Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2012)
Common Mechanisms of Hip Injury and Associated Hip Pathology in Professional Skiers and Snowboarders
Hip injuries are common among athletes. Recent studies have analyzed hip pathology in many athletic populations; however, little research has been done on hip injuries and pathology among skiers and snowboarders. The purpose of this study is to review common mechanisms of hip injury and associated hip pathology in professional skiers and snowboarders. This study was institutional review board-approved. A retrospective database review was performed on all professional skiers and snowboarders who were evaluated by the senior author and underwent hip arthroscopy between 2005 and 2010 for debilitating hip pain. Professional skiers and snowboarders included athletes who compete at the professional level and instructors. Thirty-six painful hips were identified in 29 professionals (7 with bilateral involvement). Pathology and intra-operative findings were identified at time of index procedure. Subjective mechanism of injury was recorded. All data were prospectively collected and retrospectively reviewed. Twenty alpine skiers (4 bilateral), three Nordic skiers (2 bilateral), four snowboarders, and two aerialists (1 bilateral) were identified. A high-speed ski crash resulting in hip pain was the most common mechanism of injury (n = 14 hips), with all of those injuries occurring in racers and aerialists. All Nordic skiers (n = 5 hips) reported a gradual onset of hip pain with no specific injury. Three hip dislocations were reported by two alpine ski instructors and one alpine ski racer. All hips were found to have labral pathology and femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) at the time of index procedure. An Outerbridge grade IV chondral defect was treated with arthroscopic microfracture technique in five hips (14%). Seventeen hips (47%) were treated with capsular plication for hip instability. High-speed crashes are common mechanisms of hip injury. Labral pathology, FAI, and hip instability are frequent pathological arthroscopic findings in professional skiers and snowboarders.