See what's happening on Facebook Twitter YouTube Flickr

FIFPro-Worlds-players-union-mobile-logo

Information about the research: Knee osteoarthritis among current and retired professional footballers.

 

Project team:

Dr. Vincent Gouttebarge (1,2,3,4,5)
Prof. Haruhito Aoki (6,7)
Prof. Gino Kerkhoffs (2,3,4,5)

 

Objectives and design of the study

The present study focused on three questions, namely:

  1. What is the prevalence (frequency as percentage) of knee osteoarthritis (OA) among current and retired professional footballers?
  2. Is severe knee injury (> 4 weeks without training/competition) or knee surgery associated with knee OA among current and retired professional footballers?
  3. What are the consequences of knee OA on physical knee function among current and retired professional footballers?

In order to answer the aforementioned questions, an observational study by means of questionnaires was conducted. Participants were current and retired professional footballers recruited by the World Players’ Union (FIFPro) and its national members from more than 25 countries.

 

Key findings of the study

  • Prevalence of knee osteoarthritis is higher among current professional footballers than among retired professional footballers, reaching 13% among current players and 28% among retired players.
  • Prevalence of knee osteoarthritis is higher among older professional footballers, reaching 35% among those aged 40 years and older (see figure below).
  • Professional footballers are 2.5 times more likely to suffer from knee osteoarthritis in the future by every severe knee injury incurred during their football career.
  • Professional footballers are 2.5 times more likely to suffer from knee osteoarthritis in the future by every knee surgery incurred during their football career.
  • Among both current and retired professional footballers, knee osteoarthritis has negative consequences for their knee function (stiffness and pain during activities such as twisting, going up or down stairs, bending, rising from a sitting position).
  • Professional footballers suffering from knee osteoarthritis report a lower level of knee function than those without knee osteoarthritis.
  • Professional footballers suffering from knee osteoarthritis report a lower level of knee function than the general population, a young athletic population, and amateur footballers.

 

Knee osteoarthritis 640 

 

About the project team:

  1. World Players’ Union (FIFPro), Hoofddorp, The Netherlands
  2. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Movement Sciences, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  3. Academic Center for Evidence based Sports medicine (ACES), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  4. Amsterdam Collaboration on Health & Safety in Sports (ACHSS), AMC/VUmc IOC Research Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  5. Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  6. St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Japan
  7. Yokohama City Sports Medical Center, Yokohama, Japan

FIFPro is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. To read our new Privacy and Cookie Statement, please click on the More info button. By clicking ‘Accept cookies’, you are agreeing to cookies being placed during a visit to this website.