Harris Hip Score
The text below the calculator introduces information about the score and its result interpretation.
The Harris hip score is used in the post-surgery evaluation of hip function and mobility, pain and other symptoms that might prevent the patient from performing daily activities.
It can also be used in the assessment of daily activity restrictions of patients suffering from osteoarthritis.
The answers in the Harris hip score are awarded each a number of points.
The score ranges from 0 to 100, where, the higher the score, the better the patient outcome.
Lower scores, indicate a higher level of dysfunction due to hip problems.
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Harris hip score explained
This hip scoring method was developed by Harris in 1969 as a mean of evaluating patient outcome after total hip arthroplasty.
In time, clinical scope of the score has increased and now it is used for hip replacement, assessment of femoral neck fractures and hip osteoarthritis.
The table below lists the items in the hip score and their accompanying answer choices.
|Harris Score Item||Answer Choices (points)|
|Pain||None or ignores it (44)
Slight, occasional, no compromise in activities (40)
Mild pain, no effect on average activities, rarely moderate pain with unusual activity; may take aspirin (30)
Moderate Pain, tolerable but makes concession to pain. Some limitation of ordinary activity or work. May require occasional pain medication stronger than aspirin (20)
Marked pain, serious limitation of activities (10)
Totally disabled, crippled, pain in bed, bedridden (0)
Cane for long walks (7)
Cane most of time (5)
One crutch (3)
Two canes (2)
Two crutches or not able to walk (0)
|Distance walked||Unlimited (11)
Six blocks (8)
Two or three blocks (5)
Indoors only (2)
Bed and chair only (0)
|Sitting||Comfortably in ordinary chair for one hour (5)
On a high chair for 30 minutes (3)
Unable to sit comfortably in any chair (0)
|Enter public transportation||Yes (1)
|Stairs||Normally without using a railing (4)
Normally using a railing (2)
In any manner (1)
Unable to do stairs (0)
|Put on shoes and socks||With ease (4)
With difficulty (2)
|Absence of deformity||If all four answers present, 4 points. If none of less than four answers present, 0 points.
Less than 30 degrees fixed flexion contracture
Less than 10 degrees fixed abduction
Less than 10 degrees fixed internal rotation in extension
Limb length discrepancy less than 3.2cm
|Range of motion scale||211 – 300 degrees (5)
161 – 210 degrees (4)
101 – 160 degrees (3)
61 – 100 degrees (2)
31 – 60 degrees (1)
0 – 30 degrees (0)
The pain item measures pain severity and usage of pain medication. The Limp, Support, Distance walked items evaluate whether gait symptoms are present.
The degree of impairment in daily activities is assessed through items:
■ Public transportation;
■ Putting on shoes and socks.
For the range of motion scale, the normal values are:
■ Flexion: 140 degrees;
■ Abduction: 40 degrees;
■ Adduction: 40 degrees;
■ External rotation: 40 degrees;
■ Internal rotation: 40 degrees.
Compared to the test of walking speed, pain and the function subscales in the SF-36 for patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the hip, the Harris hip score is deemed more responsive.
There are other similar assessment scores that focus on articulation mobility and dysfunction in performing daily activities, like the Knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome score (KOOS).
The ten items in the Harris hip score consist of answer choices, awarded a number of points. There are four domains evaluated, as follows:
■ Pain – 1 item which scores between 0 and 44;
■ Function – 7 items, scores are between 0 and 47;
■ Deformity – 1 item which scores either 0 or 4;
■ Range of motion – 1 item which scores between 0 and 5.
The overall score varies between 0 and 100, where scores closer to 0 are suggestive of impaired hip function and scores closer to 100 indicate positive outcome.
There are four categories of hip function status:
■ <70: poor hip status;
■ 70 – 79: fair hip status;
■ 80 – 89: good hip status;
■ 90 – 100: excellent hip status.
For post hip surgery patients, any increase of more than 20 points in the score, when correlated with radiographic evidence of the implant stability, means that there is no need to consider additional femoral reconstruction.
Clinically, the score has shown consistency, inter and intra observer reliability in the outcome assessment of hip replacement surgery patients. It is fast to administer (takes around 5 minutes to complete) and is easy to score.
Given that it is assessor reported, it avoids part of the subjectivism, incompleteness or delayed response rate of patient-reported tools.
It can also be used in monitoring progress during physical therapy.
After its creation, the Harris hip score has been subject to different studies and some have found that the score is susceptible to ceiling effects.
This means that in some cases, the highest scores are not able to properly assess a patient’s level of ability.
As a clinician-based tool, the score is subject to observer bias or marginalization of a patient’s perception of symptoms.
Some critics also mention the fact that the score has yet to be properly validated.
Harris WH. Traumatic arthritis of the hip after dislocation and acetabular fractures: treatment by mold arthroplasty. An end-result study using a new method of result evaluation. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1969; 51(4):737-55.
1. Nilsdotter, A., & Bremander, A. Measures of hip function and symptoms: Harris hip score (HHS), hip disability and osteoarthritis outcome score (HOOS), Oxford hip score (OHS), Lequesne index of severity for osteoarthritis of the hip (LISOH), and American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) hip and knee questionnaire. Arthritis care & research. 2011; 63(S11), S200-S207.
2. Söderman P, Malchau H. Is the Harris hip score system useful to study the outcome of total hip replacement? Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2001; (384):189-97.
No. Of Items: 10
Year Of Study: 1969
Published On: April 11, 2017 · 01:10 PM
Last Checked: April 11, 2017
Next Review: April 11, 2023