Radiographic Risk Factors and Signs of Abductor Tears in the Hip


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify radiographic risk factors (RRFs) and radiographic signs of abductor tendon tears.

Methods: Between April 2008 and October 2015, patients with intraoperative diagnosis of partial- or full-thickness abductor tear noted at the time of open or endoscopic treatment were included in this study. Exclusion criteria included lack of preoperative standard supine pelvic radiograph, lack of preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or abductor tear not present at the time of operative intervention. Patients were matched by age ±5 years, gender, and body mass index ±5 with patients with no abductor pathology by clinical exam and MRI. A standardized supine anterior-posterior pelvis radiograph was performed on all patients. The radiographs were evaluated for RRF (pelvic width, body weight moment arm, abductor moment arm, abductor angle, pelvic height) and signs of abductor tendon pathology (greater trochanteric enthesophyte). Femoral version was measured on MRI when images were available. Statistical analysis was performed and included bivariate and multivariate analyses.

Results: There were 152 patients with abductor tears identified at the time of surgery out of 2,838 eligible patients matched with 125 patients without abductor tendon pathology. The study institution was unable to perform a 1:1 match because of the advanced age of the abductor tendon group, which led to a greater age in the abductor group (n = 58) versus the control group (n = 54; P = .01. In abductor group the average age was 58, and 137 of 152 (90%) patients were female; in the control group the average age was 54, with 111 of 125 (89%) patients being female. Abductor tear patients were treated with surgical repair. The RRFs found with bivariate analysis were an increased pelvic width (14.8 cm for abductor tears vs 14.3 cm for control; P < .001), body weight moment arm (11.1 cm vs 10.9 cm; P < .001), and abductor moment arm (7.8 cm vs 7.6 cm; P < .001); decreased femoral anteversion (7.6° vs 10.6°; P = .045); and enthesophyte presence (41% vs 3%; P < .001). Multivariate regression analysis of all variables showed that teardrop distance and enthesophyte presence were the 2 variables most predictive of abductor tears, and other variables did not significantly increase or decrease the likelihood of tear when these 2 variables were considered. The presence of an enthesophyte on the greater trochanter was notable for an odds ratio of 20.7 of having an abductor tear.

Conclusions: Patients with abductor tears have a wider pelvis, longer abductor moment arm, and longer body weight moment arm and have greater trochanteric enthesophyte as noted on nearly half of patients with an abductor tear. Presence of an enthesophyte was noted to have an odds ratio of 20.7 and a positive predictive value of 94% for having an abductor tendon tear. The 2 variables predictive of abductor tendon tear when controlling for all variables were enthesophyte presence and teardrop distance, with no other variables significantly increasing or decreasing the likelihood of tear when these 2 variables were considered.

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