Racket or Bat Sports: No Association With Thumb-Base Osteoarthritis

Jeffrey B. Driban, Grace H. Lo, Mary B. Roberts, Matthew S. Harkey, Lena F. Schaefer, Ida K. Haugen, Stacy E. Smith, Jeffrey Duryea, Bing Lu, Charles B. Eaton, Marc C. Hochberg, Rebecca D. Jackson, C. Kent Kwoh, Michael C. Nevitt, Timothy E. McAlindon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Context: Repetitive joint use is a risk factor for osteoarthritis, which is a leading cause of disability. Sports requiring a racket or bat to perform repetitive high-velocity impacts may increase the risk of thumb-base osteoarthritis. However, this hypothesis remains untested. Objective: To determine if a history of participation in racket or bat sports was associated with the prevalence of thumb-base osteoarthritis. Design: Descriptive epidemiologic study. Setting: Four US clinical sites associated with the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Patients or Other Participants: We recruited 2309 men and women from the community. Eligible participants had dominant-hand radiographic readings, hand symptom assessments, and historical physical activity survey data. Main Outcome Measure(s): A history of exposure to racket or bat sports (badminton, baseball or softball, racketball or squash, table tennis [or ping pong], tennis [doubles], or tennis [singles]) was based on self-reported recall data covering 3 age ranges (12–18, 19–34, and 35–49 years). Prevalent radiographic thumb-base osteoarthritis was defined as Kellgren-Lawrence grade .2 in the first carpometacarpal joint or scaphotrapezoidal joint at the Osteoarthritis Initiative baseline visit. Symptomatic thumb-base osteoarthritis was defined as radiographic osteoarthritis and hand or finger symptoms. Results: Radiographic or symptomatic thumb-base osteoarthritis was present in 355 (34%) and 56 (5%), respectively, of men (total ¼ 1049) and 535 (42%) and 170 (13%), respectively, of women (total ¼ 1260). After adjusting for age, race, and education level, we found no significant associations between a history of any racket or bat sport participation and thumb-base osteoarthritis (radiographic or symptomatic; odds ratios ranged from 0.82 to 1.34). Conclusions: In a community-based cohort, a self-reported history of participation in racket or bat sports was not associated with increased odds of having radiographic or symptomatic thumb-base osteoarthritis in the dominant hand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-351
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • baseball
  • first carpometacarpal joint
  • scaphotrapezoidal joint
  • softball
  • tennis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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