Digital templating facilitates accurate leg length correction in total hip arthroplasty

Shivan Sabah Jassim, Christopher Ingham, Matthew Keeling, James Anthony Wimhurst
Acta Orthopaedica Belgica 2012, 78 (3): 344-9
Digital templating of pre-operative radiographs is increasingly utilised by surgeons before total hip arthroplasty (THA) as part of an adequate preoperative preparation to minimise complications. Templating can accurately predict the required implant sizes but its use in facilitating correction of leg length discrepancy (LLD) has been underreported in the literature. We performed a retrospective analysis of a cohort of consecutive patients undergoing primary THA. A comparison was made of the implant sizes templated with actual sizes used. In addition, pre-operative leg-length discrepancy (LLD) was noted and compared with intra-operative measurement of LLD correction and post-operative LLD correction seen on postoperative radiographs, as measured by two independent observers. Statistical analysis was performed to investigate the correlation between pre- and postoperative measurements. Fifty nine patients that had primary THA were investigated, 42 with hybrid replacements, 17 with cemented replacements. Spearman's-rho 2-tailed correlation between templated and implanted femoral offset, stem size and acetabular cup size was 0.850, 0.709 and 0.834 respectively (p < 0.01 for all). Correlation between the pre-operative templated LLD and the measured post-operative corrected LLD was 0.841 (p < 0.01). No difference existed between hybrid and cemented hips or the presence or absence of a contralateral hip replacement. In this study, templating for THA was significantly accurate in predicting the required femoral and acetabular implant sizes. In addition, the correction of pre-operative LLD was accurately performed, as evidenced by measurement on post-operative films. The results of this study support the pre-operative digital templating of radiographs in total hip arthroplasty.

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