The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 32, Issue 9, 2892 - 2897

Lesser Trochanter Size on Plain Anteroposterior Radiographs Correlates With Native Femoral Anteversion

Worlicek, Michael C. et al.


Assessing femoral version in orthopedic surgery is important for preoperative planning of total hip arthroplasty, especially for recognizing excessive anteversion or retroversion. The present study addressed the following: (1) Is the position of the lesser trochanter correlated to the femoral neck axis? (2) If so, may femoral version be assessed by means of plain pelvic radiographs?


Three-dimensional computed tomography scans of 60 patients undergoing minimally invasive cement-free total hip arthroplasty were retrospectively analyzed, particularly with regard to the relation between the femoral neck axis and the lesser trochanter, the femoral version, and the size of the projected lesser trochanter in different rotational positions. Based on linear regression, a biomathematical formula was developed to assess femoral anteversion on plain radiographs depending on the visible part of the lesser trochanter.


The mean difference between the location of the lesser trochanter axis and the femoral neck axis was 43.3° ± 6.2°. Eighty-seven percent of patients (52 of 60) had a deviation of <10° from the mean value of 43.3°. By virtual rotation of the femur in steps of 10°, the visible part of the lesser trochanter linearly increased with anteversion of the femur: femoral version = (lesser trochanter size − 5.57) × 4.17. There was a high correlation between the visible part of the lesser trochanter and femoral version (R2 = 0.75; P < .001). The lesser trochanter was no longer visible with femoral retroversion in each of the 60 data sets.


The projected size of the lesser trochanter as available on plain pelvic AP radiographs correlates with native femoral anteversion.

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