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INTRODUCTION: Primary cam morphology is a mostly benign bony prominence that develops at the femoral head-neck junction of the hip, but it is highly prevalent in many athlete populations. In the small proportion of athletes for whom it is not benign, the resulting hip osteoarthritis can be debilitating. Clinicians, athletes, patients and researchers do not yet agree on important primary cam morphology elements. We aimed to ascertain and improve the level of agreement on primary cam morphology definitions, terminology, taxonomy and imaging outcome measures. METHODS: To collect and aggregate informed opinions, an expert panel-the Young Athlete's Hip Research Collaborative-rated primary cam morphology definition, terminology, taxonomy and imaging outcome statements through an online Delphi exercise followed by an online meeting to explore areas of tension and dissent. Reporting followed Conducting and REporting DElphi Studies. RESULTS: A diverse and inclusive Delphi panel (n=65 for rounds 1 and 2, representing 18 countries; 6 stakeholder groups; 40% women) agreed on 35 of 47 statements in 4 domains, while surfacing areas of tension and dissent. This Delphi panel agreed on four key issues essential to moving research and clinical care forward around primary cam morphology. They agreed on: (1) definition, confirming its conceptual attributes (tissue type, size, location, shape and ownership); (2) terminology-use 'morphology' and not terms with a negative connotation like 'lesion', 'abnormality' or 'deformity'; (3) taxonomy, distinguishing between primary and secondary cam morphology, and (4) imaging outcomes, a continuous bone/cartilage alpha angle on radial femoral head-neck MRI for primary cam morphology aetiology research. CONCLUSION: This consensus provides athletes, patients, clinicians and researchers with a strong foundation to guide more precise communication, better clinical decision-making and higher value research about primary cam morphology and its natural history.

Original publication




Journal article


Br j sports med

Publication Date



Athletes, Consensus, Hip, Osteoarthritis, Sports medicine