Acetabular Edge Loading During Gait Is Elevated by the Anatomical Deformities of Hip Dysplasia

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Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a known risk factor for articular tissue damage and secondary hip osteoarthritis. Acetabular labral tears are prevalent in hips with DDH and may result from excessive loading at the edge of the shallow acetabulum. Location-specific risks for labral tears may also depend on neuromuscular factors such as movement patterns and muscle-induced hip joint reaction forces (JRFs). To evaluate such mechanically-induced risks, we used subject-specific musculoskeletal models to compare acetabular edge loading (AEL) during gait between individuals with DDH (N = 15) and healthy controls (N = 15), and determined the associations between AEL and radiographic measures of DDH acetabular anatomy. The three-dimensional pelvis and femur anatomy of each DDH and control subject were reconstructed from magnetic resonance images and used to personalize hip joint center locations and muscle paths in each model. Model-estimated hip JRFs were projected onto the three-dimensional acetabular rim to predict instantaneous AEL forces and their accumulative impulses throughout a gait cycle. Compared to controls, subjects with DDH demonstrated significantly higher AEL in the antero-superior acetabulum during early stance (3.6 vs. 2.8 × BW, p ≤ 0.01), late stance (4.3 vs. 3.3 × BW, p ≤ 0.05), and throughout the gait cycle (1.8 vs. 1.4 × BW*s, p ≤ 0.02), despite having similar hip movement patterns. Elevated AEL primarily occurred in regions where the shallow acetabular edge was in close proximity to the hip JRF direction, and was strongly correlated with the radiographic severity of acetabular deformities. The results suggest AEL is highly dependent on movement and muscle-induced joint loading, and significantly elevated by the DDH acetabular deformities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number687419
JournalFrontiers in Sports and Active Living
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • acetabular edge loading
  • biomechanics
  • gait
  • hip dysplasia
  • labral tears
  • musculoskeletal modeling
  • subject-specific


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