Computed tomography provides a non-invasive method for studying anatomy in live subjects. The abductor muscles of the hip were studied by using computed tomography to describe their position, size, and orientation. The outlines of the muscles were clearly identifiable; patterns that are associated with trauma, arthritis, and so on, differed from normal. The patterns in eighteen normal hips in twelve adults were mapped in detail. The cross-sectional areas of the abductor muscles were measured and vectors representing the total pull of the abductor muscle in the frontal and sagittal planes were constructed for each hip. The variations in individual and composite muscular anatomy were recorded. The inclination of the axis of the abductor muscle ranged from 17 to 26 degrees (standard deviation, 2.9 degrees) in the frontal plane and from -2 to 14 degrees (standard deviation, 4.2 degrees) in the sagittal plane.
Department of Orthopaedics, University of Washington Hospitals and Clinics, Seattle 98195.