The Melbourne Hip OA Trial

Principal Investigators

  • Professor Kim Bennell (University of Melbourne)


  • Dr J. Haxby Abbott(Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgical Sciences)
  • Prof Rachelle Buchbinder (Monash University)
  • Tim Wrigley (University of Melbourne)
  • Prof Andrew Forbes (University of Melbourne)
  • Dr Kevin Sims (Cricket Australia)
  • Prof Anthony Harris (Monash University)
  • Dr Yong Hau Pua (Singapore General Hospital)

Hip osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition leading to pain, disability and reduced quality of life. There is currently limited evidence to support the use of conservative, non-pharmacological treatments for hip OA. Exercise and manual therapy have both shown promise and are typically used together by physiotherapists to manage painful hip OA. The aim of this randomised controlled trial is to compare the efficacy of a physiotherapy treatment program with placebo treatment in reducing pain and improving physical function.

The trial will be conducted at the University of Melbourne Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine. Treatment will be provided by eight community physiotherapists in the Melbourne metropolitan region. The active physiotherapy treatment will comprise a semi-structured program of manual therapy and exercise plus education and advice. The placebo treatment will consist of sham ultrasound and the application of non-therapeutic gel.


This research is funded by the Australian Government Health and Medical Research Council. NHMRC App ID: 628556, and conducted during tenure of Dr Abbott’s Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellowship of the Health Research Council of New Zealand.