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Professional golfers’ hips: prevalence and predictors of hip pain with clinical and MR examinations
  1. Edward Dickenson1,
  2. Imran Ahmed1,
  3. Miguel Fernandez1,
  4. Philip O'Connor2,
  5. Philip Robinson2,
  6. Robert Campbell3,
  7. Andrew Murray4,
  8. Martin Warner5,
  9. Charles Hutchinson6,
  10. Roger Hawkes4,
  11. Damian Griffin1
  1. 1Clinical Trials Unit, Warwick Medical School, Warwick, UK
  2. 2Leeds Musculoskeletal Biomedical Imaging Unit, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Leeds, UK
  3. 3Radiology Department, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool, UK
  4. 4European Tour Performance Institute, European Tour, Virginia Water, UK
  5. 5Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  6. 6Department of Clinical Imaging, Warwick Medical School, Warwick, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Damian R Griffin, Warwick Medical School, Clinical Sciences Research Institute, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, Clifford Bridge Rd, Coventry CV2 2DX, UK; damian.griffin{at}


Aims This study aimed to determine the prevalence of hip pain in professional golfers, comparing the lead (left hip in right-handed golfer) and trail hips, and to establish what player characteristics predicted hip symptoms.

Methods Male elite professional golf players were invited to complete questionnaires and undergo clinical and MR examinations while attending the Scottish Hydro Challenge 2015. Questionnaires determined player demographics, self-reported hip pain and an International Hip Outcome Tool 12 (iHOT12) score (hip-related quality of life). Clinical examinations determined hip range of motion and the presence of a positive impingement test. MR scans determined the presence of labral pathology and player hip morphology with measures of α angle (cam), acetabular depth (pincer) and femoral neck antetorsion.

Results A total of 109 (70% of tournament field) of players completed questionnaires, 73 (47%) underwent clinical examination and 55 (35%) underwent MR examination. 19.3% of players reported of hip pain. 11.9% of lead and 9.1% of trail hips were painful (p=0.378), iHOT12 scores were lower in the lead (94.1) compared to the trail hip (95.3) (p=0.007). Stepwise multiple linear regression modelling was able to predict 20.7% of the variance in iHOT12 scores with mean α angles between 12 and 3 o'clock, and increasing age-significant variables (R2=0.207, p<0.001; β=−0.502, p<0.001 and β=−0.399, p=0.031, respectively).

Conclusions 19.3% of male professional golfers reported hip pain. The presence of an increasing α angle and increasing age were significant predictors of reduced hip-related quality of life.

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  • Original article
    Edward Dickenson Philip O'Connor Philip Robinson Robert Campbell Imran Ahmed Miguel Fernandez Roger Hawkes Hutchinson Charles Damian Griffin