Medialization of the Hip's Center with Periacetabular Osteotomy: Validation of Assessment with Plain Radiographs

Lucas M. Fowler, Jeffrey J. Nepple, Clarabelle Devries, Michael D. Harris, John C. Clohisy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


BackgroundPeriacetabular osteotomy (PAO) increases acetabular coverage of the femoral head and medializes the hip's center, restoring normal joint biomechanics. Past studies have reported data regarding the degree of medialization achieved by PAO, but measurement of medialization has never been validated through a comparison of imaging modalities or measurement techniques. The ilioischial line appears to be altered by PAO and may be better visualized at the level of the inferior one-third of the femoral head, thus, an alternative method of measuring medialization that begins at the inferior one-third of the femoral head may be beneficial.Questions/purposes(1) What is the true amount and variability of medialization of the hip's center that is achieved with PAO? (2) Which radiographic factors (such as lateral center-edge angle [LCEA] and acetabular inclination [AI]) correlate with the degree of medialization achieved? (3) Does measurement of medialization on plain radiographs at the center of the femoral head (traditional method) or inferior one-third of the femoral head (alternative method) better correlate with true medialization? (4) Are intraoperative fluoroscopy images different than postoperative radiographs for measuring hip medialization?MethodsWe performed a retrospective study using a previously established cohort of patients who underwent low-dose CT after PAO. Inclusion criteria for this study included PAO as indicated for symptomatic acetabular dysplasia, preoperative CT scan, and follow-up between 9 months and 5 years. A total of 333 patients who underwent PAO from February 2009 to July 2018 met these criteria. Additionally, only patients who were between 16 and 50 years old at the time of surgery were included. Exclusion criteria included prior ipsilateral surgery, femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), pregnancy, neuromuscular disorder, Perthes-like deformity, inadequate preoperative CT, and inability to participate. Thirty-nine hips in 39 patients were included in the final study group; 87% (34 of 39) were in female patients and 13% (5 of 39 hips) were in male patients. The median (range) age at the time of surgery was 27 years (16 to 49). Low-dose CT images were obtained preoperatively and at the time of enrollment postoperatively; we also obtained preoperative and postoperative radiographs and intraoperative fluoroscopic images. The LCEA and AI were assessed on plain radiographs. Hip medialization was assessed on all imaging modalities by an independent, blinded assessor. On plain radiographs, the traditional and alternative methods of measuring hip medialization were used. Subgroups of good and fair radiographs, which were determined by the amount of pelvic rotation that was visible, were used for subgroup analyses. To answer our first question, medialization of all hips was assessed via measurements made on three-dimensional (3-D) CT hip reconstruction models. For our second question, Pearson correlation coefficients, one-way ANOVA, and the Student t-test were calculated to assess the correlation between radiographic parameters (such as LCEA and AI) and the amount of medialization achieved. For our third question, statistical analyses were performed that included a linear regression analysis to determine the correlation between the two radiographic methods of measuring medialization and the true medialization on CT using Pearson correlation coefficients, as well as 95% confidence intervals and standard error of the estimate. For our fourth question, Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated to determine whether using intraoperative fluoroscopy to make medialization measurements differs from measurements made on radiographs.ResultsThe true amount of medialization of the hip center achieved by PAO in our study as assessed by reference-standard CT measurements was 4 ± 3 mm; 46% (18 of 39 hips) were medialized 0 to 5 mm, 36% (14 hips) were medialized 5 to 10 mm, and 5% (2 hips) were medialized greater than 10 mm. Thirteen percent (5 hips) were lateralized (medialized < 0 mm). There were small differences in medialization between LCEA subgroups (6 ± 3 mm for an LCEA of ≤ 15°, 4 ± 4 mm for an LCEA between 15° and 20°, and 2 ± 3 mm for an LCEA of 20° to 25° [p = 0.04]). Hips with AI ≥ 15° (6 ± 3 mm) achieved greater amounts of medialization than did hips with AI of < 15° (2 ± 3 mm; p < 0.001). Measurement of medialization on plain radiographs at the center of the femoral head (traditional method) had a weaker correlation than using the inferior one-third of the femoral head (alternative method) when compared with CT scan measurements, which were used as the reference standard. The traditional method was not correlated across all radiographs or only good radiographs (r = 0.16 [95% CI -0.17 to 0.45]; p = 0.34 and r = 0.26 [95% CI -0.06 to 0.53]; p = 0.30), whereas the alternative method had strong and very strong correlations when assessed across all radiographs and only good radiographs, respectively (r = 0.71 [95% CI 0.51 to 0.84]; p < 0.001 and r = 0.80 [95% CI 0.64 to 0.89]; p < 0.001). Measurements of hip medialization made on intraoperative fluoroscopic images were not found to be different than measurements made on postoperative radiographs (r = 0.85; p < 0.001 across all hips and r = 0.90; p < 0.001 across only good radiographs).ConclusionUsing measurements made on preoperative and postoperative CT, the current study demonstrates a mean true medialization achieved by PAO of 4 mm but with substantial variability. The traditional method of measuring medialization at the center of the femoral head may not be accurate; the alternate method of measuring medialization at the lower one-third of the femoral head is a superior way of assessing the hip center's location. We suggest transitioning to using this alternative method to obtain the best clinical and research data, with the realization that both methods using plain radiography appear to underestimate the true amount of medialization achieved with PAO. Lastly, this study provides evidence that the hip center's location and medialization can be accurately assessed intraoperatively using fluoroscopy.Level of EvidenceLevel III, diagnostic study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1040-1049
Number of pages10
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


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