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 (α angle>60°) and a pathological CD (α angle>78°) 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.
- Risk factor
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