Can Abnormal Spinopelvic Relationships be Identified by Anteroposterior Pelvic Radiographs?

Christopher N. Carender, Bennett W. Feuchtenberger, David E. DeMik, Qiang An, Timothy S. Brown, Nicholas A. Bedard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Abnormal spinopelvic relationships may place patients at an increased risk for instability after primary total hip arthroplasty. The purpose of this study was to determine if radiographic markers on a standing anteroposterior (AP) pelvis radiograph could identify patients with sagittal spinopelvic imbalance or spinal stiffness. Methods: Patients undergoing primary total hip arthroplasty at a single institution from 2017 to 2020 with standing AP pelvis radiographs and sitting/standing lateral radiographs were identified. AP pelvis radiographs were assessed for the following: lumbosacral hardware, spine osteophytes, disc space narrowing, scoliosis>5°, pelvic obliquity>5°, and overlap of the sacrococcygeal junction/pubic symphysis. Patients with spinopelvic imbalance and/or spinopelvic stiffness were identified. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated. Results: Four hundred eighty-six patients were included. Prevalence of isolated sagittal spinopelvic imbalance and isolated spinopelvic stiffness was 12% and 21%, respectively; 11% of patients had sagittal imbalance and stiffness. Overlap of the sacrococcygeal junction/pubic symphysis (OR = 10.2, 95% CI = 5.3-19.8) and presence of lumbosacral hardware (OR = 4.4, 95% CI = 2.0-9.4) were markers of an increased risk of combined sagittal imbalance and stiffness. Seventy-nine percent of patients with overlap of the sacrococcygeal junction and pubic symphysis and 82% of patients with lumbosacral hardware had an abnormal spinopelvic relationship. Conclusion: Isolated sagittal imbalance and stiffness were difficult to predict on standing AP pelvis radiographs. Overlap of the sacrococcygeal junction/pubic symphysis and presence of lumbosacral hardware associated with a higher risk of combined sagittal imbalance/stiffness and were present in ≥79% of patients with an abnormal spinopelvic relationship. Level of evidence: IV; retrospective cohort study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-512
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • fusion
  • hip
  • instability
  • spine
  • spinopelvic
  • Radiography
  • Spine/diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Pelvis/diagnostic imaging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip/adverse effects
  • Sitting Position

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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