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New Study Finds Hip Replacements Can Relieve Symptomatic Lower Back Pain

For Immediate Release
November 14, 2021

Dallas – A study presented at the 2021 AAHKS Annual Meeting found that symptomatic lower back pain resolved in 82% of patients after total hip arthroplasty (THA).

Patients who undergo THA frequently experience both hip pain and lower back pain prior to surgery. The study compared patients whose back pain resolved following THA with those whose pain did not resolve. Researchers sought to identify how to predict pain resolution using spinopelvic parameters.

Lead author Karim Shafi, MD, and co-authors Jonathan M. Vigdorchik, MD, David A. Kolin, MS, Aaron Buckland, MD, Kaitlin M. Carroll, BS, Seth A. Jerabek, MD, reviewed a consecutive series of 500 patients who underwent THA for unilateral hip osteoarthritis, excluding those with previous spine surgery or femoral neck fracture.

Before surgery, patients had biplanar standing and sitting EOS radiographs. Researchers calculated each patient’s Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score before surgery and at one and two years postoperatively. Spinopelvic parameters included pelvic incidence and change in sacral slope from standing to sitting.

Of the 500 patients, 204 (41%) had documented lower back pain prior to THA. At one- and two-year follow up, resolution of back pain occurred in 168 (82%) and 187 (91%) patients, respectively. The ODI for patients improved from 38.9±17.8 preoperatively to 17.0±10.6 at one year postoperatively. Pelvic incidence was not predictive of back pain resolution. All patients whose back pain resolved had a sacral slope change from standing to sitting of >10 degrees, while all patients whose back pain did not resolve had a change of <10 degrees.

The results of this study may be used to counsel patients regarding back pain and its resolution following total hip replacement and may help surgeons in the planning whether to address hip or spine pathology first.

Abstract: https://meeting.aahks.org/wp-content/uploads/2021-FINAL-Printed-Program-Book-pages-64.pdf


About the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons

Established in 1991, the mission of AAHKS is to advance hip and knee patient care through education and advocacy. AAHKS has a membership of over 4,000 surgeons and other hip and knee health care professionals.

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