Wenjie Weng, Hao Wu, Mingda Wu, Yawen Zhu, Yong Qiu, Weijun Wang

October 2016, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 3608 - 3614 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-016-4444-1

First Online: 16 February 2016


Sagittal spinopelvic malalignment has been reported in spinal disorders such as low back pain (LBP), and restoration of normal alignment is targeted when treating these disorders. Abnormal sagittal spinal–pelvic–leg alignment has been reported in patients with severe hip osteoarthritis (OA), who have a high prevalence of associated LBP. This prospective longitudinal study aimed to investigate changes in sagittal spinal–pelvic–leg alignment after total hip arthroplasty (THA) in patients with severe hip OA, and whether these changes contribute to LBP relief.


Patients undergoing primary THA due to severe unilateral hip OA were recruited. Physical examination and X-ray films were taken to rule out any spinal disorder. Sagittal alignment of pelvis, hip, and spine was analyzed on lateral radiographs taken before (baseline) and 1 year after (follow-up) THA. Functional instruments were completed by patients including: visual analog scale (VAS) for LBP, Roland–Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ), and Harris Hip Score (HHS). Comparisons were carried out at baseline and follow-up, and between patients with and without LBP.


The recruited 69 patients showed significantly reduced hip flexion and improved global spinal balance at follow-up compared with baseline. LBP was reported by 39 patients (56.5 %) before surgery; at follow-up, 17 reported complete resolution, while 22 reported significant relief. Significant decreases in VAS and RMDQ scores in lumbar spine and increase in hip HHS were observed.


THA in patients with severe hip OA could help correct abnormal sagittal spinal–pelvic–leg alignment and relieve comorbid LBP. Improvements in hip flexion and global spinal balance might be involved in the mechanism of LBP relief.

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