Effects of hip joint transverse plane range of motion with a modeled effusion and capsular tear: A cadaveric study

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Multiple factors contribute to range of motion of the hip joint in the transverse plane: bony anatomy, hip capsule, corresponding ligaments, articular labrum, ligamentum teres, and negative intra-articular pressure. We hypothesized that violation of the negative pressure of the hip and simulation of an effusion would increase range of motion in the transverse plane in a cadaver model.


Ten hip specimens were obtained and dissected with the femur and iliac wing mounted in a custom joint-testing rig in neutral position. Specimens were tested at 0 and at 90° of flexion with 1.5 Nm internal and external rotational torque. Three conditions were assessed: (1) intact specimen, (2) an effusion modeled by a 10 ml saline infusion, and (3) a capsular tear.


The modeled effusion decreased rotational range of motion limits in both 0 and 90° of flexion, with a greater effect on the specimens at 0° flexion in external rotation with 4.1° less external rotation (p = 0.009). A modeled capsular tear increased rotational motion limits in 0° of flexion in both internal and external rotation and in 90° flexion in internal rotation only (p < 0.025).


An effusion may decrease the rotation of the hip, and a capsular tear may increase its rotation. This should be considered in hips with traumatic capsular tears or arthroscopic portals.

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