Inappropriate sagittal plane correction can result in an increased risk of osteoarthritis progression after periacetabular osteotomy (PAO). Individual and postural variations in sagittal pelvic tilt, along with acetabular deformity, affect joint contact mechanics in dysplastic hips and may impact the direction and degree of acetabular correction. Finite-element analyses that account for physiologic pelvic tilt may provide valuable insight into the effect of PAO on the contact mechanics of dysplastic hips, which may lead to improved acetabular correction during PAO.
We performed virtual PAO using finite-element models with reference to the standing pelvic position to clarify (1) whether lateral rotation of the acetabulum normalizes the joint contact pressure, (2) risk factors for abnormal contact pressure after lateral rotation of the acetabulum, and (3) whether additional anterior rotation of the acetabulum further reduces contact pressure.
Between 2016 and 2020, 85 patients (92 hips) underwent PAO to treat hip dysplasia. Eighty-two patients with hip dysplasia (lateral center-edge angle < 20°) were included. Patients with advanced osteoarthritis, femoral head deformity, prior hip or spine surgery, or poor-quality images were excluded. Thirty-eight patients (38 hips) were eligible to participate in this study. All patients were women, with a mean age of 39 ± 10 years. Thirty-three women volunteers without a history of hip disease were reviewed as control participants. Individuals with a lateral center-edge angle < 25° or poor-quality images were excluded. Sixteen individuals (16 hips) with a mean age of 36 ± 7 years were eligible as controls. Using CT images, we developed patient-specific three-dimensional surface hip models with the standing pelvic position as a reference. The loading scenario was based on single-leg stance. Four patterns of virtual PAO were performed in the models. First, the acetabular fragment was rotated laterally in the coronal plane so that the lateral center-edge angle was 30°; then, anterior rotation in the sagittal plane was added by 0°, 5°, 10°, and 15°. We developed finite-element models for each acetabular position and performed a nonlinear contact analysis to calculate the joint contact pressure of the acetabular cartilage. The normal range of the maximum joint contact pressure was calculated to be < 4.1 MPa using a receiver operating characteristic curve. A paired t-test or Wilcoxon signed rank test with Bonferroni correction was used to compare joint contact pressures among acetabular positions. We evaluated the association of joint contact pressure with the patient-specific sagittal pelvic tilt and acetabular version and coverage using Pearson or Spearman correlation coefficients. An exploratory univariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify which of the preoperative factors (CT measurement parameters and sagittal pelvic tilt) were associated with abnormal contact pressure after lateral rotation of the acetabulum. Variables with p values < 0.05 (anterior center-edge angle and sagittal pelvic tilt) were included in a multivariable model to identify the independent influence of each factor.
Lateral rotation of the acetabulum decreased the median maximum contact pressure compared with that before virtual PAO (3.7 MPa [range 2.2-6.7] versus 7.2 MPa [range 4.1-14 MPa], difference of medians 3.5 MPa; p < 0.001). The resulting maximum contact pressures were within the normal range (< 4.1 MPa) in 63% of the hips (24 of 38 hips). The maximum contact pressure after lateral acetabular rotation was negatively correlated with the standing pelvic tilt (anterior pelvic plane angle) (ρ = -0.52; p < 0.001) and anterior center-edge angle (ρ = -0.47; p = 0.003). After controlling for confounding variables such as the lateral center-edge angle and sagittal pelvic tilt, we found that a decreased preoperative anterior center-edge angle (per 1°; odds ratio 1.14 [95% CI 1.01-1.28]; p = 0.01) was independently associated with elevated contact pressure (≥ 4.1 MPa) after lateral rotation; a preoperative anterior center-edge angle < 32° in the standing pelvic position was associated with elevated contact pressure (sensitivity 57%, specificity 96%, area under the curve 0.77). Additional anterior rotation further decreased the joint contact pressure; the maximum contact pressures were within the normal range in 74% (28 of 38 hips), 76% (29 of 38 hips), and 84% (32 of 38 hips) of the hips when the acetabulum was rotated anteriorly by 5°, 10°, and 15°, respectively.
Via virtual PAO, normal joint contact pressure was achieved in 63% of patients by normalizing the lateral acetabular coverage. However, lateral acetabular rotation was insufficient to normalize the joint contact pressure in patients with more posteriorly tilted pelvises and anterior acetabular deficiency. In patients with a preoperative anterior center-edge angle < 32° in the standing pelvic position, additional anterior rotation is expected to be a useful guide to normalize the joint contact pressure.
This virtual PAO study suggests that biomechanics-based planning for PAO should incorporate not only the morphology of the hip but also the physiologic pelvic tilt in the weightbearing position in order to customize acetabular reorientation for each patient.

Copyright © 2021 by the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons.