Hip Orthopaedic Test: McCarthy Test

orthopaedic tests May 31, 2023

The McCarthy test is a physical examination technique used to assess for hip joint pathology, such as labral tears or femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). Here are the steps to perform the McCarthy test:

1. Have the patient lie down on their back on the examination table with their legs straight.
2. Flex the patient's affected hip to 90 degrees and internally rotate the hip.
3. Apply a downward force on the patient's knee, pushing it towards the examination table.
4. Ask the patient to externally rotate their hip, rotating the foot and lower leg away from the midline of the body.
5. Observe the patient's face for any signs of pain or discomfort, and note any limitations in range of motion or joint mobility.

If the patient experiences pain or discomfort in the hip joint during the test, this may indicate hip joint pathology such as labral tears or FAI. However, it is important to note that the McCarthy test should be used in conjunction with other examination techniques and diagnostic tests to accurately diagnose hip injuries.



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  2. Magee, D. J. (2014). Orthopedic physical assessment (6th ed.). Elsevier.
  3. Maitland, G. D., Hengeveld, E., Banks, K., & English, K. (2001). Maitland's vertebral manipulation (6th ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann.
  4. Neumann, D. A. (2010). Kinesiology of the musculoskeletal system: Foundations for physical rehabilitation (2nd ed.). Elsevier.
  5. Martin, R. L., Enseki, K. R., Draovitch, P., Trapuzzano, T., & Philippon, M. J. (2008). Acetabular labral tears of the hip: examination and diagnostic challenges. Journal of orthopaedic & sports physical therapy, 38(9), 558-565.
  6. McCarthy, J. C., Noble, P. C., Schuck, M. R., Wright, J., & Lee, J. (2007). The Otto E. Aufranc Award: The role of labral lesions to development of early degenerative hip disease. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®, 465, 14-22.

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