ISAKOS: 2019 Congress in Cancun, Mexico

2019 ISAKOS Biennial Congress ePoster #624


Hip Health among Retired National Basketball Association Athletes: A Survey

Seper Ekhtiari, MD, Hamilton, ON CANADA
Moin Khan, MD, MSc, FRCSC, Hamilton, ON CANADA
Tyrrell Burrus, MD, Ann Arbor, MI UNITED STATES
Kim Madden, PhD, Hamilton, ON CANADA
Joel Gagnier, ND, MSc, PhD, Ann Arbor, MI UNITED STATES
Joseph Rogowski, MSc, ATC, CSCS, New York, NY UNITED STATES

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, UNITED STATES

FDA Status Not Applicable


Little literature exists about how hip injuries and hip pain impact NBA players after retirement, and whether or not these conditions affect health-related quality of life (HRQoL).


The objectives of this survey project were to: 1) characterize the epidemiology of hip and groin injuries during the playing careers of National Basketball Association (NBA) athletes, and 2) assess the impact of hip and groin pathology on post-retirement activity level, HRQoL, and overall health status.


A survey was developed with the use of a diverse focus group consisting of athletic trainers, orthopaedic surgeons, and former NBA athletes. A sample to redundancy method was used to achieve the final questionnaire. The survey was distributed electronically using the SurveyMonkey platform to retired NBA athletes.


One hundred and eight retired NBA athletes responded to the survey. Forty-one respondents (39.1%) sustained hip and/or groin injuries while playing in the NBA; “groin pull/sports hernia” was the most common (N = 35, 85.4%), followed by labral tears (N = 5, 12.2%). Over one-third of all retired NBA players currently have hip and/or groin pain (N = 37, 36.3%). Eighteen athletes (17.6%) have received a hip or groin injection since retiring from the NBA. Fifteen respondents (14.7%) had undergone a total hip arthroplasty (THA).When adjusted for age and ethnicity, having sustained a hip injury during NBA career had a significant impact on current overall health (p = 0.015).


Groin pulls and sports hernias are the most common hip and groin injuries sustained by NBA players and the majority do not require operative management while in the NBA. Over one-third of retired NBA athletes experience hip and/or groin pain, and nearly one in six have undergone total hip arthroplasty. NBA athletes who sustained a hip or groin injury during their NBA career had a significantly lower overall quality of health after retirement. Future prospective longitudinal studies are needed to identify the etiology of hip pathology in retired NBA players, and to evaluate any potential preventative measures.