Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 2548–2553 | Cite as

A quantitative analysis of hip capsular thickness

  • Marc J. PhilipponEmail author
  • Max P. Michalski
  • Kevin J. Campbell
  • Matthew T. Rasmussen
  • Mary T. Goldsmith
  • Brian M. Devitt
  • Coen A. Wijdicks
  • Robert F. LaPrade



The purpose of this study was to provide a comprehensive quantitative analysis of capsular thickness adjacent to the acetabular rim in clinically relevant locations.


Dissections were performed and hip capsular measurements were recorded on 13 non-paired, fresh-frozen cadaveric hemi-pelvises using a coordinate measuring device. Measurements were taken for each clock-face position at 0, 5, 10 and 15 mm distances from the labral edge.


The capsule was consistently thickest at 2 o’clock for each interval from the labrum with a maximum thickness of 8.3 at 10 mm [95 % CI 6.8, 9.8] and 15 mm [95 % CI 6.8, 9.7]. The capsule was noticeably thinner between 4 and 11 o’clock with a minimum thickness of 4.1 mm [95 % CI 3.3, 4.9] at 10 o’clock at the labral edge. Direct comparison between 0 and 5 mm between 9 and 3 o’clock showed that the hip capsule was significantly thicker at 5 mm from the labrum at 9 o’clock (p = 0.027), 10 o’clock (p = 0.032), 1 o’clock (p = 0.003), 2 o’clock (p = 0.001) and 3 o’clock (p = 0.001).


The hip capsule was thickest between the 1 and 2 o’clock positions for all measured distances from the acetabular labrum and reached its maximum thickness at 2 o’clock, which corresponds to the location of the iliofemoral ligament.


Hip arthroscopy Hip capsule Capsulotomy Iliofemoral ligament 



The authors would like to acknowledge Grant Dornan, MSc, for his contribution to the statistical analysis of this study and Angelica Wedell for her contribution to the figures.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc J. Philippon
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Max P. Michalski
    • 1
  • Kevin J. Campbell
    • 1
  • Matthew T. Rasmussen
    • 1
  • Mary T. Goldsmith
    • 1
  • Brian M. Devitt
    • 1
  • Coen A. Wijdicks
    • 1
  • Robert F. LaPrade
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BioMedical EngineeringSteadman Philippon Research InstituteVailUSA
  2. 2.The Steadman ClinicVailUSA

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