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Hip Osteoarthritis in Men Reduces Motion and Function

Researchers in Finland compared the range of motion and function of the hip joint for men with and without hip osteoarthritis (OA). It's the first time range of motion values for the hip have been compared between these two groups. The doctors also looked at which tests are the best to assess function in patients with hip OA.

Men in two groups (men with OA and the control group without OA) carried out a series of tests. They walked 25 meters, marched and jumped, and also walked up and down stairs. Other tests included knee bending and hip range of motion. In the OA group some of the men couldn't do the knee bending or leg jumping tests because of pain or stiffness.

The authors report that men without hip OA have better motion, especially in abduction (legs apart) and rotation (turning the leg in or out). Control subjects were 13 to 52 percent more flexible than the men with OA. The worse the OA, the less motion was recorded.

In this study several practical and repeatable tests were found to assess the need for rehab for men with hip OA. These tests can be used for adults who are not in the hospital or living in a nursing home. Marching in place and going up or down stairs were the most reliable tests. Knee bending and standing on one leg were impractical tests and not suggested as measures of function.

Merja H. Arokoski, MD, et al. Physical Function in Men with and without Hip Osteoarthritis. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. April 2004. Vol. 85. No. 4. Pp. 574-581.

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