Biomechanical study of the effect of coxofemoral positioning on passive hip joint laxity in dogs

Am J Vet Res. 1993 Feb;54(2):210-5.


Ten coxofemoral joints from 5 dog cadavers were used to study the effect of coxofemoral positioning on passive hip laxity. A material test system was used to measure lateral translation when force was between 20 N of compression and 40 N of distraction. Using the orthogonal coordinate system imposed in this study, neutral position was empirically defined at 15 degrees of extension and 10 degrees of abduction, relative to the plane of the pelvis, and no internal or external rotation of the femur. The hips were mounted in a custom-designed jig that allowed 1 rotational degree of freedom (ie, either flexion/extension, adduction/abduction, or internal/external rotation), while holding the other 2 constant. Lateral translation of the hips was tested at 10 degrees intervals from 30 degrees of flexion to 70 degrees of extension, 40 degrees of adduction to 60 degrees of abduction, and 30 degrees of internal rotation to 40 degrees of external rotation. Lateral displacement was maximal at 10 degrees of extension, 20 degrees of abduction, and 10 degrees of external rotation, approximating the neutral coxofemoral position during stance. As the hips were rotated into extreme positions, the amount of lateral displacement occurring with the same applied load decreased significantly to 32.0 to 65.3% of the maximal displacement. Determining the position of the hip associated with maximal passive laxity in vitro is essential to the design of a precise and accurate clinical stress-radiographic method to quantitate joint laxity in dogs. Our results confirm earlier work that passive hip joint laxity is at a maximum with the hip approximately in a neutral weight-bearing position.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Dog Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Dogs
  • Femur / physiopathology
  • Hip Joint / physiopathology*
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology
  • Joint Instability / veterinary*
  • Posture
  • Rotation