Abstract and Introduction
Background: Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is predominant in young male athletes, but not much is known about gait differences in cases of increased hip alpha angles. In our study, the hip alpha angle of Nötzli of soccer players was quantified on the basis of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with axial oblique sequences. The aim of the current study was to compare the rearfoot motion and plantar pressure in male semiprofessional soccer players with increased alpha angles to age-matched amateur soccer players.
Methods: In a prospective analysis, male semiprofessional and amateur soccer players had an MRI of the right hip to measure the alpha angle of Nötzli. In a biomechanical laboratory setting, 14 of these participants in each group ran in two shoe conditions. Simultaneously in-shoe pressure distribution, tibial acceleration, and rearfoot motion measurements of the right foot were performed.
Results: In the semiprofessional soccer group, the mean value of the alpha angle of group was 55.1 ± 6.58° (range 43.2–76.6°) and 51.6 ± 4.43° (range 41.9–58.8°) in the amateur group. In both shoe conditions, we found a significant difference between the two groups concerning the ground reaction forces, tibial acceleration, rearfoot motion and plantar pressure parameters (P < 0.01, P < 0.05, P = 0.04). Maximum rearfoot motion is about 22% lower in the semiprofessional group compared to the amateur group in both shoe conditions.
Conclusions: This study confirmed that semiprofessional soccer players with increased alpha angles showed differences in gait kinematics compared to the amateur group. These findings support the need for a screening program for competitive soccer players. In cases of a conspicuous gait analysis and symptomatic hip pain, FAI must be ruled out by further diagnostic tests.
BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2014;15(88) © 2014 BioMed Central, Ltd.
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