Sitting radiographs have been used as a pre-operative tool to plan patient-specific total hip arthroplasty (THA) component position that would improve hip stability. Previous work has demonstrated that spinal mobility may impact functional acetabular position when seated. We sought to determine whether patients who dislocate following THA have different sitting spinopelvic alignment or acetabular component orientation compared to patients who did not dislocate.

A consecutive series of 1000 patients underwent post-operative low-dose biplanar spine-to-ankle lateral radiographs in standing and sitting positions 1 year following THA. Twelve patients (1% of all patients) experienced hip dislocation. Patients were categorized as having normal lumbar spines (without radiographic arthrosis) or as having lumbar multi-level degenerative disc disease. Measurements of spinopelvic alignment parameters (including sacral slope, lumbar lordosis, and proximal femur angles) and acetabular component orientation in sitting position (functional inclination and functional anteversion) were performed.

Patients who dislocated had significantly less spine flexion, less change in pelvic tilt, and more hip flexion from standing to sitting positions compared to patients with normal spines. In sitting position, dislocators had acetabular components with less functional inclination and less functional anteversion.

This study demonstrates that patients with fixed spinopelvic alignment from standing to sitting position are at higher risk of hip dislocation. Imaging patients from standing to sitting position using this technique can provide valuable information on whether a patient has fixed spinopelvic alignment with postural changes and is therefore at higher risk of dislocation.