N. Anderson, S. Janus, & K. Lehner,
Bethel University, St. Paul, MN

Purpose: Gluteus medius weakness may result in a number of musculoskeletal conditions such as patellofemoral syndrome and other lower extremity injuries. The Trendelenburg test and digital dynamometers are current methods used to measure gluteus medius strength. Greater lateral hip displacement may indicate hip instability, which increases susceptibility to pathologies. The purpose of this study was to determine if a correlation exists between gluteus medius strength and lateral hip displacement. Methods: Thirty-nine Bethel University students (mean age 20.53±1.92 SD) were recruited to participate. Gluteus medius strength was assessed using a lateral displacement tool. Subjects moved from a bilateral stance to a unilateral stance; displacement of the umbilicus was recorded (mm). Gluteus medius strength was assessed using a handheld digital dynamometer (MicroFET 2, USA). Participants were placed in a side-lying position with an adjustable strap placed above their lateral malleolus. This ensured that subjects did not exceed 15 degrees of abduction. Subjects abducted their test leg with maximal force for 5 seconds. Three measurements on each leg were conducted to determine peak displacement (mm) and peak force (N). Results: A Pearson R-correlation was conducted using SPSS vs21. Analysis showed no significant correlation (R-values for right: -0.146; for left: -0.130) between gluteus medius strength (Right: 27.43±7.81N, Left: 26.15±7.99N) and lateral displacement (Right: -104.72±15.29mm, Left: -102.97±17.25mm). Conclusion: The data indicated that there was no significant correlation between gluteus medius strength. The lack of correlation reveals that the gluteus medius is not the only muscle influencing lateral displacement. Stability of the hip is influenced by a complex muscle group. Therapeutic intervention has focused on strengthening the gluteus medius as a way to improve hip strength and stability. However, these results indicate that additional muscles such as the tensor fasciae latae and gluteus minimus must be strengthened in order to increase stability of the hip joint and reduce the prevalence of hip pathologies.

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