[Increased risk of knee and hip arthrosis among elite athletes. Lower level exercise and sports seem to be "harmless"]

Lakartidningen. 1998 Oct 14;95(42):4606-10.
[Article in Swedish]


Both joint injury and joint stress contribute to the development of arthrosis. The article consists in a review of literature in this field which sheds light on the risk of developing hip or knee arthrosis as a result of sports participation. Soccer is a sport associated with manifest joint overload and risk of injury to the knee. Owing to the increased incidence of cruciate ligament and meniscus injury among soccer players, there is a markedly increased risk of arthrosis (or post-traumatic arthrosis), radiological signs of arthrosis being present in 50 per cent of cases after 15 years. Moreover, elite level soccer is associated with an increased risk of knee arthrosis, even if cases of trauma-induced arthrosis are excluded. There is also a markedly increased risk of hip arthrosis among former elite soccer players. Below the elite level, however, soccer is not associated with an increased risk of knee or hip arthrosis; nor is long-distance running associated with an increased risk of arthrosis, though extremely long-distance running may cause arthrosis, primarily in the hip, but possibly also in the knee.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology*
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / etiology
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / etiology*
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / etiology*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / etiology*
  • Risk Factors