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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1993 Sep;75(5):705-9.

A statistical analysis of hip scores.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast, UK.


Thirteen methods of hip scoring were applied in the postoperative assessment of 47 hip arthroplasties. Their results were found to be inconsistent, often giving contrary measures of success in the same patient. Ten variables were measured during the postoperative review of 256 hip arthroplasties and the data were submitted to multivariate factor analysis. This revealed that the ten variables could be reduced to three factors: pain, which correlated poorly with any other variable (Spearman correlation, r < 0.02); functional activity (distance walked, use of walking aids, stair climbing, use of public transport, limp, sitting and tying shoelaces); and deformity and range of movement. The range of hip flexion correlated closely with the sum of the arcs of movement and with Gade's index (Spearman correlation, r > 0.9). We suggest that, for outcome assessment, only three variables need to be recorded: pain, walking distance and range of hip flexion. The combination of these three measures into a single hip score is misleading.

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