Generalized joint hypermobility is predictive of hip capsular thickness Academic Article uri icon


  • The pathomechanics of hip microinstability are not clearly defined but are thought to involve anatomical abnormalities, repetitive forces across the hip, and ligamentous laxity.The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between generalized joint hypermobility (GJH) and hip capsular thickness. The hypothesis was that GJH would be predictive of a thin hip capsule.Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3.A prospective study was performed on 100 consecutive patients undergoing primary hip arthroscopy for the treatment of hip pain. A Beighton test score (BTS) was obtained prior to each procedure. The maximum score was 9, and a score of ≥4 was defined as hypermobile. Capsular thickness at the level of the anterior portal, corresponding to the location of the iliofemoral ligament, was measured arthroscopically using a calibrated probe. The presence of ligamentum teres (LT) pathology was also recorded.Fifty-five women and 45 men were included in the study. The mean age was 32 years (range, 18-45 years). The median hip capsule thickness was statistically greater in men than women (12.5 and 7.5 mm, respectively). The median BTS for men was 1 compared with 4 for women (P < .001). A statistically significant association was found between BTS and capsular thickness; a BTS of <4 is strongly predictive of having a capsular thickness of ≥10 mm, while a BTS ≥4 correlates with a capsular thickness of <10 mm. There was a statistically greater incidence of LT tears in patients with a capsular thickness of ≤7.5 mm and a BTS of ≥4 (P < .001).Measurement of the GJH is highly predictive of hip capsular thickness. A BTS of <4 correlates significantly with a capsular thickness of ≥10 mm, while a BTS ≥4 correlates significantly with a thickness of <10 mm.

publication date

  • 2017