Four clinical tests of sacroiliac joint dysfunction: the association of test results with innominate torsion among patients with and without low back pain

Phys Ther. 1999 Nov;79(11):1043-57.


Background and purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the association between innominate torsion (asymmetric anteroposterior positioning of the pelvic innominates) and Gillet, standing forward flexion, sitting forward flexion, and supine-to-sit tests.

Subjects: A sample of 21- to 50-year-old patients with low back pain (n=150) and a comparison group of patients with upper-extremity impairments (n=138) were recruited from outpatient physical therapy facilities.

Methods: The association of single and combined test results with innominate torsion (calculated from pelvic landmark data) and with presence or absence of low back pain were estimated via odds ratios, sensitivities, specificities, and predictive values.

Results: Individual test sensitivities were low (8%-44%), as were negative predictive values (28%-38%), for identifying the presence of innominate torsion. Combining tests and controlling for sex, age group, leg-length difference, or iliac crest level did not improve performance characteristics. The associations of test results with low back pain were weak, with the exception of the Gillet test (odds ratio=4.57).

Conclusion and discussion: The data do not support the value of these tests in identifying innominate torsion, although the use of these tests for identifying other phenomena (eg, sacroiliac joint hypomobility) cannot be ruled out. Further exploration of the association of Gillet test results with low back pain is warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Back Pain / etiology*
  • Boston / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / complications*
  • Joint Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Joint Diseases / epidemiology
  • Joint Instability / complications
  • Joint Instability / diagnosis
  • Joint Instability / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Posture
  • Sacroiliac Joint*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Torsion Abnormality