Change in functional biomechanics following a targeted exercise intervention in patients with acetabular retroversion and femoroacetabular impingement syndrome

Josefine Naili, Anders Falk Brekke, Morten Bilde Simonsen, Rogerio Pessoto Hirata, Soren Overgaard, Anders Holsgaard-Larsen

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Background: Acetabular retroversion is a form of hip dysplasia that may cause femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAIS), leading to pain and restricted hip range of motion. An exercise intervention aiming at altering pelvis tilt and related functional biomechanics may be a useful first-line intervention for patients who are not eligible for surgical repositioning. Research question: Does squat and gait biomechanics change following an 8-week targeted exercise program in individuals with symptomatic acetabular retroversion and FAIS? Methods: This prospective intervention study used participants as their own controls. Examinations were conducted at three time-points: T1 baseline; T2 following an 8-week control period; T3 after 8 weeks’ intervention. At each time-point, three-dimensional motion analysis of a deep squat and level gait was performed, and pain intensity was recorded using a numerical rating scale (NRS 0–10). The intervention consisted of a home-exercise program to improve core stability and pelvic movement. Differences in waveforms between time-points across pelvis and lower-limb biomechanics were evaluated using statistical parametric mapping. Delta (Δ, differences between T1-T2 and T2-T3) was used to evaluate changes in spatiotemporal gait parameters and pain. Results: Nineteen patients (18 females), mean age 22.6 (SD 4.5) years, BMI (kg/m2) 23.0 (SD 4.1), were included. Changes (Δ T1-T2 vs. Δ T2-T3) in squat biomechanics were observed as: (i) decreased anterior pelvic tilt, (ii) deeper vertical pelvis position, and (iii) increased knee flexion angle. Contrary, no significant changes in gait biomechanics, Δ walking speed, Δ step length, or NRS for pain were found. Significance: Following a targeted exercise intervention, participants were able to squat deeper, potentially allowing better hip function. The deepened squat position was accompanied by increased knee flexion and reduced anterior pelvic tilt. Gait biomechanics and patient-reported pain remained unchanged post-intervention. These findings are important for future design of exercise interventions targeting pelvic tilt in symptomatic individuals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGait & Posture
Pages (from-to)96-102
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • 3D Motion analysis
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement
  • Gait
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Non-surgical intervention
  • Squat


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