Special Tests: Hip Joint

by Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, COMT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS

For an introduction to Special Tests including definitions of specific terminology, what special tests measure, how we chose the tests in these lessons, and best use, check out:

Special Tests Covered in this Lesson:

Special Notes on Hip Test Selection:

An effort was made to choose the best group of special tests for the hip, in large part by eliminating special tests with little or no clinical utility. A research study that demonstrated the utility of a test-item cluster for hip pathology could not be located. The majority of special tests for the hip are not sensitive or specific enough to have any clinical usefulness. Many special tests for the hip are simply variations of one another. For example, the FADDIR Test covered in this course is similar to the Maximal Flexion - Internal Rotation (MFIR) Test, the Flexion - Internal Rotation test, The Flexion Adduction - Axial Compression Test, and the Flexion Adduction Internal Rotation (FAIR) test, etc. An effort was made to select the test variation that research had demonstrated most accurate, and/or was most-well supported by the current body of research. The five tests selected for this course are well-supported, and each addresses a specific range of motion or issue associated with hip pathology.

The general issue with hip special tests, including those selected for this article, is an inability to differentiate between hip impingement, labrum pathology, osteoarthritis, and other related diagnoses. That is, some studies have noted hip special tests have high specificity, but