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The location of the hip joint centre (HJC) is required for calculations of hip moments, the location and orientation of the femur, and muscle lengths and lever arms. In clinical gait analysis, the HJC is normally estimated using regression equations based on normative data obtained from adult populations. There is limited relevant anthropometric data available for children, despite the fact that clinical gait analysis is predominantly used for the assessment of children with cerebral palsy. In this study, pelvic MRI scans were taken of eight adults (ages 23-40), 14 healthy children (ages 5-13) and 10 children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy (ages 6-13). Relevant anatomical landmarks were located in the scans, and the HJC location in pelvic coordinates was found by fitting a sphere to points identified on the femoral head. The predictions of three common regression equations for HJC location were compared to those found directly from MRI. Maximum absolute errors of 31 mm were found in adults, 26 mm in children, and 31 mm in the cerebral palsy group. Results from regression analysis and leave-one-out cross-validation techniques on the MRI data suggested that the best predictors of HJC location were: pelvic depth for the antero-posterior direction; pelvic width and leg length for the supero-inferior direction; and pelvic depth and pelvic width for the medio-lateral direction. For single-variable regression, the exclusion of leg length and pelvic depth from the latter two regression equations is proposed. Regression equations could be generalised across adults, children and the cerebral palsy group.

Original publication




Journal article


J biomech

Publication Date





595 - 602


Adolescent, Adult, Biomechanical Phenomena, Cerebral Palsy, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Gait, Hip Joint, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male