Ischiofemoral impingement syndrome: a meta-analysis

Adam D. Singer, Ty K. Subhawong, Jean Jose, Jonathan Tresley, Paul D. Clifford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Objective: The aims of this article are to review the imaging characteristics of ischiofemoral impingement (IFI), summarize measurement thresholds for radiologic diagnosis based on a meta-analysis of the literature and raise awareness among radiologists and clinicians of this entity. Materials and methods: A PubMed search restricted to the English language containing the keywords “ischiofemoral impingement” and “quadratus femoris MRI” was performed, and citations in these articles were also used to identify a total of 27 studies discussing ischiofemoral impingement. After excluding case reports and non-representative studies, there were five remaining articles including 193 hip MRIs of IFI in 154 subjects (133 female, 21 male) and 135 asymptomatic control hip MRIs from 74 subjects (55 female, 19 male). Additionally, we performed a retrospective database search of pelvic and hip MRI reports from our institution including the terms “quadratus femoris” or “ischiofemoral impingement” from a 9-year period and 24 hip MRIs from 21 patients (18 female, 3 male) with IFI with 5 asymptomatic contralateral control hip MRIs identified. In all, 217 hip MRIs of IFI and 140 control cases were included. A meta-analysis of these hip MRIs was conducted to determine optimal thresholds of the ischiofemoral space (IFS) and quadratus femoris space (QFS) for identifying IFI. Results: Cases of IFI showed significantly smaller IFS and QFS compared to controls (14.91 ± 4.8 versus 26.01 ± 7.98 and 9.57 ± 3.7 versus 15.97 ± 6.07, measured in mm, respectively, p < 0.0001 for both). Pooled analysis revealed that for IFS, using a cutoff of ≤15 mm yielded a sensitivity of 76.9 %, specificity of 81.0 % and overall accuracy of 78.3 %. For QFS, a cutoff of ≤ 10.0 mm resulted in 78.7 % sensitivity, 74.1 % specificity and 77.1 % overall accuracy. Conclusion: IFI is a potential cause of hip pain that can be accurately diagnosed with MRI in conjunction with clinical findings. Using the proposed measurement thresholds may better identify patients with this impingement syndrome so that optimal treatment options can be pursued.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-837
Number of pages7
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Hip pain
  • IFS
  • Ischiofemoral impingement
  • MRI
  • QFS
  • Quadratus femoris

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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