Influence of thigh cluster configuration on the estimation of hip axial rotation Academic Article uri icon


  • The non-invasive estimation of hip axial rotation is prone to error. Most of this is likely to originate from soft tissue artefact (STA) at the thigh. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relative performance of four different thigh cluster configurations. Three were novel configurations whilst one represented the Helen Hayes convention. Twenty able-bodied adults performed two alternative motor tasks involving hip axial rotation: gait and an isolated longitudinal rotation task. Kinematic data were acquired using a three-dimensional motion analysis system (VICON 512, Oxford Metrics, Oxford, England). Indirect criteria were used to evaluate STA. Hip axial rotation kinematic profiles during gait were highly sensitive to thigh cluster configuration. For the longitudinal rotation task, the various thigh clusters were only capable of estimating, at best, up to 60% of the reference amount of movement. The Helen Hayes convention was associated with the greatest degree of STA. Whilst none of the clusters represented an optimal solution, a non-rigid configuration on the distal thigh provided a more favourable alternative. The main limitation associated with this study was the absence of a true gold standard measure of hip axial rotation. Until future work provides further insight, one must remain cautious when using estimates of hip axial rotation for purposes of research or clinical interpretation.

publication date

  • January 2008