The Effect of Functional Pelvic Tilt on the Three-Dimensional Acetabular Cup Orientation in Total Hip Arthroplasty Dislocations

Thom E. Snijders*, Tom P.C. Schlösser, Nathanael D. Heckmann, Taro Tezuka, Rene M. Castelein, Rob P. Stevenson, Harry Weinans, Arthur de Gast, Lawrence D. Dorr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Anterior and posterior pelvic tilt appears to play a role in total hip arthroplasty (THA) stability. When changing from the standing to the sitting position, the pelvis typically rotates posteriorly while the hips flex and this affects the femoro-acetabular positions. This case-control study compares changes in 3-D acetabular cup orientation during functional pelvic tilt between posterior THA dislocations vs stable THAs. Methods: Standing and sitting 3-D cup orientation was compared between fifteen posterior dislocations vs 233 prospectively followed stable THAs. 3-D cup orientation was calculated using previously validated trigonometric algorithms on biplanar radiographs. Those algorithms combine the angles in the three anatomical planes (coronal inclination, transverse version, and sagittal ante-inclination) in the standing position with the change in sagittal pelvic tilt from standing to sitting to calculate the 3-D orientation in the sitting position. Results: The standing cup orientation of the dislocated THAs was only characterized by a lower coronal inclination (P =.039). Compared with the controls, from standing to sitting, they showed less posterior pelvic tilt (P <.001). This led to a significant lower coronal inclination (P <.001) and sagittal ante-inclination (P <.001) in the sitting position but similar transverse version (P =.366). Conclusions: Comparing posterior THA dislocations to stable THAs, there is a lower increase of all three orientation angles from standing to sitting. This leads to a decreased sitting coronal inclination and sagittal ante-inclination which may lead to an increased risk of impingement ensued by THA instability. By contrast, the transverse version was not significantly different in both positions. This confirms the importance of biplanar data on functional cup orientation. Level of Evidence: Diagnostic, Level III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2184-2188.e1
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • 3-d acetabular cup orientation
  • dislocation
  • pelvic tilt
  • sagittal ante-inclination
  • total hip arthroplasty
  • transverse version


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