Hitting the Greens Can Hurt Your Hips

Shoulders, elbows and wrists not only vulnerable joints in golfers

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Golfers usually consider their shoulders, elbows and wrists their most vulnerable joints.

Well, they can add hips to that list, says a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) study.

Hip injuries in golfers often involve injury to the labrum cartilage, a condition that's often diagnosed as arthritis or muscle strain.

"The ability to detect labral injuries using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has increased significantly in the last 10 years. At the same time, arthroscopic interventions have been developed to treat these injuries without subjecting the patient to major surgery," study author Dr. Derek R. Armfield, an assistant professor in UPMC's division of musculoskeletal radiology, says in a prepared statement.

He and his colleagues used MRI to examine eight professional golfers with hip pain. Along with the MRI, the golfers had a physical exam and subsequent arthroscopy.

The MRI detected injuries to each golfer's labrum, which is the ligament-like cartilage that contains nerves and lines the socket of the hip. The injuries included labral tears and detachments.

It's believed tears in the labrum can damage adjacent cartilage and may lead to arthritis. All the golfers in the study were successfully treated with arthroscopic surgery.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about how to prevent golf injuries.

SOURCE: Radiological Society of North America, news release, Dec. 1, 2003
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