Abstract

The accurate measurement of hip motion is critical when one rates impairments of this joint, makes an initial diagnosis, assesses progression over time, and evaluates treatment outcome. The hip permits all motions typical of a ball-and-socket joint. The hip sacrifices some motion but gains stability and strength. Figures 52 to 54 in AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides), Fourth Edition, illustrate techniques for measuring hip flexion, loss of extension, abduction, adduction, and external and internal rotation. Figure 53 in the AMA Guides, Fourth Edition, illustrates neutral, abducted, and adducted positions of the hip and proper alignment of the goniometer arms, and Figure 52 illustrates use of a goniometer to measure flexion of the right hip. In terms of impairment rating, hip extension (at least any beyond neutral) is irrelevant, and the AMA Guides contains no figures describing its measurement. Figure 54, Measuring Internal and External Hip Rotation, demonstrates proper positioning and measurement techniques for rotary movements of this joint. The difference between measured and actual hip rotation probably is minimal and is irrelevant for impairment rating. The normal internal rotation varies from 30° to 40°, and the external rotation ranges from 40° to 60°.

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