Variability of ischiofemoral space dimensions with changes in hip flexion: an MRI study

Adam C. Johnson, John H. Hollman, Benjamin M. Howe, Jonathan T. Finnoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The primary aim of this study was to determine if ischiofemoral space (IFS) dimensions vary with changes in hip flexion as a result of placing a bolster behind the knees during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A secondary aim was to determine if IFS dimensions vary between supine and prone hip neutral positions. Design: The study employed a prospective design. Setting: Sports medicine center within a tertiary care institution. Participants: Five male and five female adult subjects (age mean = 29.2, range = 23–35; body mass index [BMI] mean = 23.5, range = 19.5–26.6) were recruited to participate in the study. Methods: An axial, T1-weighted MRI sequence of the pelvis was obtained of each subject in a supine position with their hips in neutral and flexed positions, and in a prone position with their hips in neutral position. Supine hip flexion was induced by placing a standard, 9-cm-diameter MRI knee bolster under the subject’s knees. The order of image acquisition (supine hip neutral, supine hip flexed, prone hip neutral) was randomized. The IFS dimensions were then measured on a separate workstation. The investigator performing the IFS measurements was blinded to the subject position for each image. Main outcome measurements: The main outcome measurements were the IFS dimensions acquired with MRI. Results: The mean IFS dimensions in the prone position were 28.25 mm (SD 5.91 mm, standard error mean 1.32 mm). In the supine hip neutral position, the IFS dimensions were 25.1 (SD 5.6) mm. The mean difference between the two positions of 3.15 (3.6) mm was statistically significant (95 % CI of the difference = 1.4 to 4.8 mm, t19 = 3.911, p =.001). The mean IFS dimensions in the hip flexed position were 36.9 (SD 5.7) mm. The mean difference between the two supine positions of 11.8 (4.1) mm was statistically significant (95 % CI of the difference = 9.9 to 13.7 mm, t19 = 12.716, p <.001). Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that the IFS measurements obtained with MRI are dependent upon patient positioning with respect to hip flexion and supine versus prone positions. This finding has implications when evaluating for ischiofemoral impingement, an entity resulting in hip and/or buttock pain secondary to impingement of the quadratus femoris muscle within a pathologically narrowed IFS. One will need to account for patient hip flexion and supine versus prone positioning when evaluating individuals with suspected ischiofemoral impingement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-64
Number of pages6
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Buttock pain
  • Hip pain
  • Ischiofemoral impingement
  • Ischiofemoral space
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

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