Genetics may explain high-functioning senior athletes with hip abnormalities

March 11, 2014

Genetics may explain why some senior athletes are high functioning despite having one or both hip abnormalities typically associated with early onset osteoarthritis (OA): developmental dislocation of the hip (dysplasia), a loose hip joint; or femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), a condition in which the hip bones are abnormally shaped, according to new research presented today at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

In the study, "Prevalence of Radiographic Abnormalities in Senior Athletes with Well-functioning Hips," researchers evaluated the hips of 546 senior athletes (1,087 hips) with an average age of 67 (57 percent were male) for radiographic signs of FAI and dysplasia. Eighty-two percent of hips had radiographic evidence of FAI; 67 percent had at least one sign of cam FAI, in which the alpha angle of the bone was ≥50° on either hip; and 8 percent had isolated pincer impingement FAI, in which an extra bone extends out over the normal rim of the . Twenty-four percent of the senior athletes had signs of both cam and pincer FAI. Osteoarthritis was present in 17 percent of the hips. Ninety-three percent of the hips with OA had evidence of FAI, and 10 percent, dysplasia.

While hips with FAI were more likely to have OA, 72 percent of the with FAI showed little to no evidence of OA. According to the study authors, the findings may indicate that other factors, possibly genetics or the patient's type of cartilage, may play a role in preserving the hip joints in these high functioning senior athletes.

Explore further: Hip problems a growing problem among young, active

Related Stories

Recommended for you

International study proves old blood is as good as new

October 24, 2016

It's been long thought that when blood transfusions are needed, it may be best to use the freshest blood, but McMaster University researchers have led a large international study proving that it is not so.

Study finds mixed results for use of mesh for hernia repair

October 18, 2016

Among patients undergoing incisional hernia repair, the use of mesh to reinforce the repair was associated with a lower risk of hernia recurrence over 5 years compared with when mesh was not used, although with long-term ...

Traditional surgery style worthwhile, says piles trial

October 10, 2016

Results of a five year trial on haemorrhoids (commonly known as piles), jointly sponsored by NHS Highland and the University of Aberdeen, have this week been published in The Lancet, one of the world's oldest and best known ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.