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The prevalence of cam-type femoroacetabular deformity in asymptomatic adults

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We performed a retrospective examination of the anteroposterior pelvic CT scout views of 419 randomly selected patients between April 2004 and August 2009 in order to determine the prevalence of cam-type femoroacetabular deformity in the asymptomatic population. The CT scans had all been undertaken for conditions unrelated to disorders of the hip. The frequency of cam-type femoroacetabular deformity was assessed by measuring the α-angle of each hip on the anteroposterior images. The α-angles were classified according to the Copenhagen Osteoarthritis Study. Among 215 male hips (108 patients) the mean α-angle was 59.12° (37.75° to 103.50°). Of these, a total of 30 hips (13.95%) were defined as pathological, 32 (14.88%) as borderline and 153 (71.16%) as normal. Among 540 female hips (272 patients) the mean α-angle was 45.47° (34.75° to 87.00°), with 30 hips (5.56%) defined as pathological, 33 (6.11%) as borderline and 477 (88.33%) as normal. It appears that the cam-type femoroacetabular deformity is not rare among the asymptomatic population. These anatomical abnormalities, as determined by an increased α-angle, appear to be twice as frequent in men as in women. Although an association between osteoarthritis and femoroacetabular impingement is believed to exist, a long-term epidemiological study is needed to determine the natural history of these anatomical abnormalities.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr J. Parvizi; email:

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