The prevalence of femoroacetabular impingement may be greater in athletes than in the general population because of increased loading of the hip during sports. This study evaluated the radiographs of collegiate football players in order to quantify the prevalence of femoroacetabular impingement in asymptomatic athletes.Methods:
Sixty-seven male collegiate football players (age, 21 ± 1.9 years) participated in this prospective study. Both hips (n = 134) were evaluated independently by two orthopaedic surgeons for radiographic signs of femoroacetabular impingement. The alpha angle and femoral head-neck offset were measured on frog-leg lateral radiographs. The lateral center-edge angle, acetabular index, crossover sign, and alpha angle were measured on anteroposterior radiographs. Data for continuous variables were averaged between observers prior to assessing prevalence. Cam femoroacetabular impingement was considered to be present if the femoral head-neck offset was <8 mm and/or the alpha angle was >50° on either radiograph. Pincer femoroacetabular impingement was considered to be present if the lateral center-edge angle was >40°, the acetabular index was <0°, and/or a positive crossover sign was detected by both observers.Results:
Ninety-five percent of the 134 hips had at least one sign of cam or pincer impingement, and 77% had more than one sign. Twenty-one percent had only one sign of cam femoroacetabular impingement and 57% had both signs. Fifty-two percent had only one sign of pincer femoroacetabular impingement, 10% had two, and 4% had all three signs. Specifically, 72% had an abnormal alpha angle, 64% had a decreased femoral head-neck offset, 61% had a positive crossover sign, 16% had a decreased acetabular index, and 7% had an increased lateral center-edge angle. Fifty percent of all hips had at least one sign of pincer femoroacetabular impingement and at least one sign of cam impingement. Interobserver and intraobserver repeatability was moderate or better for each measure (range, 0.59 to 0.85).Conclusions:
Morphologic abnormalities associated with cam and pincer femoroacetabular impingement were common in these collegiate football players. The prevalence of cam and pincer femoroacetabular impingement was substantially higher than the previously reported prevalence in the general population.