The relationship between the frequency of football practice during skeletal growth and the presence of a cam deformity in adult elite football players

I Tak, Adam Weir, R Langhout, Jan Waarsing, J Stubbe, G Kerkhoffs, Rintje Agricola

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68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background/aim Cam deformity (CD) is likely a bony adaptation in response to high-impact sports practice during skeletal growth. We ascertained whether a dose-response relationship exists between the frequency of football practice during skeletal growth and the presence of a CD in adulthood, and if the age at which a football player starts playing football is associated with the presence of a CD in adulthood. Methods Prevalence of a CD (alpha angle>60 degrees) and a pathological CD (alpha angle>78 degrees) was studied using standardised anteroposterior (AP) and frog-leg lateral (FLL) radiographs that were obtained during seasonal screening. The age of starting to play football with a low frequency (LF; <= 3 times/week) and high frequency (HF; >= 4 times/week) was retrospectively assessed. The differences in prevalence of a CD per hip, in either view, between groups were calculated by logistic regression with generalised estimating equations. Results 63 players (mean(+/- SD) age 23.1(+/- 4.2) years) participated, yielding 126 hips for analysis. The prevalence of a CD in the FLL was 40% (n=82) in players who started playing HF football from the age of 12 years or above, and 64% (n=44) in those playing HF football before the age of 12 years (p=0.042). This was also true for a pathological CD (12% vs 30%, p=0.038). The AP views revealed no difference. Conclusions Our results indicate a probable dose-response relationship between the frequency of football practice during skeletal growth and the development of a CD, which should be confirmed in future prospective studies.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)630-634
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume49
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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