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Lumbar fusion involving the sacrum increases dislocation risk in primary total hip arthroplasty

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Concurrent hip and spine pathologies can alter the biomechanics of spinopelvic mobility in primary total hip arthroplasty (THA). This study examines how differences in pelvic orientation of patients with spine fusions can increase the risk of dislocation risk after THA.

Patients and Methods

We identified 84 patients (97 THAs) between 1998 and 2015 who had undergone spinal fusion prior to primary THA. Patients were stratified into three groups depending on the length of lumbar fusion and whether or not the sacrum was involved. Mean age was 71 years (40 to 87) and 54 patients (56%) were female. The mean body mass index (BMI) was 30 kg/m2 (19 to 45). Mean follow-up was six years (2 to 17). Patients were 1:2 matched to patients with primary THAs without spine fusion. Hazard ratios (HR) were calculated.


Dislocation in the fusion group was 5.2% at one year versus 1.7% in controls but this did not reach statistical significance (HR 1.9; p = 0.33). Compared with controls, there was no significant difference in rate of dislocation in patients without a sacral fusion. When the sacrum was involved, the rate of dislocation was significantly higher than in controls (HR 4.5; p = 0.03), with a trend to more dislocations in longer lumbosacral fusions. Patient demographics and surgical characteristics of THA (i.e. surgical approach and femoral head diameter) did not significantly impact risk of dislocation (p > 0.05). Significant radiological differences were measured in mean anterior pelvic tilt between the one-level lumbar fusion group (22°), the multiple-level fusion group (27°), and the sacral fusion group (32°; p < 0.01). Ten-year survival was 93% in the fusion group and 95% in controls (HR 1.2; p = 0.8).


Lumbosacral spinal fusions prior to THA increase the risk of dislocation within the first six months. Fusions involving the sacrum with multiple levels of lumbar involvement notably increased the risk of postoperative dislocation compared with a control group and other lumbar fusions. Surgeons should take care with component positioning and may consider higher stability implants in this high-risk cohort.

Correspondence should be sent to M. P. Abdel; email:

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