Osteoarthritis prevalence in retired national football league players with a history of ankle injuries and surgery

Kyeongtak Song, Erik A. Wikstrom, Joshua N. Tennant, Kevin M. Guskiewicz, Stephen W. Marshall, Zachary Y. Kerr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Context: Ankle injuries are common at all levels of American football, and retired National Football League (NFL) players have a high prevalence of osteoarthritis (OA), but little is known about how ankle injuries influence OA prevalence and daily activities in this population or how surgical interventions for such injuries alter the risk of OA. Objective: To examine (1) the association of ankle-injury history with OA prevalence, (2) the association of surgical intervention after ankle injury with OA prevalence, and (3) the relationships among ankle injuries, reported OA, and daily activities in retired NFL players. Design: Case-control study. Setting: Survey. Patients or Other Participants: Data from the Retired NFL Players General Health Survey. Main Outcome Measure(s): We created a 7-category main exposure variable that differentiated respondents by football-related ankle injury and surgical intervention. Multivariable binomial regression models were used to estimate prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Among those reporting OA, we examined the distribution of responses regarding whether OA affected daily activities. Results: Among the 2446 respondents, 920 participants experienced OA in any joint during their lifetime. Compared with those reporting no ankle injuries, the prevalence of OA was higher among those with a history of ankle injury. Also, the prevalence of OA was higher among those who had undergone surgery versus those who had not. The number of retired NFL players who reported that OA often affected their daily activities increased with the number of ankle injuries. Conclusions: Among former NFL players, a history of ankle injury increased the prevalence of OA. More ankle injuries increased the probability that OA negatively affected daily activities. Future prospective research is needed to better determine the influence of surgical intervention at the ankle or foot on OA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1165-1170
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© by the National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Osteoarthritis prevalence in retired national football league players with a history of ankle injuries and surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this