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Pelvic tilt from supine to standing in patients with symptomatic acetabular retroversion of the hip

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Acetabular retroversion is a recognized cause of hip impingement and can be influenced by pelvic tilt (PT), which changes in different functional positions. Positional changes in PT have not previously been studied in patients with acetabular retroversion.


Supine and standing anteroposterior (AP) pelvic radiographs were retrospectively analyzed in 69 patients treated for symptomatic acetabular retroversion. Measurements were made for acetabular index (AI), lateral centre-edge angle (LCEA), crossover index, ischial spine sign, and posterior wall sign. The change in the angle of PT was measured both by the sacro-femoral-pubic (SFP) angle and the pubic symphysis to sacroiliac (PS-SI) index.


In the supine position, the mean PT (by SFP) was 1.05° (SD 3.77°), which changed on standing to a PT of 8.64° (SD 5.34°). A significant increase in posterior PT from supine to standing of 7.59° (SD 4.5°; SFP angle) and 5.89° (SD 3.33°; PS-SI index) was calculated (p < 0.001). There was a good correlation in PT change between measurements using SFP angle and PS-SI index (0.901 in the preoperative group and 0.815 in the postoperative group). Signs of retroversion were significantly reduced in standing radiographs compared to supine: crossover index (0.16 (SD 0.16) vs 0.38 (SD 0.15); p < 0.001), crossover sign (19/28 hips vs 28/28 hips; p < 0.001), ischial spine sign (10/28 hips vs 26/28 hips; p < 0.001), and posterior wall sign (12/28 hips vs 24/28 hips; p < 0.001).


Posterior PT increased from supine to standing in patients with symptomatic acetabular retroversion. The features of acetabular retroversion were less evident on standing radiographs. The low PT angle in the supine position is a factor in the increased appearance of acetabular retroversion. Patients presenting with symptoms of hip impingement should be assessed by supine and standing pelvic radiographs to highlight signs of acetabular retroversion, and to assist with optimizing acetabular correction at the time of surgery.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2022;104-B(7):786–791.

Correspondence should be sent to Mark R. J. Jenkinson. E-mail:

M. R. J. Jenkinson and W. Peeters are joint first authors.

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