Pubic Symphysis to Sacrococcygeal Joint: A Poor Correlate to Other Spinopelvic Measurements

Joshua R. Labott, John Rudolph H. Smith, Kristin C. Mara, Cody C. Wyles, Michael J. Taunton, Matthew P. Abdel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The hip-spine relationship is increasingly recognized as critical for optimizing stability following total hip arthroplasty (THA). However, these measurements are not routinely obtained during THA workup. It has been suggested that insight can be gained from supine antero-posterior pelvis radiograph, measuring the distance from the superior border of the pubic symphysis to the sacro-coccygeal joint (PSCD). This study assessed the correlation between PSCD and lateral lumbar radiographic metrics in a cohort of preoperative THA patients. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 250 consecutive patients who underwent THA with preoperative supine antero-posterior pelvis and lateral lumbar radiographs. The mean age was 68 years (range, 42 to 89), 61% were women, and the mean body mass index was 30 kg/m2 (range, 19 to 52). Two reviewers measured PSCD, pelvic tilt (PT), sacral slope (SS), pelvic incidence (PI), and lumbar lordosis (LL). Inter-observer reliability was calculated for all measurements, and correlation coefficients were calculated for PSCD with respect to PT, SS, PI, and LL. Results: Correlations between PSCD and lumbar radiographic metrics were all statistically significant, except for PI in men but graded as “weak” or “very weak” for men and women, respectively, as follows: PT = −0.30 (P < .01) and −0.46 (P < .01); SS = 0.27 (P < .01) and 0.22 (P < .01); PI = −0.04 (P = .70) and −0.19 (P = .02); and LL = 0.45 (P < .01) and 0.30 (P < .01). Inter-observer reliability was graded as “strong” for every metric. Conclusion: The PSCD was weakly correlated with all evaluated lateral lumbar radiographic metrics in both sexes, despite strong inter-observer reliability. Therefore, PSCD cannot reliably serve as a proxy for evaluating the hip-spine relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1535-1538
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • hip-spine relationship
  • pelvic incidence
  • pelvic tilt
  • sacral slope
  • total hip arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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