High prevalence of hip arthrosis in former elite javelin throwers and high jumpers: 41 athletes examined more than 10 years after retirement from competitive sports

Acta Orthop Scand. 2004 Feb;75(1):34-9. doi: 10.1080/00016470410001708060.


We studied the occurrence of hip arthrosis in 19 former elite javelin throwers and 22 former elite high jumpers 10 years or more after their retirement from competitive sports. Any restriction in the activities of daily living was assessed with an ADL-questionnaire. We compared the radiographic findings with male, age- and body mass index-matched controls (non-athletes). 22 of 38 hips in the javelin throwers (7 of 38 hips in the controls) and 15 of 44 hips in the high jumpers (6 of 44 hips in the controls) were classified as stage II or worse (Kellgren); hip arthrosis was commoner in both groups than in the controls. Despite considerable radiographic degenerative changes, the reduction of function in activities of daily living (FFbH score 96% in javelin throwers and 99% in high jumpers) was slight, as compared to a corresponding normal population. Javelin throwing and high jumping as competitive sports entail a high risk of subsequent hip arthrosis.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Hip Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Hip Joint / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / epidemiology*
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / physiopathology
  • Prevalence
  • Radiography
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Retirement
  • Time Factors
  • Track and Field / statistics & numerical data*