Reported Prevalence of Radiographic Cam Deformity Based on Sport: A Systematic Review of the Current Literature

Derrick M. Knapik, Michael A. Gaudiani, Brian E. Camilleri, Shane J. Nho, James E. Voos, Michael J. Salata

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Repetitive loading and shear stress across the proximal femur account for the high prevalence of cam deformity in athletes. Purpose: To systematically review the literature to identify the reported number, age, mean alpha angle measurements, and differences between male and female athletes with radiographic cam deformity based on sport. Study Design: Systematic review; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: A systematic review was conducted of studies in the literature between January 1990 and March 2018 that reported on athletes with radiographic cam deformity based on sport. PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines were followed, and PubMed, Biosis Previews, SPORTDiscus, PEDro, and EMBASE databases were used. Inclusion criteria included studies documenting radiographic cam deformity based on alpha angle measurements categorized according to the athlete’s primary sport and according to sex. Exclusion criteria were (1) studies not documenting primary sport, (2) studies not reporting total number of athletes with radiographic cam deformity, and (3) studies not separating cam deformity based on sex or using alpha angle measurements. Statistical analysis was used to compare mean reported age and alpha angle measurements between males and females. Results: A total of 28 studies consisting of 1160 male and 53 female athletes with radiographic cam deformity were identified. Cam lesions were most commonly reported in soccer athletes among both males and females, followed by hockey and American football. Male athletes had significantly higher mean alpha angle measurements (59.9° ± 5.5°) compared with female athletes (48.3° ± 6.9°) (P =.001). No significant difference in age was appreciated between males (21.1 ± 4.0 years) and females (21.7 ± 3.0 years) (P =.62). Conclusion: Radiographic cam deformity is most commonly reported in athletes participating in soccer and hockey. Males possessed significantly greater mean alpha angle measurements compared with females, whereas no significant difference in mean age at the time of diagnosis was appreciated between sexes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • athlete
  • cam deformity
  • femoroacetabular impingement
  • hockey
  • soccer
  • sport


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