This study investigated isometric and isokinetic hip strength in individuals with and without symptomatic femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). The specific aims were to: (i) determine whether differences exist in isometric and isokinetic hip strength measures between groups; (ii) compare hip strength agonist/antagonist ratios between groups; and (iii) examine relationships between hip strength and self-reported measures of either hip pain or function in those with FAI.
Fifteen individuals (11 males; 25±5 years) with symptomatic FAI (clinical examination and imaging (alpha angle >55° (cam FAI), and lateral centre edge angle >39° and/or positive crossover sign (combined FAI))) and 14 age- and sex-matched disease-free controls (no morphological FAI on magnetic resonance imaging) underwent strength testing. Maximal voluntary isometric contraction strength of hip muscle groups and isokinetic hip internal (IR) and external rotation (ER) strength (20°/s) were measured. Groups were compared with independent t-tests and Mann-Whitney U tests.
Participants with FAI had 20% lower isometric abduction strength than controls (p=0.04). There were no significant differences in isometric strength for other muscle groups or peak isokinetic ER or IR strength. The ratio of isometric, but not isokinetic, ER/IR strength was significantly higher in the FAI group (p=0.01). There were no differences in ratios for other muscle groups. Angle of peak IR torque was the only feature correlated with symptoms.
Individuals with symptomatic FAI demonstrate isometric hip abductor muscle weakness and strength imbalance in the hip rotators. Strength measurement, including agonist/antagonist ratios, may be relevant for clinical management of FAI.