How prevalent is cam-type impingement in elite ice hockey?
Hip and groin injuries are common sporting injuries, especially in sports which involve a greater degree of hip flexion. Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is increasingly recognised as a common cause of hip pain in athletes.
Even though only 25% of the hockey players included in the study reported any hip pain, 69% met the radiograhic criteria for having cam-type deformity and 60% of participants showed signs of bilateral cam-type deformity.
Although the exact cause of FAI is not completely understood, it is thought that the overall incidence of radiographic FAI in an asymptomatic population is approximately 15%. Factors such as repetitive microtrauma and participation in elite sports from a young age are thought to be factors in the development of FAI.
The authors recruited 137 elite level ice hockey players for assessment. Each subject underwent a demographic assessment and screening radiography, including anteroposterior (AP) pelvis and frog-leg lateral views of both hips. A cam type deformity was defined as an alpha angle of greater than 55 degrees on frog leg lateral views.
The authors found that 69% of the participants met the radiograhic criteria for having cam-type deformity in one hip and 60% of participants showed signs of bilateral cam-type deformity. This is in contrast to only 25% of participants reporting any hip pain or symptoms. Goalies were found to have a greater prevalence of cam-type deformity than other players.
FAI is a relatively common finding in elite ice hockey players, although the majority of these players were asymptomatic at the time of the study. This is yet further evidence of radiological findings not necessarily reflecting a patients clinical presentation.
> From: Lerebours et al., Am J Sports Med (2016) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the Pubmed summary.