AOSSM LogoAthletes may want to pay attention to this one. Around 70 percent of able-bodied professional and collegiate hockey players seemed to encompass irregular hip and pelvis MRIs, although they apparently had no symptoms of any wound. At least this is what a study claims.

The study’s astonishing discoveries could serve as a caution for surgeons to not rely exceptionally on imaging when detecting patients. In the study, high-resolution MRIs were obtained from the pelvis and hips of around 21 professional and 18 collegiate hockey players, ages varying from 18 – 35.

“This study was done to see if abnormal MRI results are found incidentally in active roster hockey players. Unexpectedly, the majority of players had some abnormality in their MRI, but it didn’t limit their playing ability. The study raises many questions, but its value to surgeons is to recognize that imaging doesn’t replace good clinical judgment, which includes a detailed history and complete physical exam. This study might make you hesitate to read too much into an MRI,” commented, Matthew Silvis, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Orthopedics at Hershey Medical Center at Penn State University College of Medicine.

Out of the 39 players, only around 2 apparently accounted for mild pain, which they detected it as a 3 on a 10 point scale, with negligible to no disability in relation to their pain. Approximately 39 seemed to have labral tears. Roughly 12 encompassed muscle strain injuries of the hips and about 2 of 39 suffered from tendinosis of the hips. By and large, roughly 70 percent of the players apparently had abnormal discoveries on their MRIs, but no clinical symptoms.

Silvis remarked, “This study raises all sorts of questions that should be examined in further studies. For example, will these abnormalities cause problems and symptoms later for these athletes? But this study shows the limitations of depending too heavily on an MRI. A surgeon may see something in the image, but it isn’t causing a problem.”

MRIs are said to be noninvasive tests that may assist doctors identify and treat medical conditions. MRIs supposedly utilize a potent magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to generate comprehensive images of organs, soft tissues, bone and several other internal body structures.

The study was presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Specialty Day in New Orleans.