A study published online in The American Journal of Sports Medicine examines physiological changes over a 5-year period for athletes aged 12 to 18 years with asymptomatic limited range of motion (LROM) of the hip. 

The research team conducted a cohort study of 26 athletes, 13 of whom (21 of 26 hips) had at least one hip having internal rotation <10° with the hip flexed to 90°, and 13 matched controls. At the time of study enrollment, 16 of 26 hips (62 percent) in the LROM group had abnormal magnetic resonance imaging findings within the acetabular labrum or cartilage, compared with 8 of 26 hips (31 percent) in the control group, and 13 of 26 hips (50 percent) in the LROM group had a positive anterior impingement sign, compared to 0 of 26 hips (0 percent) in controls. At 5-year follow-up, the research team found that young athletes with LROM of the hip displayed increased progressive degenerative changes on MRI and radiographs compared with matched controls. "Although the majority of these participants remained asymptomatic," the research team writes, "those with features of femoroacetabular impingement [FAI] had radiographic findings consistent with early osteoarthritis [OA]." Learn more...

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