Dysplastic hip anatomy alters muscle moment arm lengths, lines of action, and contributions to joint reaction forces during gait

Ke Song, Brecca M.M. Gaffney, Kevin B. Shelburne, Cecilia Pascual-Garrido, John C. Clohisy, Michael D. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is characterized by abnormal bony anatomy, which causes detrimental hip joint loading and leads to secondary osteoarthritis. Hip joint loading depends, in part, on muscle-induced joint reaction forces (JRFs), and therefore, is influenced by hip muscle moment arm lengths (MALs) and lines of action (LoAs). The current study used subject-specific musculoskeletal models and in-vivo motion analysis to quantify the effects of DDH bony anatomy on dynamic muscle MALs, LoAs, and their contributions to JRF peaks during early (~17%) and late-stance (~52%) of gait. Compared to healthy hips (N = 15, 16–39 y/o), the abductor muscles in patients with untreated DDH (N = 15, 16–39 y/o) had smaller abduction MALs (e.g. anterior gluteus medius, 35.3 vs. 41.6 mm in early stance, 45.4 vs. 52.6 mm late stance, p ≤ 0.01) and more medially-directed LoAs. Abduction-adduction and rotation MALs also differed for major hip flexors such as rectus femoris and iliacus. The altered MALs in DDH corresponded to higher hip abductor forces, medial JRFs (1.26 vs. 0.87 × BW early stance, p = 0.03), and resultant JRFs (5.71 vs. 4.97 × BW late stance, p = 0.05). DDH anatomy not only affected hip muscle force generation in the primary plane of function, but also their out-of-plane mechanics, which collectively elevated JRFs. Overall, hip muscle MALs and their contributions to JRFs were significantly altered by DDH bony anatomy. Therefore, to better understand the mechanisms of joint degeneration and improve the efficacy of treatments for DDH, the dynamic anatomy-force relationships and multi-planar functions of the whole hip musculature must be collectively considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109968
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
StatePublished - Sep 18 2020


  • Developmental dysplasia of the hip
  • Joint reaction force
  • Line of action
  • Muscle moment arm
  • Musculoskeletal modeling


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