Pelvic Tilt and Range of Motion in Hips With Femoroacetabular Impingement Syndrome

Rikin V. Patel, Shuyang Han, Christopher Lenherr, Joshua D. Harris, Philip C. Noble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Physiotherapy is a management option for the treatment of femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) syndrome. This study examines the influence of changes in pelvic tilt and hip adduction on the range of motion (ROM) of the hip. METHODS: Ten FAI hips were used to simulate impingement at two positions: (1) 20° internal rotation (IR) with 100° flexion and 10° adduction and (2) 40° IR with 35° flexion and 10° adduction; the amount of IR was measured at the point of bony impingement or to the defined limit. Each simulation was performed at neutral and 5° and 10° anterior and posterior pelvic tilt. Then, the hip was placed in 10° of abduction, and all simulations were repeated. RESULTS: With neutral pelvic tilt, impingement occurred at 4.3 ± 8.4° of IR at the high-flexion position. An increase in anterior pelvic tilt led to a loss of IR, that is, earlier occurrence of FAI, whereas an increase in posterior pelvic tilt led to an increase in IR, that is, later occurrence of FAI. At the high-flexion position, abduction provided more IR before impingement (neutral: 9.1 ± 5.7°, P < 0.01; 10° anterior tilt: 14.6 ± 5.2°, P < 0.01; 10° posterior tilt: 4.2 ± 3.7° IR, P = 0.01). Placing the hip in abduction and posteriorly tilting the pelvis produce a combined effect that increased IR relative to the neutrally tilted pelvis (5° posterior tilt: 11.4 ± 7.6°, P = 0.01; 10° posterior tilt: 12.8 ± 7.6°, P < 0.01). The ROM in the mid-flexion position was not affected by any combination of pelvic tilt and hip abduction or adduction (average IR: 37.4 ± 5.0°, P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Abduction and posterior pelvic tilt increased the impingement-free ROM in the hips with FAI. Thus, rehabilitation aimed at altering the tilt of the pelvis may reduce the frequency of impingement and limit further joint damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e427-e432
JournalThe Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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