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Pelvic incidence and pelvic tilt can be calculated using either the femoral heads or acetabular domes in patients with hip osteoarthritis

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The aim of the study was to compare two methods of calculating pelvic incidence (PI) and pelvic tilt (PT), either by using the femoral heads or acetabular domes to determine the bicoxofemoral axis, in patients with unilateral or bilateral primary hip osteoarthritis (OA).


PI and PT were measured on standing lateral radiographs of the spine in two groups: 50 patients with unilateral (Group I) and 50 patients with bilateral hip OA (Group II), using the femoral heads or acetabular domes to define the bicoxofemoral axis. Agreement between the methods was determined by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and the standard error of measurement (SEm). The intraobserver reproducibility and interobserver reliability of the two methods were analyzed on 31 radiographs in both groups to calculate ICC and SEm.


In both groups, excellent agreement between the two methods was obtained, with ICC of 0.99 and SEm 0.3° for Group I, and ICC 0.99 and SEm 0.4° for Group II. The intraobserver reproducibility was excellent for both methods in both groups, with an ICC of at least 0.97 and SEm not exceeding 0.8°. The study also revealed excellent interobserver reliability for both methods in both groups, with ICC 0.99 and SEm 0.5° or less.


Either the femoral heads or acetabular domes can be used to define the bicoxofemoral axis on the lateral standing radiographs of the spine for measuring PI and PT in patients with idiopathic unilateral or bilateral hip OA.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(8):1345–1350.

Correspondence should be sent to Maria Czubak-Wrzosek. E-mail:

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