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Concurrent Validity of Digital Inclinometer and Universal Goniometer in Assessing Passive Hip Mobility in Healthy Subjects.

Authors: Roach S, San Juan JG, Suprak DN

Hip range of motion is an important component of assessment of clinical orthopedic conditions of the hip, low back and lower extremities. However it remains unclear as to what constitutes the best tool for clinical measurement. The purpose of this study was to investigate the concurrent validity of passive range of motion (ROM) measurements of hip extension and hip internal and external rotation using a digital inclinometer and a standard goniometer. There was a statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) between measurements using the goniometer and digital inclinometer in hip ROM except for measurements of right hip external rotation (ER) (p > 0.05). The mean difference between the goniometer and digital inclinometer in left hip extension (EXT), internal rotation (IR) and ER were 3.5°, 4.5° and 5.0° respectively. The mean difference between the two devices in right hip EXT, IR, and ER were 2.8°, 4.2°, and 2.6° respectively. On average, the difference between the goniometer and digital inclinometer in EXT was 3.2°, IR 4.5°, and ER 3.8°. The digital inclinometer had greater measurement during EXT and ER. Furthermore, there was no statistically significant difference (p > 0.05) in hip ROM between the left and right side for either goniometric or digital inclinometer measurements. Therefore, the results of this study indicate that a significant difference exists between the two devices in all measurements with exception of right hip EXT. The differences were noted to be between 3-5 degrees for all planes measured. These findings suggest that caution should be used if these two devices are to be used interchangeably to quantify passive hip range of motion in either clinical practice or when comparing studies that utilize different instruments.

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