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Human hip impingement morphology


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We examined the morphology of mammalian hips asking whether evolution can explain the morphology of impingement in human hips. We describe two stereotypical mammalian hips, coxa recta and coxa rotunda. Coxa recta is characterised by a straight or aspherical section on the femoral head or head-neck junction. It is a sturdy hip seen mostly in runners and jumpers. Coxa rotunda has a round femoral head with ample head-neck offset, and is seen mostly in climbers and swimmers.

Hominid evolution offers an explanation for the variants in hip morphology associated with impingement. The evolutionary conflict between upright gait and the birth of a large-brained fetus is expressed in the female pelvis and hip, and can explain pincer impingement in a coxa profunda. In the male hip, evolution can explain cam impingement in coxa recta as an adaptation for running.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr T. Hogervorst; e-mail: thogervorst@gmail.com

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