Three-dimensional CT analysis to determine acetabular retroversion and the implications for the management of femoro-acetabular impingement

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2009 Aug;91(8):1031-6. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.91B8.22389.


This study examined the relationship between the cross-over sign and the true three-dimensional anatomical version of the acetabulum. We also investigated whether in true retroversion there is excessive femoral head cover anteriorly. Radiographs of 64 hips in patients being investigated for symptoms of femoro-acetabular impingement were analysed and the presence of a cross-over sign was documented. CT scans of the same hips were analysed to determine anatomical version and femoral head cover in relation to the anterior pelvic plane after correcting for pelvic tilt. The sensitivity and specificity of the cross-over sign were 92% and 55%, respectively for identifying true acetabular retroversion. There was no significant difference in total cover between normal and retroverted cases. Anterior and posterior cover were, however, significantly different (p < 0.001 and 0.002). The cross-over sign was found to be sensitive but not specific. The results for femoral head cover suggest that retroversion is characterised by posterior deficiency but increased cover anteriorly.

MeSH terms

  • Acetabulum / abnormalities
  • Acetabulum / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Femur Head / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hip Dislocation, Congenital / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hip Dislocation, Congenital / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Joint Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Joint Diseases / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvis / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiography
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Young Adult