The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 4, 1036 - 1041

Lumbar Spine Degeneration and Flatback Deformity Alter Sitting-Standing Spinopelvic Mechanics—Implications for Total Hip Arthroplasty

Buckland, Aaron J. et al.


Spinal degeneration and lumbar flatback deformity can decrease recruitment of protective posterior pelvic tilt when sitting, leading to anterior impingement and increased instability. We aim at analyzing regional and global spinal alignment between sitting and standing to better understand the implications of spinal degeneration and flatback deformity for hip arthroplasty.


Spinopelvic parameters of patients with full-body sitting-standing stereoradiographs were assessed: lumbar lordosis (LL), spinopelvic tilt (SPT), pelvic incidence minus LL (PI-LL), sagittal vertical axis (SVA), and T1 pelvic angle (TPA). Lumbar spines were classified as normal, degenerative (disc height loss >50%, facet arthropathy, or spondylolisthesis), or flatback (degenerative criteria and PI-LL >10°). Independent t-tests and analysis of variance were used to analyze alignment differences between groups.


After propensity matching for age, sex, and hip osteoarthritis grade, 57 patients per group were included (62 ± 11 years, 58% female). Mean standing and sitting SPT, PI-LL, SVA, and TPA increased along the spectrum of disease severity. Increasing severity of disease was associated with decreasing standing and sitting LL. The flatback group demonstrated the greatest sitting SPT, PI-LL, SVA, and TPA. The amount of sitting-to-standing change in SPT, LL, PI-LL, SVA, and TPA decreased along the spectrum of disease severity.


Spinal degeneration and lumbar flatback deformity both significantly decrease lower lumbar spine mobility and posterior SPT from standing to sitting in a stepwise fashion. The demonstrated hypomobility in flatback patients likely serves as a pathomechanism for the previously observed increased risk of dislocation in total hip arthroplasty.

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