The prevalence of hand and wrist osteoarthritis in elite former cricket and rugby union players

Mary E. Jones*, Madeleine A.M. Davies, Karishma Shah, Simon Kemp, Nick Peirce, Kirsten Leyland, Keith Stokes, Andrew Judge, Julia Newton, Dominic Furniss, Nigel K Arden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
184 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of hand and wrist osteoarthritis in former elite cricket and rugby union players, by sport and playing position, and to define the prevalence of severe hand injury, and its association with hand osteoarthritis.

Design: Cross-sectional

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-875
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number8
Early online date16 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Aging
  • Athlete
  • Epidemiology
  • Injury
  • Prevalence


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