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'Hand on Hip' sign: a novel screening test and diagnostic tool in piriformis syndrome

Sadiq M, Hussain SA, Meganath P

Journal of Orthopaedics, Trauma and Rehabilitation 2020 Oct 7:Epub ahead of print

primary study

INTRODUCTION: Currently there is no gold standard clinical test or investigation available to diagnose piriformis syndrome. We have found a pose used by the patients to describe the pain in the gluteal region in cases of suspected piriformis syndrome. This pose in our study has been described as 'hand on hip sign' (HHS). In this study, we aim to assess the significance of this sign in screening of patients with piriformis syndrome. MATERIAL(S) AND METHOD(S): Seventy patients presenting with pain in the gluteal region with radiculopathy between the age group of 18 years and 60 years were included. All patients were asked to locate the site of the pain in the gluteal region. The demonstration of pain by the patients was noted. If the description matched the description of HHS, it was considered to be positive, else it was considered negative. All patients were subjected to four piriformis-specific confirmatory clinical tests. Considering that there is no single confirmatory test, any patient in whom any two piriformis-specific signs were elicited was considered as a case of piriformis syndrome. Using the data, sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative likelihood ratio of the HHS in the diagnosis of piriformis syndrome were calculated. Inter-test comparison was also made using Cohen's kappa statistic. RESULT(S): HHS was found to have a sensitivity of 86% and a specificity of 75%. It also has a high positive predictive value of 94% and a positive likelihood ratio of 3.44. Inter-test reliability comparison showed that there was a fair to moderate agreement between HHS and other confirmatory piriformis-specific tests. CONCLUSION(S): HHS serves as an effective screening test in the identification of piriformis syndrome.

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