The torsion of the proximal femur in cementless total hip arthroplasty: a 3-dimensional evaluation

Hip Int. 2023 Mar;33(2):254-261. doi: 10.1177/11207000211037196. Epub 2021 Aug 26.


Introduction: The anatomy of the proximal femur at the time of total hip arthroplasty has been widely studied but the horizontal plane was never considered, or only limited to the torsion of the femoral neck.

Methods: Using CT-scan images from a group of 178 patients scheduled for cementless total hip arthroplasty (THA), we analysed the evolution of the torsion of the proximal femoral metaphysis, in reference to the posterior bicondylar plane of the femur. The evolution of the torsion, between 20 mm below the centre of the lesser trochanter and 20 mm above, was evaluated.

Results: In cases of primary osteoarthritis, osteonecrosis, rheumatoid arthritis and epiphysiolysis capitis femoris, the mean torsion decreased from 46° to 20° without significant differences in average values between the different diagnoses, but important individual variations were found. In the groups of dysplasia and congenital hip dislocation, the torsion values were significantly higher, decreasing in mean from 59° to 25° and 63° to 34° respectively, and with important individual variations.

Conclusions: These data are important when using cementless femoral stems, since an ideal fit-and-fill in the proximal femur zone has been shown to positively influence bone ingrowth of the stem. However, a strict adaptation of the stem to the medullary canal, without considering its torsion, can lead to an increased or decreased torsion of the prosthesis neck and thus to an instability of the arthroplasty. For these reasons, if a perfect adaptation of the stem to the intramedullary anatomy and an optimal reconstruction of the extramedullary anatomy are to be achieved, 3-dimensional planning should ideally be obtained for every patient. This will allow the best stem choice adapted to every single patient and every kind of anatomy.

Keywords: Anatomy; arthroplasty; cementless; femur; helitorsion; hip; torsion.

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip* / methods
  • Femur / diagnostic imaging
  • Femur / pathology
  • Femur / surgery
  • Femur Neck / surgery
  • Hip Dislocation, Congenital* / surgery
  • Hip Prosthesis*
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies