Ischiofemoral Impingement Specialist

Joshua D. Harris, MD -  - Orthopaedic Surgery

Joshua D. Harris, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery located in Houston, TX

Ischiofemoral impingement causes hip, groin, and/or buttock pain and may be related to other hip issues, including hip impingement (FAI; femoroacetabular impingement), labral tears, gluteus medius tears, and other anatomical abnormalities in the hip. Ischiofemoral impingement may be associated with hamstring injuries, back pain, and sciatica. Ischiofemoral impingement is frequently misdiagnosed as piriformis syndrome and hip bursitis. To get relief from the discomfort, visit Joshua D. Harris, MD, in Houston. Dr. Harris specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all hip disorders and offers a variety of effective solutions to treat hip pain caused by ischiofemoral impingement. Schedule a consultation today by calling the office or booking online.

Ischiofemoral Impingement Q & A

What is ischiofemoral impingement (IFI)?

IFI is a condition that causes the soft tissues between the ischial tuberosity — sometimes called your sit bone — and the lesser trochanter of your femur to become compressed. The main soft tissues that are affected include the quadratus femoris, one of the largest hamstring muscles in the back of your thigh, and the sciatic nerve. Because of the location of the ischiofemoral space, it is frequently misdiagnosed as piriformis syndrome.

IFI can cause:

  • Buttock pain
  • Groin pain
  • Snapping in the hip
  • Discomfort when sitting, walking, or running
  • Limping while walking, with a shortened stride while walking

The pain is typically felt below your buttock and can be aggravated by stretching your hamstrings or bending forward. It is often misdiagnosed and undiagnosed, so a specialist appointment with Dr. Harris is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What causes ischiofemoral impingement?

IFI occurs when the space between the ischial tuberosity (sit bone) and the lesser trochanter (small protuberance at the back of the femur near the top) narrows and entraps the quadratus femoris muscle and the sciatic nerve. Current research suggests that hip muscle weakness with or without a limp, causes the pelvis to be imbalanced relative to the leg, leading to impingement between the ischium (ischio-) and femur (-femoral) – ischiofemoral impingement.

Different conditions may also cause narrowing of the space between the two bones, including:

  • Strength imbalances in the muscles of the hip
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Coxa valga
  • Developmental dysplasia of the hip
  • Perthes disease
  • Proximal femoral fractures
  • Previous hip arthroplasty

Anatomical variations in the hips and changes that result from trauma and surgery to the hip may also cause IFI symptoms.

How is ischiofemoral impingement diagnosed?

Dr. Harris diagnoses IFI after a thorough consultation and exam, including imaging. He begins the consultation by asking about your symptoms, when they occur, and anything you’ve tried to alleviate the discomfort in the past. Dr. Harris then assesses your range of motion and the function of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves in the area.

Additional orthopedic tests may be included to rule out other causes of your pain. Dr. Harris orders X-rays and an MRI to evaluate the space between your ischial tuberosity and lesser trochanter.

Based on your exam and imaging, Dr. Harris explains your diagnosis and recommends a treatment plan.

How is ischiofemoral impingement treated?

Dr. Harris provides extensive conservative solutions to IFI, including physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, orthotic insoles, and injections. If conservative methods aren’t enough, Dr. Harris may recommend various surgical approaches to address the issue and any related conditions that may be aggravating your pain — including femoroacetabular impingement, labral tears, gluteus medius tears, or hamstring tears.

For relief from buttock and groin pain, see Joshua D. Harris, MD. Call the office or click now to schedule your consultation.