Less hip range of motion is associated with a greater alpha angle in people with longstanding hip and groin pain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: A higher alpha angle has been proposed to correlate with lower hip range of motion, but the association in people with longstanding hip and groin pain is currently unclear. The aims were to: (1) assess the association between range of motion and alpha angle in patients with longstanding hip and groin pain; (2) examine if a cut-off value in range of motion variables could identify patients with an alpha angle above or below 60°. Methods: Seventy-two participants were consecutively recruited from an orthopaedic department after referral for hip- and groin-related pain. Passive hip range of motion was measured in flexion, internal rotation with 90° hip flexion, internal rotation in neutral hip position, external rotation with 90° hip flexion, and abduction. The alpha angle was calculated from a frog-leg lateral radiograph. Linear regression examined the association between range of motion and alpha angle, and an ROC-curve analysis was performed to identify the sensitivity and specificity of range of motion cut-offs. Results: Lower range of motion in internal rotation in flexion, external rotation, and abduction were associated with higher alpha angle. Internal rotation of 27° or less displayed good sensitivity (81%) and specificity (85%) to detect an alpha angle above 60°, while a cut-off of 41° in external rotation and 27° in abduction showed a sensitivity of 72% and specificity of 50% and 60%, respectively. Conclusion: Less internal rotation in flexion, external rotation, and abduction are associated with a greater alpha angle in a cohort of people with longstanding hip and groin pain. A cut-off of 27° in internal rotation has good sensitivity and specificity to identify people with an alpha angle above or below 60° and have the potential to be used in the clinical setting to identify patients that require further imaging, or that are unlikely to have cam morphology. Level of evidence: II.

Original languageEnglish
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Orthopedics

Keywords

  • Alpha angle
  • Cam morphology
  • Femoroacetabular impingement
  • Range of motion

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