Osteoarthrtitis, a Real Threat to Professional Soccer Players

Just the other day, former football players Dion Dublin and Graeme Souness came out to create awareness on the issue of osteoarthritis among retired players. The duo is running a campaign to help the many ex-footballers who are battling hip and knee joint pains. According to Jim Walker, a former Aston Villa physio, there are many retired footballers out there who can’t even come out of their houses because of OA.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a major risk for retired soccer stars. Studies show that football players are 1,000 times more likely to suffer from joint pains compared to others in high-risk work lines.

Surgeries and Injuries

In the past, it was thought that most OA cases in football were as a result of the wear and tear of cartilages. But then, new studies suggest that injuries and surgeries are increasingly becoming the notable culprit in most of the cases of osteoarthritis of the knee and hip OA, among other joint pains.

The study that involved more than 1,400 active and retired professional soccer leagues players showed that OA rates were around 40%. To make matters worse, the risk of OA is doubled with every severe knee injury or surgery.

Well, this is sad news considering how great surgeries have proved to be in sports. In the past, when surgeries were not possible, most players had to hang up their boots and end their careers. But not anymore as surgeons have consistently helped players get back to the game even after some severe injuries.

But while surgeries and injuries pose a considerable risk, surgery is still a necessary evil to keep the careers alive. On the other hand, injuries are inevitable when they come.