Ankle Osteoarthritis in Ex-Professional Footballers

  • Vincent GouttebargeEmail author
  • Gino M. M. J. Kerkhoffs


Ankle osteoarthritis in ex-professional footballers involves a progressive degeneration of articular cartilage characterized by the formation of impinging bone spurs, loose bodies, and joint space narrowing. The recent epidemiological literature has showed that the prevalence of ankle osteoarthritis in ex-professional footballers was high (9–17 %) compared to former athletes from other sport disciplines and to the general population. In addition, most of the ex-professional footballers suffering from ankle osteoarthritis reported to experience moderate to severe problems related to joint pain/discomfort and functional impairments. Aside from traditional risk factors such as age, gender, obesity, and lifestyle, ankle osteoarthritis in ex-professional footballers is predominantly of post-traumatic origin, being associated with the occurrence and recurrence of ankle injury and related surgery during a football career. The diagnosis of ankle osteoarthritis should combine radiography with a thorough anamnesis and physical examination, exploring especially the functional consequences of the joint disease. The treatment and management of ankle osteoarthritis involves a multidisciplinary approach striving to relieve symptoms and improve joint function. Therefore, it might rely on strategies related to conservative treatment, surgical treatment, and self-management.


Ankle Osteoarthritis Professional football Diagnosis Impairments 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent Gouttebarge
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gino M. M. J. Kerkhoffs
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryAcademic Medical Center (AMC)AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.World Players’ Union (FIFPro)HoofddorpThe Netherlands

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