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Do All Rigid and Unbalanced Spines Present the Same Risk of Dislocation After Total Hip Arthroplasty? A Comparison Study Between Patients With Ankylosing Spondylitis and History of Spinal Fusion


J Arthroplasty. 2020 Dec;35(12):3594-3600. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2020.06.048. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Akhil Katakam 1Hany S Bedair 1Christopher M Melnic 1

Author Information

1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Newton, MA.


Background: Spines with ankylosis or with a history of lumbosacral fusions have been collectively classified as rigid and unbalanced, and associated with an increased rate of dislocation after total hip arthroplasty (THA). It remains unknown whether the cause of spinal arthrodesis influences the dislocation rate.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted from January 2000 to December 2017, with an institutional review board's approval to identify 2 cohorts with a history of THA: one with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) involving the lumbosacral spine and another cohort with a history of lumbosacral spinal fusion (SF). A chart review was performed to collect demographic and surgical variables. Lumbar lordosis angle (LLA), acetabular anteversion, and inclination angle measurements were taken for each patient. Kaplan-Meier survivorship curves were constructed and multivariable Cox regression was performed for analysis.

Results: The AS and SF cohorts consisted of 142 and 135 patients, respectively. The SF group had a greater mean LLA (34.18°) than the AS group (21°). A total of 16 patients (11.85%) suffered from dislocation after primary elective THA in the SF group, whereas 4 patients (2.82%) in the AS group. After multivariable Cox regression analysis, increasing LLA and hips outside of the Lewinnek safe zone were found to be associated with a higher hazard of dislocation after THA.

Conclusion: We found that the degree of lumbar spine curvature is more associated with dislocation after THA than the history of SF itself; specifically, an increase in lumbar lordosis angle of 1º increases the probability of dislocation by 13% among AS and SF patients.