By determining the cause of hip pain we can prevent hip damage and open the door to preventing hip osteoarthritis. This and other ground-breaking work is being led by Dr. John Esdaile, Scientific Director of Arthritis Research Canada (ARC) and his team of 70 research scientists and staff.

Why is This Study Important?

Not enough is known about the cause of hip osteoarthritis. It is a disease that keeps people from doing the activities they love and often affects their ability to work. Many of those affected spend years suffering, slowly eliminating activities and limiting their lifestyle as the pain gradually increases. Believing that it’s just normal aches and pains which will go away, often the symptoms are ignored. What results is hip osteoarthritis, occurring when cartilage is damaged.  This damage is responsible for 90% of hip replacements. ARC’s study aims to detect hip osteoarthritis much earlier and develop recommendations to prevent the disease, thereby reducing costly surgeries and surgery wait times.  This research will greatly improve the quality of life for Canadians who experience hip pain.

Is Hip Osteoarthritis Caused by Physical Activity?

ARC’s scientific team will look at the interaction between specific types of physical activity and FAI on hip pain, as well as the role of physical activity over a lifetime in causing hip osteoarthritis. New imaging techniques and a state of the art standing MRI machine are being used to see how the physical motion and the deformity combine to damage cartilage.

What is FAI?

Femoroacetabular impingement or FAI is described as a boney deformity of the hip. Not enough is known about FAI. However, we believe that certain physical activities involving hip flexion and repetitive hip flexor activity, such as hockey, soccer and cycling,  combined with FAI, cause friction in the hip joint and damage to the cartilage resulting in osteoarthritis.