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UNLABELLED: Femoral acetabular impingement syndrome (FAIS) is a cause of hip pain thought to be nociceptive, although pain phenotypes e.g., burning, pain attacks, prickling, numbness etc., are reported, mimicking neuropathic pain. Although no lesion to the somatosensory system is identified, neuropathic pain (NeP) may explain why nociceptive-focussed treatments are not always successful. OBJECTIVE: To identify NeP in patients with FAIS and investigate if related to poorer outcomes. DESIGN: A secondary analysis of the Femoral Acetabular Impingement Trial (FAIT). Outcome of interest: PainDETECT questionnaire; secondary outcomes of interest; International Hip Outcome Tool (iHOT33), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and VAS 'average pain over a month', at baseline and 8 months follow-up. Intervention (surgery or physiotherapy) were pooled. RESULTS: 173 data sets at baseline; 123 at 8 months follow-up. Baseline painDETECT identified three groups: 69% nociceptive, 19% unclear and 12% neuropathic pain phenotypes. Baseline, median scores were higher for the neuropathic group compared to the nociceptive group demonstrating borderline anxiety (9.5(5.3 to 14.2), 5(3 to 8), higher normal values for depression (7.5(2.3 to 11.8), (4(2 to 9), higher average pain (7 (6 to 8), 5(4 to 6) and lower iHOT33 14.2(9 to 21.1), 38.4(26.2 to 55.7). Post treatment, there was a median change in the neuropathic score in both iHOT33 (40.8 (25 to 76.5) with a median difference of 24.13 (CI 95% 10.46 to 45.92) and average pain 4.5(1.5 to 7) with a median difference of 2 (CI 95% 1 to 5) but to a lesser amount than the nociceptive group, iHOT33 (64(38.2 to 86.6) with a median difference of 15.50 (CI 95% 6.41 to 21.82) and average pain 3(1 to 5.7) with a median difference of 1 (CI 95% 0.5 to 1). CONCLUSION: NeP exists in symptomatic FAIS patients and is associated with increased average pain, and functional limitations. Nociceptive-targeted treatment improves hip function and pain but with less improvement in the NeP group when compared to the nociceptive group. Pain phenotyping before intervention may improve outcomes. CONTRIBUTION OF PAPER.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





135 - 142


Femoral acetabular impingement, Neuropathic pain, Outcomes