Several radiological methods of measuring anteversion of the acetabular component after total hip replacement (THR) have been described. These studies used different definitions and reference planes to compare methods, allowing for misinterpretation of the results. We compared the reliability and accuracy of five current methods using plain radiographs (those of Lewinnek, Widmer, Liaw, Pradhan, and Woo and Morrey) with CT measurements, using the same definition and reference plane. We retrospectively studied the plain radiographs and CT scans in 84 hips of 84 patients who underwent primary THR. Intra- and inter-observer reliability were high for the measurement of inclination and anteversion with all methods on plain radiographs and CT scans. The measurements of inclination on plain radiographs were similar to the measurements using CT (p = 0.043). The mean difference between CT measurements was 0.6° (-5.9° to 6.8°).
Measurements using Widmer's method were the most similar to those using CT (p = 0.088), with a mean difference between CT measurements of -0.9° (-10.4° to 9.1°), whereas the other four methods differed significantly from those using CT (p < 0.001).
This study has shown that Widmer's method is the best for evaluating the anteversion of the acetabular component on plain radiographs.