Usefulness of the Trendelenburg test for identification of patients with hip joint osteoarthritis.

This study examined validity indices of the Trendelenburg test as a measure of hip abductor muscle performance (adduction of pelvis-on-femur [P-O-F]) when identifying subjects with and without hip joint osteoarthritis (OA). Muscle performance of the hip abductor muscles was obtained in standing by using the P-O-F position measured with a goniometer and in supine using a handheld dynamometer (HHD) and a manual muscle test (MMT). 20 healthy adults (10 men and 10 women) and 20 adults (10 men and 10 women) with radiographically documented hip joint OA were studied. Indices including sensitivity, specificity, and positive likelihood ratios examined values obtained from the P-O-F position and the MMT when used to identify subjects with and without hip joint OA. Sensitivity of the P-O-F position for identifying subjects with hip joint OA was 0.55, and specificity was 0.70, yielding a positive likelihood ratio of 1.83. Sensitivity of normalized hip abductor MMT strength for identifying subjects with hip joint OA was 0.35 and specificity was 0.90, yielding a positive likelihood ratio of 3.5.

Based on validity information from the present study, the Trendelenburg test (P-O-F angle) is not useful in identifying subjects in the early stages of hip joint OA.

Youdas JW, Madson TJ, Hollman JH. Usefulness of the Trendelenburg test for identification of patients with hip joint osteoarthritis. Physiother Theory Pract. 2010 Apr 22;26(3):184-94

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Research article posted by: Rachael Lowe

Rachael Lowe is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Physiopedia. A physiotherapist and technology specialist Rachael has been working with Physiopedia since 2008 to create a resource that provides universal access to physiotherapy knowledge as well as a platform for connecting and educating the global physiotherapy profession.

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