The Acetabular Fossa May Not Be Located at the True Center of the Acetabulum: A Detailed Analysis Using Preoperative CT Images

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Abstract

Background:

The acetabular fossa is thought to be located in the center of the acetabulum, and acetabular reaming in total hip arthroplasty is conventionally performed in the center of the fossa. However, the actual location of the fossa and the influence that hypoplasia or deformity may have on the position of the fossa are unknown. We hypothesized that the fossa is located in the center of the acetabulum, regardless of hypoplasia or deformity.

Methods:

Fifty patients with normal hips (normal hip group), 50 patients with dysplasia who underwent rotational acetabular osteotomy (dysplastic hip group), and 46 patients with osteoarthritis who underwent total hip arthroplasty (osteoarthritic hip group) were evaluated by computed tomography (CT) imaging. On the horizontal plane that passes through the center of the femoral head, the center line of the acetabulum was defined as the perpendicular bisector of the anterior and posterior rims of the acetabulum. The angle and distance of the center of the acetabular fossa in relation to the center line of the acetabulum were evaluated; furthermore, the center position of the fossa from the anterior margin of the acetabulum was calculated as a ratio relative to acetabular size. A 1-way analysis of variance was performed to compare measurements among the 3 groups.

Results:

The center of the acetabular fossa was positioned anteriorly to the center line of the acetabulum in all 3 groups. The mean center angle of the acetabular fossa was 14.0° ± 3.8°, 15.2° ± 5.6°, and 14.9° ± 5.5° in the normal, dysplastic, and osteoarthritic hip groups, respectively (p = 0.33). The mean center distance of the acetabular fossa was 5.6 ± 1.8, 5.8 ± 2.3, and 6.1 ± 2.2 mm, respectively (p = 0.55). The mean center position of the acetabular fossa was 38.8% ± 3.3%, 38.5% ± 4.2%, and 38.3% ± 3.9%, respectively (p = 0.71).

Conclusions:

The center of the acetabular fossa is positioned anteriorly to the center of the acetabulum, and the positioning is affected by neither dysplasia nor osteoarthritis. The preconception that the center of the acetabulum corresponds to the center of the acetabular fossa may risk eccentric reaming, possibly damaging the anterior wall.

Level of Evidence:

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

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