The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 7, S53 - S56

Spinopelvic Motion and Impingement in Total Hip Arthroplasty

Braden M. McKnight, Nicholas A. Trasolini, Lawrence D. Dorr
The stability of a total hip arthroplasty relies on proper positioning of the acetabular cup. Recent research has shown that this cup position is more dynamic than previously thought. The 3-dimensional orientation of the acetabular cup changes when the pelvis tilts anteriorly or posteriorly. These changes in pelvic tilt are directly related to the biomechanics of the lumbosacral junction. In normal physiology, the lumbar spine straightens with sitting and becomes more lordotic with standing. This directly translates to posterior or anterior pelvic tilt due to the rigid sacroiliac attachments. During sitting, increased posterior pelvic tilt opens the acetabulum to accommodate flexion and internal rotation of the hip. This helps prevent anterior impingement and posterior hip dislocation. During standing, anterior pelvic tilt increases superior coverage of the acetabulum. This helps prevent posterior impingement and anterior hip dislocations. When lumbosacral motion becomes pathologic, spinopelvic motion changes and acetabular cup orientation is affected. In cases of decreased lumbosacral motion, patients rely on greater hip motion to reach standing or sitting positions. This can cause pathologic impingement. In addition, traditional safe zones for cup position may not apply in the presence of pathologic spinopelvic motion. This article discusses the normal physiology of spinopelvic motion, the patterns of pathologic change, and the clinical implications therein.

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