34 year old sniper unit specialist presents to office for evaluation, complaining of left hip discomfort for almost 5 years. Patient has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the hip. Patient essentially has not much pain but his range of motion is compromised. His past medical history is other wise non contributory. He is in excellent shape and despite his hip problem he runs about 5 miles twice a week at times. He does not smoke. He takes Glucosamine and Amino acids. Patient is a Martial Arts Expert.
Discussion: This case has been seen over and over in our center. Incidence of arthritis of the hip due to aggressive martial arts continues to increase, there seem to be no studies in medicine to confirm the above. However conventional wisdom only confirms my thoughts about martial arts. Even though no one told me when I was taking Taek-won-do classes 30 years ago (I only wish someone did), but now I tell my 10 years old son who keeps insisting about taking Karate classes to reconsider. During high impact sports activity injuries might lead to arthritis later in life, after all one of the main causes of osteoarthritis is trauma. A typical scenario in injuries, are ligament damage, Patient may recall a certain High kick while practicing or sparing that started his or hers , this causes instability to a joint, or injury to the cartilage. The instability throws off the biomechanics of the hip, which in turn changes the integrity of the joint . A fracture to the hip might also cause lower-limb misalignment that produces the joint to work in a non symmetric way, which causes to uneven wear of the cartilage and the onset of arthritis.