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Hip abductor muscle volume in hip osteoarthritis and matched controls

journal contribution
posted on 2021-01-08, 05:09 authored by Anita ZachariasAnita Zacharias, Tania PizzariTania Pizzari, Daniel EnglishDaniel English, T Kapakoulakis, Rodney GreenRodney Green
© 2016 Osteoarthritis Research Society International Objective Hip abductor muscle strength and function is negatively impacted by the presence of hip osteoarthritis (OA). This study aimed to quantify differences in hip abductor muscle volume, fatty infiltration and strength in a unilateral hip OA population when compared to a control group. Impact of radiographic severity of OA on these variables was also examined. Methods Volumes of gluteus maximus (GMax), medius (GMed) minimus (GMin) and tensor fascia lata (TFL) was measured using MRI and muscle volume asymmetry between limbs was calculated. Fatty infiltrate within muscles was graded using the Goutallier classification system. Hip abduction and rotation strength was tested using a dynamometer. Differences between groups or limbs were analysed using t-tests and differences in fatty infiltration using non-parametric tests. Results A statistically significant decrease in muscle volume was identified in GMax (P < 0.01), GMed (P < 0.02) and GMin (P < 0.01) on the affected side in the OA group compared to both the contralateral side and the control group and differences were related to severity of OA. Hip abduction and internal rotation strength was reduced in the OA group. Increased levels of fatty infiltration were identified in the affected limbs of the OA group for GMax (P = 0.01) and GMin (P = 0.04). Conclusion Gluteal muscle atrophy, increased gluteal fatty infiltration and hip strength deficits were evident in the affected hips of OA participants. Since severity of OA was related to the extent of atrophy and fatty deposits, rehabilitation programs targeting these muscles could reverse or halt the progression of these structural and functional deficits.


The authors wish to acknowledge Amanda Hunt (MRI Supervisor Radiographer, High Street Xray, Bendigo) for providing expert opinions on the manuscript. The authors also wish to acknowledge the La Trobe University, Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Research Focus Area for funding this project.


Publication Date



Osteoarthritis and Cartilage






9p. (p. 1727-1735)





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