of Ischiofemoral impingement.

Surgery:

If physical therapy and limiting activities or rest do not improve Ischiofemoral impingement, then surgery is the option. Hip arthroscopy is the surgical method usually prescribed for conditions like Ischiofemoral impingement. Hip arthroscopy is a surgical technique that allows the surgeon to access your hip joint through tiny incisions, thus minimizing damage to nearby muscles and several other soft tissues.

Conclusion:

If you are experiencing similar symptoms and want to get rid of the condition, then without any delay visit your doctor and get yourself diagnosed well and follow the appropriate treatment prescribed by the doctor.

References:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 25, 2022

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