Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research

, Volume 466, Issue 2, pp 281–286 | Cite as

Measurement of Hip Range of Flexion-Extension and Straight-leg Raising

  • R. A. ElsonEmail author
  • G. R. Aspinall
Symposium: Papers Presented at the Annual Closed Meeting of the International Hip Society


We believe there is a degree of inaccuracy in the usual methods of evaluation of range at the hip in the sagittal plane, ie, flexion-extension. We describe a simple method of measuring more accurately the range of hip flexion-extension, presuming such ranges of motion should relate to the anatomic position of the pelvis. We used this technique for the measurement of flexion and extension of the left hip in a cohort of 200 healthy individuals; we found a wide range of both flexion (80°–140°) and extension (5°–40°). Especially with respect to extension, we believe more conventional methods underestimate the ranges of motion. As a corollary to this study, we suggest some reappraisal of the straight-leg–raising test by which pain from nerve root tension can be distinguished from a source of pain arising locally in intervertebral joints for mechanical reasons or from the hip itself. We recommend the method described as being useful in the consulting office.


Lumbar Lordosis Anatomic Position Thoracic Kyphosis Anterior Superior Iliac Spine Left Thigh 
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We thank the randomly selected swimmers at the Sheffield University Swimming Pool who agreed to allow us to perform the examinations described in this paper.


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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lower Limb Arthroplasty UnitNorthern General HospitalSheffieldUK

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