Objectives: To evaluate the rate of progression of radiological joint space narrowing (JSN) in patients operated on for hip osteoarthritis (OA) and to determine its predictive factors.
Study design: retrospective longitudinal trial of 61 patients who underwent total hip arthroplasty (THA) for hip OA (69 operated hips). Mean follow-up 81.2 +/- 9.9 months. Collected data: (1) standing frontal radiographs of the pelvis from diagnosis to surgery (246 films) for morphological evaluation and quantitative measurement of joint space width (JSW) (computerized reading of digitized X-rays); (2) demographic data (sex, age, body mass index, smoking status, professional and sporting activities, family history of OA); (3) clinical data (age at onset-diagnosis and THA, drug consumption, time from diagnosis to permanent disability, OA at other joints, previous THA of the contralateral hip).
Statistics: multivariate analysis.
Results: The yearly mean narrowing (YMN) of MeanJSW was 0.43 +/- 0.43 mm/yr (median 0.29, range 0.03-2.55). YMN correlated inversely with joint space width at operation and follow-up duration, and was increased in atrophic OA (r = 0.71). The time between diagnosis and THA correlated with JSW at diagnosis, and was inversely correlated with age at onset and YMN. It was longer in patients with hypertrophic OA (r = 0.69).
Conclusion: Rapid progression of JSN, older age and absence of osteophytes appear to be the main factors leading to THA.