Which Radiographic Hip Parameters Do Not Have to Be Corrected for Pelvic Rotation and Tilt?

Tannast, Moritz; Fritsch, Stefan; Zheng, Guoyan; Siebenrock, Klaus-Arno; Steppacher, Simon Damian (2015). Which Radiographic Hip Parameters Do Not Have to Be Corrected for Pelvic Rotation and Tilt? Clinical orthopaedics and related research, 473(4), pp. 1255-1266. Springer 10.1007/s11999-014-3936-8

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Acetabular anatomy on AP pelvic radiographsdepends on pelvic orientation during radiograph acquisition. However, not all parameters may change to a clinically relevant degree with differences in pelvic orientation. This issue may influence the diagnosis of acetabular pathologies and planning of corrective acetabular surgery (reorientation or rim trimming). However, to this point, it has not been well characterized.


We asked (1) which radiographic parameters change in a clinical setting when normalized to neutral pelvic orientation; (2) which parameters do not change in an experimental setting when the pelvis is experimentally rotated/tilted; and (3) which of these changes are ‘‘ultimately’’ relevant based on a prespecified definition of relevance.


In a clinical setup, 11 hip parameters were evaluated in 101 patients (126 hips) by two observers and the interobserver difference was calculated. All parameters
were normalized to an anatomically defined neutral pelvic orientation with the help of a lateral pelvic radiograph and specific software. Differences between nonnormalized and normalized values were calculated (effect of normalization).
In an experimental setup involving 20 cadaver pelves (40 hips), the maximum range for each parameter was computed with the pelvis rotated (range, −12° to 12°) and
tilted (range, −24° to 24°). ‘‘Ultimately’’ relevant changes existed if the effect of normalization exceeded the interobserver difference (eg, 37% versus 6% for prevalence of a positive crossover sign) and/or the maximum experimental
range exceeded 1 SD of interobserver difference (eg, 27% versus 6% for anterior acetabular coverage).


In the clinical setup, all parameters except the ACM angle and craniocaudal acetabular coverage changed when being normalized, eg, effect of normalization for
lateral center-edge angle, acetabular index, and sharp angle ranged from −5° to 4° (p values < 0.029). In the experimental setup, five parameters showed no major changes, whereas six parameters did change (all p values < 0.001). Ultimately relevant changes were found for anteroposterior acetabular coverage, retroversion index, and prevalence of a positive crossover or posterior wall sign.


Lateral center-edge angle, ACM angle, Sharp angle, acetabular and extrusion index, and craniocaudal acetabular coverage showed no relevant changes
with varying pelvic orientation and can therefore be acquired independent from individual pelvic tilt and rotation in clinical practice. In contrast, anteroposterior
acetabular coverage, crossover and posterior wall sign, and retroversion index call for specific efforts that address individual pelvic orientation such as computer-assisted
evaluation of radiographs.

Level of Evidence

Level III, diagnostic study. See the
Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels
of evidence.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Orthopaedic Surgery
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Tannast, Moritz; Fritsch, Stefan; Siebenrock, Klaus-Arno and Steppacher, Simon Damian


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 620 Engineering








Guoyan Zheng

Date Deposited:

05 May 2015 13:53

Last Modified:

23 Mar 2016 09:12

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:






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