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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1988 Jan;70(1):52-5.

Intra-articular fluid pressure and pain in osteoarthritis of the hip.

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  • 1St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, England.


We investigated the relationship between the pain experienced by 50 patients with osteoarthritis of the hip and the resting intra-articular pressure of the synovial fluid. We found a significant linear correlation between these factors, greater pain being experienced by patients with higher pressures. In 20 cases we showed that the pressure rises in extension and medial rotation and is least in flexion and mid-abduction. These results help to explain the benefits of rotation osteotomy of the hip and of psoas release. They also help explain the natural resting position of the hip in patients with an acute effusion and the fixed deformities associated with late osteoarthritis of the hip.

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