Coxa Profunda Is Not a Useful Radiographic Parameter for Diagnosing Pincer-Type Femoroacetabular Impingement

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Abstract

Background:

Coxa profunda is commonly viewed as a radiographic parameter that is indicative of pincer-type femoroacetabular impingement, and this finding can impact diagnostic and surgical decision-making. Validation of coxa profunda as a measure of pincer-type femoroacetabular impingement has not been rigorously analyzed. Our hypothesis was that coxa profunda is a very common radiographic finding in females and is not a finding that is specifically associated with pincer-type femoroacetabular impingement.

Methods:

A retrospective review was performed to determine the prevalence of coxa profunda in four groups of hips: those with acetabular dysplasia (fifty-eight hips), femoroacetabular impingement (fifty hips), symptomatic residual Legg-Calvé-Perthes deformities (sixteen hips), and asymptomatic hips (thirty-three). Coxa profunda was present when the floor of the acetabular fossa touched or was medial to the ilioischial line. The association between coxa profunda and hip disorder diagnosis, lateral center-edge angle, acetabular inclination, patient age, and sex was analyzed.

Results:

Coxa profunda was seen in 55% of the 157 hips and was slightly less common in the hips with acetabular dysplasia or residual Legg-Calvé-Perthes deformities (41% and 31%, respectively). Coxa profunda was evident in 76% of the thirty-three asymptomatic hips compared with 64% of the fifty hips with femoroacetabular impingement. Coxa profunda was more common in females than males (70% compared with 24%; p < 0.001). Acetabular overcoverage (a lateral center-edge angle of >40° or acetabular inclination of <0°) was seen in only 22% of hips with coxa profunda.

Conclusions:

Coxa profunda should be considered a normal radiographic finding, at least in females. Coxa profunda is a nonspecific radiographic finding, seen in a variety of hip disorders and asymptomatic hips. The presence of coxa profunda is neither necessary nor sufficient to support a diagnosis of pincer-type femoroacetabular impingement.

Level of Evidence:

Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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