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Springerplus, 2015; 4(): 70, PMID: 25713762

Alterations in bone mineral density and lower extremity lean mass after hip arthroscopy in a professional female Ironman triathlete: a case study.

Year: 2015

Mueller SM, Braendli S, Toigo M
Exercise Physiology Lab, Institute of Human Movement Sciences, ETH Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.


INTRODUCTION: Femoroacetabular impingement is a pathomechanical condition of the hip, which is often treated through arthroscopic techniques. The ensuing immobilization period is associated with decreases in muscle mass and bone mass. To date, minimal knowledge is present about the development of tissue mass during the considerably short rehabilitation period before returning to competition in elite endurance athletes. CASE DESCRIPTION: Before and after surgery, a professional female Ironman triathlete underwent dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and peripheral quantitative computed tomography measurements. DISCUSSION AND EVALUATION: Areal bone mineral density (aBMD) of the proximal femur and lower extremity lean mass decreased in the surgically treated lower extremity during the two-month period of immobilization after the hip arthroscopy. These losses were compensated for after only six weeks of rehabilitation. A similar progression of aBMD values was observed in the lumbar spine. The adaptational pattern in volumetric BMD (vBMD) and volumetric bone mineral content (vBMC) of the tibiae were more complex, but attained pre-immobilization values for most variables also after six weeks of rehabilitation. All other variables attained pre-immobilization values no later than nine months after the surgical intervention. CONCLUSIONS: The athlete showed a high plasticity of bone and lean tissue with an optimal short- and midterm outcome. Following a two months immobilization period after a hip arthroscopy, aBMD, vBMD and vBMC achieved pre-surgical levels after four months of rehabilitation in a female Ironman triathlete. A nine-month follow-up measurement confirmed the safety of the fast return to sport.

GID: 3851; Last update: 08.04.2015
More information: Original Article