Femoroacetabular impingement in professional ice hockey players: a case series of 5 athletes after open surgical decompression of the hip

Am J Sports Med. 2007 Nov;35(11):1955-9. doi: 10.1177/0363546507304141. Epub 2007 Jul 3.


Background: Femoroacetabular impingement of the hip joint has been identified as a major cause for hip pain in athletes. Surgical open decompression of the hip has historically been proposed as the first treatment of choice. Functional outcomes in athletes after this procedure are unknown.

Purpose: To describe the functional and sport-related outcome 2 years after open surgical hip decompression in a group of young professional ice hockey players suffering from cam femoroacetabular impingement.

Study design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

Methods: Five young professional ice hockey players (mean age, 21.4 y at follow-up) who suffered from cam femoroacetabular impingement were treated with open surgical decompression of the hip. The operation was performed by the same surgeon, and all athletes followed the same rehabilitation guidelines. Mean follow-up time was 2.7 years. Outcome measures were recorded as time to regain symmetrical hip rotation, regain preoperative core/hip muscle strength, return to team practice, and play at competitive level.

Results: Hip rotation range of motion was regained by a mean 10.3 weeks. Core and hip strength values reached preoperative levels by a mean 7.8 months. Return to unrestricted team practice with the ice hockey team was achieved by a mean 6.7 months, and athletes were able to play their first competitive game after a mean 9.6 months. Three athletes were able to perform again at the highest level and in international competitions. Two athletes had to return to minor league ice hockey.

Conclusion: Return to high-level ice hockey after open surgical decompression of the hip was possible in this series of 5 consecutive cases.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy / methods*
  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery*
  • Decompression, Surgical
  • Hip Joint / surgery*
  • Hockey / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Recovery of Function
  • Rotation
  • Treatment Outcome