Study design: Prospective clinical study on the effect of total hip replacement surgery (THR) on low back pain (LBP) in patients with severe hip osteoarthritis.
Objective: To assess the affect of THR on LBP.
Summary of background data: Hip osteoarthritis causes abnormal gait and spinal sagittal alignment and is associated with LBP.
Methods: All consecutive adults scheduled for THR in our department due to severe hip osteoarthritis were assessed by an independent investigator before surgery and 3 months and 2 years post-THR. The Harris Hip Score and the Oswestry scores were used to evaluate hip- and spine-related symptoms, respectively, as were visual analogue scales (VAS) and sagittal spinal radiographs.
Results: Twenty-five patients (10 males; age range, 32-84 years) were evaluated. Both spinal and hip pain and function were significantly better following THR. The mean preoperative LBP VAS score of 5.04 was 3.68 after THR (P = 0.006). The mean preoperative Oswestry score of 36.72 was 24.08 after THR (P = 0.0011). Clinical improvement was maintained and enhanced at the 2-year follow-up. The mean hip pain VAS score was 7.08 before THR and 2.52 after THR (P < 0.01). The mean Harris Hip Score was 45.74 before and 81.8 after surgery (P < 0.01). There were no changes in the radiographic measurements.
Conclusion: Both LBP and spinal function were improved following THR. This study demonstrates the clinical benefits of THR on back pain and is the first to clinically validate hip-spine syndrome as hypothesized by Offierski and MacNab in 1983.