Methods: Data from cross-sectional studies of former elite male cricket and rugby players were used to determine the prevalence of hand pain, physician-diagnosed osteoarthritis, and previous severe injury. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine the association of previous injury with pain and osteoarthritis.
Results: Data from 200 cricketers and 229 rugby players were available. Complete case analysis resulted in 127 cricketers and 140 rugby players. Hand pain was more prevalent amongst cricketers (19.7%) than rugby players (10.0%). The prevalence did not differ between cricket and rugby players for hand osteoarthritis (2.4% and 3.6%), wrist osteoarthritis (1.6% and 2.1%), or previous severe hand injury (36.2% and 31.4%). No significant association between previous hand injury and pain or osteoarthritis was identified in either sport.
Conclusions: Former elite cricketers reported more hand pain than rugby players. No significant association was found between self-reported severe injury and hand osteoarthritis in either cohort, potentially indicating that risk factors aside from injury may be more prominent in the development of hand osteoarthritis.