Hip Mobility: Femoral Anteversion

Anteversion_BonesBy now you should have a general understanding that having good hip mobility is important for health and to maximize athletic performance.

Loss of hip extension has been shown to accelerate degenerative changes in athletes as young as 17 years old.  A loss of hip internal rotation alters normal hip proprioception and makes it difficult to effectively stabilize the hip.

When you’re screening your athletes’ hip range of motion you may come across some athletes that present with excessive femoral anteversion. 

Femoral anteversion is the angular difference between the axis of the femoral neck and the transcondylar axis of the knee.  In males, it’s typically about 8 degrees of anteversion and in females about 14 degrees.  In the photo, the femur on the left is considered normal, and the femur on the right shows excessive anteversion.  You’ll typically use Craig’s test to determine the degree of femoral anteversion, however, if you aren’t trained to use Craig’s test, you can get a good idea from assessing hip rotation in prone.

Hip internal rotation of 70 degrees would be considered abnormal and may indicated excessive hip anterversion.  You’ll also find a loss of hip external rotation.

Because this is a structural adaptation, the rotation is not something that will change with typical hip rotation mobility exercises and attempting to do so will only result in injury.  If you should have an athlete with excessive hip internal rotation as in the video, developing a stronger core and glutes is essential.

(part 2 coming)

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  • Al Coleman

    Hi Bill,

    I was led to this site via an internet search for “Femoral Anteversion”.

    I can’t find a whole lot of information online about corrective strategies. Do any exist?

    Regards,

    Al

    • http://www.BillHartman.net Bill

      Because it’s structural, “corrective strategies” deal with improving hip and trunk strength to control hip joint and pelvic position

  • Danii

    I have femoral anteversion of 41 degrees in both sides, i have just undergone a femoral derotational osteotomy to correct the right leg and the same operation will be taking place on the left in a few months time, its a tough operation and worth exploring every other option before going for it.

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