Painful Legacy of Teen Sports

New study links high rates of osteoarthritis in athletes to femur damage during adolescence, as a result of participation in high-intensity sports

Vigorous sports activities, like basketball, during childhood and adolescence can cause abnormal development of the femur in young athletes, resulting in a deformed hip with reduced rotation and pain during movement. This may explain why athletes are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than more sedentary individuals, according to Dr. Klaus Siebenrock, from the University of Bern in Switzerland, and colleagues, whose work is published online in Springer’s journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.

Siebenrock and colleagues found that, in those studied, osteoarthritis of the hip was more prevalent in high-level athletes than in those who do not take part in regular sports. It is also linked to higher intensity activities and greater physical loading of the hip. He noted other investigations have found that male athletes, particularly those who play soccer and handball, and take part in competitive track and field activities involving running and jumping, are at greater risk of early osteoarthritis of the hip.

Siebenrock and colleagues comparedĀ  Continue reading