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Can spinopelvic mobility be predicted in patients awaiting total hip arthroplasty?

a prospective, diagnostic study of patients with end-stage hip osteoarthritis

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This study of patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip aimed to: 1) characterize the contribution of the hip, spinopelvic complex, and lumbar spine when moving from the standing to the sitting position; 2) assess whether abnormal spinopelvic mobility is associated with worse symptoms; and 3) identify whether spinopelvic mobility can be predicted from static anatomical radiological parameters.

Patients and Methods

A total of 122 patients with end-stage OA of the hip awaiting total hip arthroplasty (THA) were prospectively studied. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs; Oxford Hip Score, Oswestry Disability Index, and Veterans RAND 12-Item Health Survey Score) and clinical data were collected. Sagittal spinopelvic mobility was calculated as the change from the standing to sitting position using the lumbar lordosis angle (LL), sacral slope (SS), pelvic tilt (PT), pelvic-femoral angle (PFA), and acetabular anteinclination (AI) from lateral radiographs. The interaction of the different parameters was assessed. PROMs were compared between patients with normal spinopelvic mobility (10° ≤ ∆PT ≤ 30°) or abnormal spinopelvic mobility (stiff: ∆PT < ± 10°; hypermobile: ∆PT > ± 30°). Multiple regression and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were used to test for possible predictors of spinopelvic mobility.


Standing to sitting, the hip flexed by a mean of 57° (sd 17°), the pelvis tilted backwards by a mean of 20° (sd 12°), and the lumbar spine flexed by a mean of 20° (sd 14°); strong correlations were detected. There was no difference in PROMs between patients in the different spinopelvic mobility groups. Maximum hip flexion, standing PT, and standing AI were independent predictors of spinopelvic mobility (R2 = 0.42). The combined thresholds for standing was PT ≥ 13° and hip flexion ≥ 88° in the clinical examination, and had 90% sensitivity and 63% specificity of predicting spinopelvic stiffness, while SS ≥ 42° had 84% sensitivity and 67% specificity of predicting spinopelvic hypermobility.


The hip, on average, accounts for three-quarters of the standing-to-sitting movement, but there is great variation. Abnormal spinopelvic mobility cannot be screened with PROMs. However, clinical and standing radiological features can predict spinopelvic mobility with good enough accuracy, allowing them to be used as reliable screening tools.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2019;101-B:902–909.

Correspondence should be sent to G. Grammatopoulos; email:

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