The demographic characteristics of high-level and recreational athletes undergoing hip arthroscopy for femoroacetabular impingement: a sports-specific analysis

Arthroscopy. 2014 Mar;30(3):398-405. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2013.12.010.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine differences in age, gender, and the need for bilateral surgery between high-level athletes grouped by sports with similar mechanical demands on the hip and recreational athletes undergoing hip arthroscopy for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI).

Methods: By use of a hip-preservation center registry, a retrospective review of patients undergoing hip arthroscopy for FAI between March 2010 and April 2012 was performed. Athletes were categorized as high level (high school, collegiate, or professional) or recreational. We performed a subgroup analysis for high-level athletes, looking at differences among contact, cutting, impingement, overhead/asymmetric, endurance, and flexibility sports.

Results: The study included 288 high-level athletes and 334 recreational athletes. Being a high-level athlete was associated with a younger age (mean age, 20.2 years v 33.0 years; odds ratio, 0.69; P < .001) and male gender (61.5% v 53.6%; odds ratio, 1.75; P = .03). The percentage of high-level athletes undergoing bilateral surgery was higher than that of recreational athletes (28.4% v 15.9%); however, this association was found to be confounded by age on multivariate analysis. The most common sports for high-level athletes were soccer, hockey, and football. Athletes participating in cutting sports were significantly younger than athletes participating flexibility, contact, or impingement sports.

Conclusions: When compared with recreational athletes undergoing arthroscopic treatment for FAI, high-level athletes are more likely to be younger, to be male, and to undergo bilateral surgery. When high-level athletes are grouped by the mechanical demands placed on the hip by their sport, athletes participating in cutting sports are more likely to be younger than those in the other groups.

Level of evidence: Level IV, case series.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Arthroscopy*
  • Athletes / classification
  • Athletes / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / surgery*
  • Football / statistics & numerical data
  • Hockey / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Injuries / surgery
  • Recreation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Soccer / statistics & numerical data
  • Sports / classification
  • Sports / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult