Functional performance testing of the hip in athletes: a systematic review for reliability and validity

Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2012 Aug;7(4):402-12.


Purpose/background: The purpose of this study was to systematically review the literature for functional performance tests with evidence of reliability and validity that could be used for a young, athletic population with hip dysfunction.

Methods: A search of PubMed and SPORTDiscus databases were performed to identify movement, balance, hop/jump, or agility functional performance tests from the current peer-reviewed literature used to assess function of the hip in young, athletic subjects.

Results: The single-leg stance, deep squat, single-leg squat, and star excursion balance tests (SEBT) demonstrated evidence of validity and normative data for score interpretation. The single-leg stance test and SEBT have evidence of validity with association to hip abductor function. The deep squat test demonstrated evidence as a functional performance test for evaluating femoroacetabular impingement. Hop/Jump tests and agility tests have no reported evidence of reliability or validity in a population of subjects with hip pathology.

Conclusions: Use of functional performance tests in the assessment of hip dysfunction has not been well established in the current literature. Diminished squat depth and provocation of pain during the single-leg balance test have been associated with patients diagnosed with FAI and gluteal tendinopathy, respectively. The SEBT and single-leg squat tests provided evidence of convergent validity through an analysis of kinematics and muscle function in normal subjects. Reliability of functional performance tests have not been established on patients with hip dysfunction. Further study is needed to establish reliability and validity of functional performance tests that can be used in a young, athletic population with hip dysfunction.

Level of evidence: 2b (Systematic Review of Literature).

Keywords: Functional Testing; hip; reliability; validity.