The diagnostic validity of hip provocation maneuvers to detect intra-articular hip pathology

PM R. 2010 Mar;2(3):174-81. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2010.01.014.


Objective: To determine which hip provocation maneuvers best predict the presence of an intra-articular hip pathology.

Design: Prospective diagnostic study.

Setting: Musculoskeletal clinic at a university-based multispecialty group practice.

Participants: Fifty subjects referred for intra-articular hip injection under fluoroscopic guidance.

Interventions: Subjects were examined with 4 pain provocation maneuvers before and after anesthetic intra-articular hip injection administered under fluoroscopic guidance.

Main outcome measurements: Presence of intra-articular hip pain generator was confirmed by > or =80% improvement on visual analog scale after intra-articular hip injection.

Results: The most sensitive tests were flexion abduction external rotation (FABER) test and internal rotation over pressure (IROP) maneuver. For the FABER test, sensitivity was 0.82 (95% CI 0.57-0.96); sensitivity for the IROP maneuver was 0.91 (95% CI 0.68-0.99). The most specific test was the Stinchfield maneuver, with specificity at 0.32 (95% CI 0.14-0.55). FABER and IROP had the highest positive predictive value, with 0.46 (95% CI 0.28-0.65) and 0.47 (95% CI 0.29-0.64), respectively. IROP had the highest negative predictive value at 0.71 (95% CI 0.25-0.98).

Conclusions: IROP and FABER may be worthwhile components of the clinical evaluation of hip pain to determine intra-articular hip pathology. These tests are nonspecific and therefore not necessarily negative in the absence of intra-articular hip pathology. These hip provocation maneuvers are a useful part of an evaluation that includes history, further examination findings, and other diagnostic studies.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hip Joint / pathology*
  • Hip Joint / physiology
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Positioning / methods*
  • Physical Examination / methods*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Range of Motion, Articular