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British Orthopaedic Research Society (BORS)


In pre-operative planning for total hip arthroplasty (THA), femoral offset (FO) is frequently underestimated on AP pelvis radiographs as a result of inaccurate patient positioning, imprecise magnification, and radiographic beam divergence. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the reliability and accuracy of predicting three-dimensional (3-D) FO as measured on computed tomography (CT) from measurements performed on standardised AP pelvis radiographs.

In a retrospective cohort study, pre-operative AP pelvis radiographs and corresponding CT scans of a consecutive series of 345 patients (345 hips, 146 males, 199 females, mean age 60 (range: 40-79) years, mean body-mass-index 27 (range: 29-57) kg/m2) with primary end-stage hip osteoarthritis were reviewed. Patients were positioned according to a standardised protocol and all images were calibrated. Using validated custom programmes, FO was measured on corresponding AP pelvis radiographs and CT scans. Inter- and intra-observer reliability of the measurement methods were evaluated using intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC). To predict 3-D FO from AP pelvis measurements, the entire cohort was randomly split in two groups and gender specific linear regression equations were derived from a subgroup of 250 patients (group A). The accuracy of the derived prediction equations was subsequently assessed in a second subgroup of 100 patients (group B).

In the entire cohort, mean FO was 39.2mm (95%CI: 38.5-40.0mm) on AP pelvis radiographs and 44.6mm (95%CI: 44.0-45.2mm) on CT scans. FO was underestimated by 14% on AP pelvis radiographs compared to CT (5.4mm, 95%CI: 4.8-6.0mm, p<0.001) and both parameters demonstrated a linear correlation (r=0.642, p<0.001). In group B, we observed no significant difference between gender specific predicted FO (males: 48.0mm, 95%CI: 47.1-48.8mm; females: 42.0mm, 95%CI: 41.1-42.8mm) and FO as measured on CT (males: 47.7mm, 95%CI: 46.1-49.4mm, p=0.689; females: 41.6mm, 95%CI: 40.3-43.0mm, p=0.607).

The results of the present study suggest that femoral offset can be accurately and reliably predicted from AP pelvis radiographs in patients with primary end-stage hip osteoarthritis. Our findings support the surgeon in pre-operative templating and may improve offset and limb length restoration in THA without the routine performance of CT.