Prevalence of cam and pincer-type deformities on hip MRI in an asymptomatic young Swiss female population: a cross-sectional study

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2013 Apr;21(4):544-50. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2013.01.003. Epub 2013 Jan 19.


Objectives: Femoroacetabular impingement is proposed to cause early osteoarthritis (OA) in the non-dysplastic hip. We previously reported on the prevalence of femoral deformities in a young asymptomatic male population. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of both femoral and acetabular types of impingement in young females.

Methods: We conducted a population-based cross-sectional study of asymptomatic young females. All participants completed a set of questionnaires and underwent clinical examination of the hip. A random sample was subsequently invited to obtain magnetic resonance images (MRI) of the hip. All MRIs were read for cam-type deformities, increased acetabular depths, labral lesions, and impingement pits. Prevalence estimates of cam-type deformities and increased acetabular depths were estimated, and relationships between deformities and signs of joint damage were examined using logistic regression models.

Results: The study included 283 subjects, and 80 asymptomatic females with a mean age of 19.3 years attended MRI. Fifteen showed some evidence of cam-type deformities, but none were scored to be definite. The overall prevalence was therefore 0% [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0-5%]. The prevalence of increased acetabular depth was 10% (95% CI 5-19). No association was found between increased acetabular depth and decreased internal rotation of the hip. Increased acetabular depth was not associated with signs of labral damage.

Conclusions: Definite cam-type deformities in women are rare compared to men, whereas the prevalence of increased acetabular depth is higher, suggesting that femoroacetabular impingement has different gender-related biomechanical mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetabulum / pathology
  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / diagnosis
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / epidemiology*
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / pathology
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / physiopathology
  • Hip Joint / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Sex Factors
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Young Adult