Engineering tools for analysis of impingement in the human hip joint.

Femoroacetabular impingement (or FAI) is a condition of the hip joint where the normal range of motion of the ball and socket joint is restricted. This can be due to the head of the femur not being completely round, causing impingement on the soft tissues at the outer edge of the hip socket. This can cause pain and progressive damage to the tissues, as well as placing restrictions on daily activities. People with FAI also have an increased risk of developing hip osteoarthritis later in life. Surgery to reshape the bone and reduce impingement has shown good results in relieving pain and restoring function.

However, the underlying scientific understanding of the tissues is sparse and the improvement to hip joint health in the longer term is uncertain. Recent advances in the fields of medical imaging, human movement analysis and computational and experimental techniques for tissue analysis, now make it possible to provide clearer mechanical evidence to optimise these surgical procedures. This project will develop a suite of engineering tools for patient-specific analysis of FAI damage mechanisms to enhancing clinical and patient decision making.