International Orthopaedics

, Volume 38, Issue 12, pp 2571–2576 | Cite as

Prevalence of femoro-acetabular impingement in international competitive track and field athletes

  • Matthias LahnerEmail author
  • Simone Bader
  • Philipp Alexander Walter
  • Christian Duif
  • Christoph von Schulze Pellengahr
  • Carsten Lukas
  • Andreas Ficklscherer
  • Stefan Fickert
  • Marco Hagen
Original Paper



The aim of our study was to analyse the prevalence of femoro-acetabular impingement (FAI) in national elite track and field athletes compared to peers using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and clinical examination including impingement tests.


A total of 44 participants (22 national elite track and field athletes and 22 non-athletes) underwent an MRI for radiological findings associated with FAI, including alpha angle, lateral centre edge angle (CEA), findings of labral and cartilage lesions. The study group was furthermore investigated by the hip outcome score (HOS) and a clinical hip examination including range of motion (ROM) and impingement tests.


Concerning the cam impingement, there was a significant difference measured by mean alpha angle between the athlete group (52.2 ± 7.29°) and the control group (48.1 ± 5.45°, P = 0.004). Eleven athletes showed a cam impingement, while two probands of the control group had a pincer impingement and one a mixed form (P = 0.0217). There was no statistically significant difference concerning the CEA upon evaluating pincer impingement. Seven track and field athletes had a positive impingement test, whereof three had an increased alpha angle >55°. No participant of the control group showed pathological results in the impingement test (P = 0.0121).


MRI evidence and clinical examination suggest that cam impingement is more common in elite athletes in comparison to non-athletes. At a professional level, the intense practice of track and field athletics is susceptible for FAI.


Femoroacetabular impingement Alpha angle Lateral centre edge angle Magnetic resonance imaging Cam Pincer Track and field athlete 



The study was supported by a donation of LOCALITE, Biomedical Visualization System, Germany. The authors acknowledge Dr. Andreas Falarzik, Coach Michael Huke and the athletes of the Olympic Training Center of Westfalia/Germany.


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Lahner
    • 1
    • 7
    Email author
  • Simone Bader
    • 1
  • Philipp Alexander Walter
    • 1
  • Christian Duif
    • 1
  • Christoph von Schulze Pellengahr
    • 2
  • Carsten Lukas
    • 3
  • Andreas Ficklscherer
    • 4
  • Stefan Fickert
    • 5
  • Marco Hagen
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic Sports Surgery, St. Josef-HospitalRuhr-University BochumBochumGermany
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, St. Josef-HospitalRuhr-University BochumBochumGermany
  3. 3.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, St. Josef-HospitalRuhr-University BochumBochumGermany
  4. 4.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Physical Medicine and RehabilitationUniversity Hospital of Munich (LMU)MunichGermany
  5. 5.Sporthopaedicum StraubingStraubingGermany
  6. 6.Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Sport and Movement SciencesUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany
  7. 7.Department of Orthopaedic Sports SurgerySt. Josef-HospitalBochumGermany

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