According to research from the University of Bern presented at the 2009 European Congress of Radiology, athletes participating in intense sports possess a higher rate of hip osteoarthritis and an earlier onset of this disease compared to the general population. It has also been found that a correlation exists between the early onset of osteoarthritis and femoroacetabular impingement, an excess of friction in the hip joint.The research plan
Researchers from the University of Bern in Switzerland set out to examine whether these results held constant with a group of 50 karate fighters. Using a Siemens MAGNETOM Trio 3T (3 Tesla) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner, the researchers examined the structural changes taking place in the joints of 97 hips belonging to the karate fighters. They also investigated the influence that karate training has on the development of osteoarthritis. In accordance with the MRI scan, a clinical examination including impingement and range of motion tests was also undertaken on the karate fighters.