Effect of Pelvic Tilt on Acetabular Retroversion: A Study of Pelves From Cadavers

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Pelvic inclination is difficult to control on a standard radiograph of the pelvis and has a direct influence on the appearance of acetabular version. By defining the normal range of the distance between the symphysis and the sacrococcygeal joint on 86 standard anteroposterior radiographs of pelves a technique was developed to evaluate pelvic inclination. A statistically significant correlation between this distance and pelvic inclination was shown in four cadaver pelves. Acetabular retroversion signs (cross-over, posterior wall signs) were evaluated on normal pelves from cadavers (two females, two males) after mounting on a holding device and wire marking of the acetabular rims. Radiographs were taken 3° stepwise through the range of 9° inclination to 12° reclination. At the neutral position, two acetabula appeared with both positive retroversion signs compared with none at 6° reclination. At 9° pelvic inclination all acetabula had both signs. Retroversion signs were significantly more pronounced and found at lower pelvic tilt angles in the pelves from males than from females. Evaluation of pelvic inclination will help to decrease measurement errors in assessment of acetabular orientation and femoral head coverage. This will be valuable in preoperative planning of reorientation procedures.

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