Validation of a functional method for the estimation of hip joint centre location

Alberto Leardini, Aurelio Cappozzo, Fabio Catani, Soren Toksvig-Larsen, Aldo Petitto, Vincenzo Sforza, Giancarlo Cassanelli, Sandro Giannini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The present study assesses the accuracy with which the subject specific coordinates of the hip joint centre (HJC) in a pelvic anatomical frame can be estimated using different methods. The functional method was applied by calculating the centre of the best sphere described by the trajectory of markers placed on the thigh during several trials of hip rotations. Different prediction methods, proposed in the literature and in the present investigation, which estimate the HJC of adult subjects using regression equations and anthropometric measurements, were also assessed. The accuracy of each of the above-mentioned methods was investigated by comparing their predictions with measurements obtained on a sample of 11 male adult able- bodied volunteers using roentgen stereophotogrammetric analysis (RSA), assumed to provide the true HJC locations. Prediction methods estimated the HJC location at an average rms distance of 25-30 mm. The functional method performed significantly better and estimated HJCs within arms distance of 13 mm on average. This result may be confidently generalised if the photogrammetric experiment is carefully conducted and an optimal analytical approach used. The method is therefore suggested for use in motion analysis when the subject's hip range of motion is not limited. In addition, the facts that it is not an invasive technique and that it has relatively small and un- biased errors, make it suitable for regression equations identification with no limit to sample size and population typology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-103
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999



  • Functional methods
  • Gait analysis
  • Hip joint centre
  • Roentgen stereophotogrammetry
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this

Leardini, A., Cappozzo, A., Catani, F., Toksvig-Larsen, S., Petitto, A., Sforza, V., Cassanelli, G., & Giannini, S. (1999). Validation of a functional method for the estimation of hip joint centre location. Journal of Biomechanics, 32(1), 99-103.