BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders BMC series 2016 17:399

Native femoral anteversion should not be used as reference in cementless total hip arthroplasty with a straight, tapered stem: a retrospective clinical study

Michael Worlicek, Markus Weber, Benjamin Craiovan, Michael Wörner, Florian Völlner, Hans R. Springorum, Joachim Grifka & Tobias Renkawitz


Improper femoral and acetabular component positioning can be associated with instability, impingement, component wear and finally patient dissatisfaction in total hip arthroplasty (THA). The concept of “femur first”/“combined anteversion”, incorporates various aspects of performing a functional optimization of the prosthetic stem and cup position of the stem relative to the cup intraoperatively.

In the present study we asked two questions: (1) Do native femoral anteversion and anteversion of the implant correlate? (2) Do anteversion of the final broach and implant anteversion correlate?


In a secondary analysis of a prospective controlled trial, a subgroup of 55 patients, who underwent computer-assisted, cementless THA with a straight, tapered stem through an anterolateral, minimally invasive (MIS) approach in a lateral decubitus position were examined retrospectivly. Intraoperative fluoroscopy was used to verify a “best-fit” position of the final broach. An image-free navigation system was used for measurement of the native femoral version, version of the final broach and the final implant. Femoral neck resection height was measured in postoperative CT-scans. This investigation was approved by the local Ethics Commission (No.10-121-0263) and is a secondary analysis of a larger project (DRKS00000739, German Clinical Trials Register May-02–2011).


The mean difference between native femoral version and final implant was 1.9° (+/− 9.5), with a range from −20.7° to 21.5° and a Spearman’s correlation coefficient of 0.39 (p < 0.003). In contrast, we observed a mean difference between final broach and implant version of −1.9° (+/− 3.5), with a range from −12.7° to 8.7° and a Spearman’s correlation coefficient of 0.89 (p < 0.001). In 83.6 % (46/55) final stem version was outside the normal range as defined by Tönnis (15-20°). The mean femoral neck resection height was 7.3 mm (+/− 5.6). There was no correlation between resection height and version of the implant (Spearman’s correlation coefficient 0.14).


Native femoral version significantly differs from the final anteversion of a cementless, straight, tapered stem and therefore is not a reliable reference in cementless THA. Measuring anteversion of the final “fit and fill” broach is a feasible assistance in order to predict final stem anteversion intraoperatively. There is no correlation between femoral neck resection height and version of the implant.

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