Background Tennis continues to be a popular sport with increasing participation in youth acadameys. As players begin to play competitive tennis earlier in life, more injuries are possible. Hip problems including femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) have been frequently reported in this population.
Objective To determine how many young tennis players have abnormal findings on clinical exam of the hip.
Design Pre-participation screening of youth tennis players.
Setting Tennis academy.
Participants 148 tennis players with an average age of the subjects was 15.1 years (range 11–19) with 58 females and 90 males. Started tennis at an average age of 6 years (range 3–14) and participate in average of 20 tournaments per year and play tennis 47 weeks per year (range 39–52).
Risk factor assessment Screening.
Main outcome measurement “Hip At-Risk”. A positive test for risk of FAI was defined as positive anterior impingement sign, a positive FABER, or decreased internal rotation (>5 degrees) compared to contralateral hip.
Results 6 players had previous hip injury and and 3 had history of a sports hernia. 31/148 (21%) had a positive impingement test on one or both hips, 34/148 (23%) had FABER distance difference between hips of greater than 3 cm, and 53/148 (36%) had decreased internal rotation (>5 degrees). Other positive findings included the Thomas test (31%), Ober test (27%), pain with lumbar extension (13%), Trendelenberg (5%), and straight leg raise(3%). Overall 92/148 (62%) were considered to have a hip “at-risk for FAI. The subjects at risk of FAI had played tennis longer (9.5 years) compared to those without risk (8.6 years) P=.041.
Conclusion: Hip screening of elite youth tennis players demonstrated that 62% of the athletes have a hip “at-risk” for femeroacetabular impingement based on physical examination, This risk was associated with years of tennis played.
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