The external obturator footprint as a landmark in total hip arthroplasty through a direct anterior approach: a CT-based analysisRüdiger, H. A., Fritz, B., Impellizzeri, F. M., Leunig, M., Pfirrmann, C. W., & Sutter, R. (2019).
Anatomical landmarks for templating of total hip arthroplasty (THA) that are visible both during surgery and on radiographs are rare. If surgery is performed through a direct anterior approach the external obturator tendon (EO) is consistently visible. To use this point as a reference the exact position and dimensions of the footprint need to be known.
To determine the location and dimension of the EO footprint on pelvic radiographs by correlating the EO anatomy in CT scans with conventional radiographs.
CT scans and radiographs of 200 patients were analysed. The EO tendon was identified on CT scans; the height of its footprint, and its distance to the tip of the greater trochanter and to the anatomical axis of the femur was measured. The accuracy and inter-rater reliability in the identification of the EO footprint was determined.
The EO tendon was visible on all CT scans and it’s footprint was identifiable on all corresponding radiographs. It’s cranio-caudal dimension was 6.4 ± 1.4 mm. It’s distance to the tip of the greater trochanter was 16.0 ± 3.1 mm. The EO footprint was located 5.2 ± 3.7 mm lateral to the femoral anatomical axis. There was no significant difference regarding the accuracy of EO footprint localisation on radiographs among the 2 readers.
The EO footprint on the greater trochanter is consistently visible on CT scans and radiographs. As the variability of the footprint dimension is small, this structure may serve as a useful landmark in THA, particularly when performed through a direct anterior approach.