Hip problems and their repair in professional hockey players

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Hip problems and their repair in professional hockey players

Postby Jani » Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:17 pm

Hip injuries are common among professional hockey players in the NHL but also in other elite level leagues. Ice hockey requires repetitive mechanical motion across multiple joints and, as a result, overuse injuries are common.

I just thought to bring one interresting study to your attention as many of us skilled with the art of goaltending are aware of the fact that hip and knee injuries are becoming more comon as the sport of hockey is evolving towards a more speed and power demanding skills.

In fact, there are very few studies available on intra-articular hockey-related hip injuries, despite the fact that they are considered a cause of significant disability and are a potential cause of early retirement.

Goaltenders are often in a position of hip flexion and internal rotation due to their use of the modern butterfly technique. Sudden overload in these positions, or repetitive loading with vigorous activity, can lead to hip problems. In addition, the combination of the underlying bony abnormalities and positioning associated with stride or technique, along with the repetition, may predispose hockey players to encountering overusetype hip injuries.

In a recently published study, the authors investigated 28 NHL players between March 2005 and December 2007 who were unable to perform at the professional level due to unremitting and debilitating hip pain. In the study, the proportion of goaltenders (total 7 cases out of 28 ) was relatively high considering the number of all hockey players including 12 forwards and 9 defencemen.

All subjects underwent an arthroscopic surgery, and followed the same rehabilitation guidelines. Physical therapy was used to first restore passive motion, followed by active motion and then strength. Particular attention was paid to the restoration of internal rotation, followed by the restoration of external rotation. Return to sport was operationally defined as the patient’s ability to return to skating as part of training or the sport of ice hockey.

The average time from date of onset of symptoms to date of surgery was 19 months (range, 1.5-99 months). All athletes had labral lesions, and therefore the surgical operation was justified. All players returned to skating/hockey drills at an average of 3.8 months (range, 1-5 months). Players who had surgery within 1 year from the time of injury returned to sport at 3 months, and patients who waited more than 1 year returned to sport at 4.1 months.

It can be concluded that the longer the players waited for surgical intervention, the more chondral damage occurred and the longer it took them to return to hockey. Athletic hip injuries leading to disabling intra-articular hip pain most commonly involve labral tears of the hip joint. It is encouraging, however, that the outcomes after arthroscopic acetabular labral repair have been excellent. This study highlights the need for early intervention after injury to the professional hockey player. The earlier the players were treated, the less chondral damage and the earlier they returned to the ice without sacrificing a decline in long-term function.

http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/early/20 ... 3.abstract
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Postby Cubanpuckstopper » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:57 pm

Good find on that post.

Last spring this article came out about butterfly/hips.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/w ... ml?eref=T1

I have often wondered if Brodeur's style has led to his longevity.

I also would like to see a study of goalies upper body weight as a ratio of their lower body weight, and the impact on joints. Those that strike me as having a high upper bodyweight ratio are Rick DiPietro, and Kari Lehtonen, those with low ratios are Marty Biron, Ryan Miller. just a hypothesis.
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