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This article is the author’s final published version in Arthroplasty Today, Volume 14, March 2022, Pages 100 - 104.

The published version is available at Copyright © Kong et al.


Background: Achieving appropriate leg length after surgery remains a concern for surgeons performing total hip arthroplasty (THA). The focus of surgeons trying to equalize leg length has been primarily on positioning of the femoral implant. This study evaluates the impact of acetabular height on leg length and its impact on femoral component choices during THA.

Methods: We reviewed standing pelvic radiographs of 100 patients who underwent staged bilateral THA by a single surgeon from 2016 to 2019. Leg length discrepancies and acetabular heights were determined from preoperative and postoperative radiographs. The difference between the first and second operative hips was compared at each stage of the procedures. Results were analyzed using paired t-tests.

Results: There is a significant increase in mean leg length and acetabular height after both the first and second stages of the procedure. Although there was a small change in average acetabular height for each procedure, height increased or decreased by greater than 5 mm in 44 of 200 cases. Comparing left to right hips after the second surgery disclosed no statistically significant differences in acetabular height or leg length.

Conclusion: Acetabular height and leg length changes with each stage of the procedure in sequential bilateral THA. In almost 25% of cases, the acetabular height changed by more than 5 mm. This has significant implications and needs to be considered during preoperative planning as well as operative decision-making. To account for these differences, a THA may require intraoperative acetabular assessment and changes in femoral positioning and sizing to achieve the optimal leg length.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.